This Saturday the Columbus Audubon Society opens to the public its bird park behind Columbus State University’s Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, offering area resident a place specifically designed for birds and bird watchers.
Activities begin at 10 a.m. at the park off South Lumpkin Road across from the National Infantry Museum.
The park has handicapped-accessible paths, multiple squirrel-proof birdfeeders, a stream in which the water recirculates, and a shelter with benches and posted pictures of birds visitors might see.
The Columbus Audubon Society contributed $60,000 for the facilities along with volunteers to set out native plants such as wax myrtles, azaleas, buckeyes and ferns. The Columbus Water Works also contributed labor and expertise to the project, as well as Columbus State University.
Along with cardinals, blue jays, cedar waxwings and other birds with which locals likely are familiar, the park attracted a rose-breasted grosbeak. The adult male of that species has striking coloration: black and white with a red chevron stretching from its black throat to its breast.
Saturday is World Migratory Bird Day, recognizing that for birds to sustain their ageless migratory patterns, people must preserve the habitat birds need to continue their journeys.
Glenda Merrill, program chairman for the local Audubon Society, said the park demonstrates what residents here can do in their own backyards to attract native birds and provide a rest stop for those on their annual migrations.
Named for famed wildlife artist and woodsman John James Audubon, the Audubon Society’s mission is to save or restore natural habitat for birds and other wildlife, “for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.”