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#NatureZen: Getting Ready for a Big Day

Today’s edition of Nature Zen will be short and sweet, as our staff prepares for #GivingTuesdayNow, coming up next week on May 5. This annual day of giving usually falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, but organizers have added a second call for donations this year because non-profits (like Overton Park Conservancy) have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ll be asking for your support, but you know we like to make it fun! Because we’re currently in our peak week for north-bound bird migration, our staff members Fields Falcone and Melissa McMasters are going to take you on a birding journey through Overton Park.

Birders sometimes undertake something called a Big Day, where they choose a location and spend a full day attempting to identify as many species as possible. We’ve set our goal at 65 species, and we’re expecting lots of interesting migratory birds as well as the residents we spend time with all year.

How can you follow along? Stay tuned to our social channels all day Tuesday (we’re @overtonpark on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.) We’ll be posting video updates from the field, photos of notable species, and fun check-ins from the rest of the Conservancy team.

We’re hoping our Big Day includes lots of warblers–small, active, often brightly-colored songbirds that stop over in the Old Forest for food on their way to their Northern breeding grounds. More than 30 species are possible this time of year, but warblers love to hang out in the tree canopy, so every sighting is a special treat. Here are two we’ve spotted recently: the blue-winged warbler and the black-throated green warbler. (The terms “blue” and “green” were obviously applied loosely!) We look forward to sharing the results of our Big Day with you on Tuesday!

Blue-winged warbler

Black-throated green warbler