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Bird questions?
Ask John Borom

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Q: Where is 5 Rivers?
A: Five Rivers—Alabama’s Delta Resource Center is on the causeway (Battleship Parkway), between Mobile and the Eastern Shore.
Visit www.Alabama5Rivers.com for more information, a map, and directions.

Q: What does BirdFest benefit?
A: Glad you asked! Proceeds are used to preserve and protect birding habitat on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Since 2004, we have donated nearly $100,000 toward this in both Mobile and Baldwin counties.

Q: Is the Alabama Coastal BirdFest only for experienced birders?
A: Whether you are an experienced birder or this is your first time, we believe you'll have a great time at BirdFest. Knowing something in advance about the birds of our area will enhance your experience, but previous knowledge is not necessary. Basic birding books, such as the "National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America" or "A Birder's Guide to Alabama" (University of Alabama Press) will be helpful.

Q: What birds will I see?
A: Many, we hope! The trip descriptions include lists of the birds that are commonly seen on the various trips.

Q: How do I register?
A: Registration is required for all trips, evening events, and workshops and is online only. Registration is open Aug. 15 through Friday, Sept. 23 at 4pm. Spaces are limited, so register early. If you need registration assistance, you may call 5 Rivers at 251-625-0814. 

Q: What do I wear? What do I bring with me?
A: Birding takes place in the woods, in open fields, and at the shore on sandy beaches. For safety and comfort, wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that protect against brush and sun. Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. Experienced birders know that rainy days can be great for birding, so tours are not cancelled because of rain. Bring your enthusiasm, your willingness to experience nature up close, sunscreen, bug spray, and a good pair of binoculars!

Q: When and where do I pick up my name badge?
A: If you attend the Wednesday night reception, you may pick up your badge that night. If you do not attend the reception, or you wish to visit 5 Rivers earlier, you may pick it up between 2pm and 5pm that day. You may also pick it up on the day of your first trip. If you are doing a meet-the-bus or boat trip that departs from somewhere other than 5 Rivers, we will attempt to have your name badges at the dock for your trip.

Q: If I take a ‘meet-the-bus’ trip or a boat trips that departs from other than 5 Rivers, how do I know where to go?
A: Maps and directions are available at 5 Rivers the week before BirdFest and on our website when registration opens. Please take careful note of the times and places to meet each trip. No refunds will be offered to those who miss a tour (or part of a tour) because they are late or go to the wrong meeting point. For all boat trips, plan to be at the appropriate departure point at least 15 minutes before the stated departure time.

Q: What if there are rain storms the day of a tour?
A: Please make every effort to be at the departure point at the prescribed time. If necessary, we may delay a tour's departure or take a tour to another location away from the storm.

Q: What about boat trips?
A: Thunderstorms or high waves will affect boat trips, and the decision is left to the experienced boat captains and paddle leaders. We might reroute or delay a tour until the weather clears. Please assume that your tour will go on as scheduled. Refunds will be issued only if we officially cancel a tour.

Q: How long or difficult are the walking trips?
A: See the trip descriptions. Trips are labeled as easy, moderate, or extensive walking.

Q: What's in the lunches you include with tours? Can I special order?
A: We order many lunches for different tours each day, so we cannot accommodate special requests. On trips where noted, we provide a variety of meat and/or cheese sandwiches, snacks, and bottled water. We encourage you to bring your own water as well. If you are on a restrictive diet, you may bring your own lunch.

Q: May I bring my child on a tour?
A: Well-behaved children ages 12 and over (16 and over for kayak/canoe trips) are welcomed and may be registered at the regular fee. Children of all ages will enjoy the Bird & Conservation Expo on Saturday on the Faulkner campus in Fairhope.



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