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Tours Bring Visitors Close to Winter Birding

Posted 12/26/18

SPRINGVILLE, Tenn. — Imagine watching hundreds of waterfowl rising from the lake, birding behind sanctuary gates, sailing aboard a 100’ yacht as eagles soar above, or enjoying rock star …

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Tours Bring Visitors Close to Winter Birding

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SPRINGVILLE, Tenn. — Imagine watching hundreds of waterfowl rising from the lake, birding behind sanctuary gates, sailing aboard a 100’ yacht as eagles soar above, or enjoying rock star speakers and legendary guides. Wings of Winter Birding Festival on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley is an exceptional opportunity for serious birdwatchers, new birders and outdoor enthusiasts. Slated for January 18-20, 2019, registration has been extended through December 31.

Headquartered in Paris, Tenn., the event focuses on the 150-plus migratory bird species that winter in Kentucky and Barkley Lakes in West Tennessee and Western Kentucky. The 15, full and half-day tours feature experienced guides who know their birds and are passionate about helping other birders on their quests. Tours will crisscross public lands, including hundreds of thousands of wooded acres and shoreline.  

Several favorite excursions among last year’s attendees are scheduled for 2019. “Two behind the refuge gates tours offer a phenomenal, up close look at thousands of wintering waterfowl during the closed-sanctuary period,” said Refuge Ranger Joan Howe. Also new this year is the Kentucky Lake Tour on an excursion yacht that will cruise beneath eagles, waterfowl, gulls and more. Large windows, a heated cabin, and a roomie deck will make this a popular event,” said Howe.

“The Wings of Winter’s guided trips feature some of the most storied birding locations in the Southeast, as well as stellar guides,” said Joan Howe. Destinations include Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge, Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge’s Units at Duck River Bottoms and Big Sandy, Kentucky Dam and Harmon Creek Wildlife Management Area, Paris Landing State Park, Land Between the Lakes and the Nature Station, and Ft. Donelson National Battlefield. For those who need an extra incentive, WOW speakers Richard Crossley (The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl) and Joel Greenberg (A Feathered River Across the Sky) will be leading tours.

“We are thrilled to have speakers who are the caliber of Crossley and Greenberg,” said Howe. “Crossley is revolutionizing birding with The Crossley ID Guide series, which is larger, more user friendly and more educational than other guides.” Greenberg is a fascinating conservationist and historian whose book has rekindled an interest in the rise and fall of the now extinct passenger pigeon and the lessons that this story teaches.”

The event is sponsored in part by federal and state agencies, including TVA, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and state parks. It is also is supported by birding organizations, local chambers and others.

For more information or to make reservations for the Wings of Winter Birding Festival, visit www.friendstnwr.org. Contact the refuge with questions at 731-642-2091 or Joan_Howe@fws.gov. Wings of Winter Birding Festival is also on Facebook.

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