If you are looking for a way to connect with nature, consider birding. Bird watching is a popular pastime made possible by the fact that birds are everywhere. Regardless of whether you live in the city or the country, birds are a part of our daily lives. From the tiniest hummingbird to the large and majestic eagle; birds serenade us with their songs, eat bugs and pollinate plants.Birds are an incredibly important contributor to our ecosystem and Audubon Arkansas exists to study and protect birds while educating the public about conservation and techniques for observing them in the wild.
Audubon Arkansas serves as the state office for the National Audubon Society which was formed in 1905 making it one of the oldest non-profit environmental organizations in the world. The Arkansas chapter was formed in 2000 and became the 25th state-level chapter in the country. Arkansas is also blessed to have several smaller, local chapters so bird enthusiasts all over the state can connect with each other to uphold the mission of Audubon Arkansas.
“We envision a state where the love and respect for nature is a cultural legacy. Communities are engaged in responsible stewardship, protecting and conserving our native environment for future generations.
Audubon Arkansas will inspire and lead environmental education, resource management, habitat restoration, bird conservation and enlightened advocacy.”
Arkansas is home to around 350 species of birds which you can learn more about in our article about the Native Birds of Arkansas. Observing our birds is a great way to get outside and enjoy some of the beauty of Arkansas and checking out the trails at the Little Rock Audubon Center is a great place to start.
Bird Watching on the Trails at the Little Rock Audubon Center
The Little Rock Audubon Center has over four miles of hiking trails that are designed to attract birds. The Wildlife Observation Trail is a one-mile handicap accessible trail that winds through an oak savannah habitat. The trail offers a panoramic view of the Little Rock skyline and contains benches, a picnic and firepit area, a vernal pool and a rain garden. Signs throughout the trail enhance the learning and observation experience.
Just down the road in Gillam Park visitors may access a 400-acre diverse habitat with over three miles of trails. The area is considered a hotspot for both birders and natural plant enthusiasts. This trail also protects a Nepheline syenite glade that occurs only in Pulaski and Saline counties and nowhere else in the world. Trees cannot grow in this area and the nepheline syenite, a granite-like rock, is exposed at the surface.
Education and Events at the Little Rock Audubon Center
Education is also an important service provided by the Little Rock Audubon Center. The center regularly hosts workshops and training about birds and other subjects of interest to naturalists.
4th Friday Work Day
From 9am-12pm every fourth Friday, volunteers gather on the trails at the Little Rock Audubon Center for a monthly cleanup. While you volunteer to keep the habitats in tip-top shape you will learn about birds, insects and native plants.
Audubon Happy Hour at Flyway Brewing
Every third Tuesday, Flyway Brewing hosts an evening of bird, beer and cheer. Mingle with staff from Audubon Arkansas, participate in bird trivia and enjoy drink specials at the monthly event.
Audubon Arkansas is committed to providing educational opportunities both at their facilities and in classrooms. From field trips to schoolyard habitats, climate and classroom programs as well as after-care programs Arkansas Audubon ais to education children about valuing and protecting our natural environment.
Connect with other birders
The best way to learn about birds is by sharing knowledge with those who are more experienced. In addition to events and activities held at the Little Rock Audubon Center, other local Audubon chapters regularly meet. Consider joining one of the clubs listed below.
Northwest Audubon Society
Audubon Society of North Central Arkansas
Little Red River Audubon Society
Arkansas River Valley Audubon Society
Audubon Society of Central Arkansas
Hot Spring Village Audubon Society
Three Rivers Audubon Society
Tex-Ark Audubon Society
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