Interested in birds? On the third Saturday of each month, Smith-Gilbert Gardens hosts Guided Bird Walks from 9:30 to 11 a.m., where guests learn to identify birds by sight and sound. The next walk is this Saturday, Jan. 18. GO!

Experienced birders lead the walks throughout the gardens. “You walk through the gardens at a slow pace, with the intent on being quiet to observe visually and audibly what birds they can identify. Sometimes it’s visual and they see the birds. Sometimes they hear the birds’ calls and identify them that way,” said Mark Wolfe, environmental education and communications manager at Smith-Gilbert Gardens.

“It’s very much a let’s go see what we can find type walk,” Wolfe said.

After the annual Great Backyard Bird Count held February 2019 at Smith-Gilbert Gardens, where birds were observed and recorded for scientists by community participants, Smith-Gilbert Gardens created monthly Guided Bird Walks on the third Saturday.

“Most of our visitors think a public garden is beautiful when the flowers are blooming. We wanted to say there’s something to do year round. It’s a beautiful place to be for a lot of reasons. You can passively enjoy looking at flowers. But you can also get out there and be active and specifically look for birds that live here or are migrating through, or maybe there is an anomaly that we wouldn’t expect to see that we find,” Wolfe said.

Birders of all experience levels are welcome. “The walk is the first time for many visitors. They might know nothing about birds or bird identification. A lot them do know things. They may be birders. It’s an interesting mix of folks who come out and enjoy some camaraderie,” Wolfe said.

The walk is also an educational experience. “You might get tips on how to attract more birds to their backyard. They may learn about a specific bird they find that day and where it lives, and it’s habitat, and interesting way to make a call. It sparks curiosity about birds. It’s a fun time,” Wolfe said.

Smith-Gilbert Gardens is located at 2382 Pine Mountain Rd., Kennesaw 30152. To learn more at smithgilbertgardens.com or call 770-919-0248. Gates open at 9 a.m. This monthly meet up is included with garden admission.

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