Get Out of the House!: Winter Wings Festival at Lake Chicot State Park

“Get Out of the House” blogs feature fun, family-friendly events to encourage you to get out and experience the Arkansas Delta and North Central Ozarks!

Kimberly J. Williams

I think we’re all getting a little “cabin fever” by now. Here’s a great upcoming opportunity to get away for the weekend and experience some of the best birding opportunities in Arkansas.

Lake Chicot State Park

 in Lake Village is hosting the Winter Wings Festival on Feb. 4-6. The weekend offers fun (and educational!) activities for the entire family!

On Friday, Feb. 4, the event kicks off with a tour of beautiful Lake Chicot. Beginning at 6 p.m., participants will head out on an “Owl Prowl,” an opportunity to search the wooded areas for the “Lords of Darkness” that live in the area.

Participants will also have the opportunity throughout the weekend to photograph a variety of the park’s “winged” residents, learn about backyard and bird gardening, see wintering hummingbirds, and enjoy programs geared toward beginner, advanced and young birders.

Rodney Paul of Raptor Rehab of Central Arkansas will present two Raptor program during the weekend. The programs include the opportunity to learn about his owls and raptors and to see them up close. Tana Beasley, from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Potlatch Education Center, will be on hand to talk about the banding and study of winter hummingbirds in the state. Tana is the ONLY person in the state with a permit to band hummingbirds. She is currently conducting a study of the migratory patterns of hummingbirds.

The park has tours, checklists and maps available for birders during the weekend. In addition, participants’ sightings will be reported to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. The bottomlands along the Mississippi River and the shoreline of Lake Chicot attract thousands of wonderful, shorelines and early migrants this time of year, which is why Lake Chicot State Park partnered with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology to report sightings during the event.

Lodging and weekend package discounts are available for the Winter Wings Festival. Contact the park at 870-265-5480 for more information. A catered meal will be served Saturday at noon for an additional charge. Reservations for the meal must be made in advance.


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