Weekend Planner: Bird-watchers, unite

Weekend Planner: Bird-watchers, unite

Today's Great Backyard Bird Count is a bird-lover's dream. The free event engages birders of all ages to count the animals in an effort to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations.

Participants count birds they see and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. It takes place at Anita Purves Nature Center, 1501 N. Broadway Ave., U. Here's more, via staff writer Tim Mitchell.

1.

The local bird count runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Participants can record the birds they see through the center's windowed Wildlife Observation Room. Free activity stations for all ages will also be available.

2.

There will be two guided hikes, led by veteran birders: BRODY DUNN, vice president of the Champaign County Audubon Society, will lead the first at 10 a.m.; BETH CHATO, the Illinois Association of Park Districts' Outstanding Citizen Volunteer of the Year, will take over at 3 p.m.

3.

Instruction in bird identification will be provided. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars if you have them or borrow a pair at the nature center. For information, call 217-384-4062.