Enon Library begins ‘For the Birds’ program

Published 2:36 pm Thursday, March 14, 2013


The Enon Branch of the Washington Parish Library is encouraging local youth to get out and explore nature, by giving them the tools necessary for birding.

The Enon Library’s “…For the Birds” program kicked off Thursday, Feb. 14, with a session called “Birding Basics.” Sixteen kids and 10 adults packed into the library for the program. After the participants finished a snack, librarian Anna Watson presented a PowerPoint that gave some background on bird watching and told participants what the “bird club” is about.

The kids will need to wear tennis shoes and a cap to each meeting, along with a jacket if it is cold, Watson said. They will also need to bring their bird club field bag, which includes a bird identification book and a bird count book. Participants are encouraged to bring their own pair of binoculars, although a few will be available be to share. Anyone who would like to donate a pair of binoculars for the program is asked to contact the library at 839-9385.

Next, the kids played a bird identification game and received their name tags, complete with a “bird name.” Branch manager Becky Dugas said the kids seemed to enjoy the first program.

Open to kids between the ages of 8 and 12 and their parents, …For the Birds programs are held the second Thursday of each month from 3:30 until 4:30 p.m. at the library. During the next program, on March 14, participants will learn about “Crown, Feathers, Wings and Tail,” and future programs will focus on such topics as beaks, bird song, behavior and migration.

The program format will generally be a snack with the kids arrive, about 10 to 15 minutes of instruction and then a game and a craft to bring home that month’s topic, Dugas said. The participants will go outside to look at the birds, with their binoculars, at the beginning and ending of each meeting, she said.

The library has started a bird sanctuary that includes feeders and different structures. This is intended to entice the birds to come close to make identification easier. A larger sanctuary has been planned and plotted out, and the library will be able to put down dirt after Easter, when planting season begins, Dugas said.

Donations for the program, such as birdseed and birdfeeders, were provided by Ace Hardware, Winn-Dixie, Sav-a-Lot and Jackie Smith, Watson said.

Dugas said the program fits into the library system’s nature focus for this year, with the upcoming Summer Reading Program having the theme of “Dig into Reading.”

Watson said she previously worked with a program called TREE, Teaching Responsible Earth Education, and wanted to bring something similar to the library. The goal, she said, is to work up to the Great Backyard Bird Count, to take place in 2014.

“It’s not just a bird club,” she said. “We’re actually doing something for the community.”

For more information or to register, visit the Enon Library at 14140 Highway 16, located next to Enon Elementary School, or call the branch at 839-9385.