Art of bird-watching comes to Jackson library

JACKSON, Tenn. — A local library helped residents look to the sky.

The Jackson Madison County Library hosted an event Saturday morning to introduce the residents of Jackson to bird-watching.

Shayne Plunk, an Adult Service Librarian says they wanted to introduce new activities to the library in hopes of starting a new medium for guests to be involved in.

“You just go out into your backyard and you count the different kinds of birds you see. It’s just, kind of, a thing for bird-watching enthusiasts and things like that. And it’s just a fun thing we wanted to try in Rotary Park,” Plunk said.

Plunk says he’s never participated in bird-watching, but you never know what you like until you try.

“We’re just always looking for new programs and things like that. I have never done bird-watching and I thought, why not give it a shot,” Plunk said.

He says it’s a hobby that most people have never thought about, including himself, but since the pandemic, he’s been more invested into picking up the skills to learn more about bird-watching.

“It is a way to introduce people who might not have ever done bird-watching and bird identification and things like that, learning about the different tools to do that, and learning about the birds. We got some people here for the event that are already pretty knowledgeable about that and do some bird watching themselves anyway. So that’s pretty fun too,” Plunk said.

Experienced bird-watchers gathered to train and inform new members.

Sue Ann Barnes, an experienced bird-watcher, says she started in college and never stopped.

“I am experienced because I’m old and I started, not young, but in college,” Barnes said.

Barnes says her friend from college gifted her with a bird-watching guide and she was amazed at how fun it was.

“I was amazed that she could tell me what bird she was looking at. Well, that one is a you know, a Nuthatch. And I said how’d you know it’s a Nuthatch? And she said, well the way it’s colored, the way it behaves, and the way it goes up the tree,” Barnes said.

She says every bird-watcher should have at least two tools to help them identify what they’re looking at.

The two tools that you can have in your hands and out in the woods are the binoculars, and they don’t have to be fancy, but they do help you see the details on the birds. So that you can pick them out and a good bird book,” Barnes said.

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