St. Catherine Creek Wildlife Refuge going to birds during festival

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2000

The St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge is for the birds.

Especially this weekend, as the second annual Natchez Birding Festival will be held there on Saturday.

The festival is jointly sponsored by the Jackson Audubon Society and the Jackson Museum of Natural History.

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Maury Bedford, assistant manager of the refuge, said the event allows visitors to see many different types of birds.

&uot;We’ll meet at 7 a.m. Saturday, and the birders will get a quick overview of the refuge,&uot; he said.

Bird watchers should meet at the headquarters office in Sibley, he added.

Watchers will use binoculars at the Sibley Unit, the Butler Lake Unit and the Cloverdale Unit, Bedford said.

&uot;They could see at least 15 different species of birds,&uot; he said.

The Cloverdale Unit will be open for wildlife observation for this one day only.

Bedford said that participants are asked to bring a sack lunch and drinks.

Bedford expects more people to attend this year’s event.

&uot;Last year we had approximately 75 people and we plan on having more this year,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ve had visitors from seven states, including one from Michigan, participate in this event.&uot;

The event gives people &uot;the opportunity to see birds that are in Natchez for a few weeks and then start to migrate south, some as far as Argentina, for the winter,&uot; he said.

The fall shorebird migration will offer participants an opportunity to view more than 10,000 birds at the Natchez stopover sight.

The festival lasts from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call the refuge at (601) 442-6696.