Palm Coast - See Birds of Prey shows, find out how to set up your yard to attract birds and butterflies and take a guided trail walk to learn the basics of birding at PeaCee's Big Backyard. It's all free, and there's something for all ages!
The Big Backyard will be open for exploration from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, behind Palm Coast City Hall, 160 Lake Ave. The half-day event is part of the City's Birds of a Feather Fest that weekend.
Named for the festival's mascot, PeaCee's Big Backyard will be set up like a giant yard with the "right" plants, trees, bird feeders, and bird and bat houses to show people how to transform their own backyards into a natural oasis. Members of the Garden Club at Palm Coast will be on-hand to offer advice and answer questions. The Big Backyard will be beautifully landscaped with pavers and a patio.
The Big Backyard will feature a huge tent for an exhibit and two shows by the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland. Birds will be on display for the entire event, with educational shows at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Seating will be available.
The yard outside the tent will also be filled with fun and educational adventure! There will be crafts including pine cone bird feeders, fishing line storage containers and paint-your-own rocks. The backyard will have games and an oversized eagle's nest to play in. Several nature- and conservation-related exhibits and booths will be located along the sidewalks behind City Hall.
The guided bird walks for all ages will begin at 8 and 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. This is an easy walk in the area of Central Park and Epic Movie Theater; wear comfortable shoes and bring binoculars if you have them.
PeaCee's Big Backyard transformation is made possible by sponsors including VerdeGo Garden Center, which is loaning plants and trees; Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop, which is loaning bird houses and feeders; and Stone Plus, which is loaning walkway pavers for the gardens being created. The Palm Coast Observer and Florida Power & Light are also sponsors.
"Birding in your own backyard is easy in Palm Coast, and we are ready to show you how," said Event Coordinator Jason Giraulo, the City's Digital Communications Coordinator. "We're fortunate to have a wide variety of bird species, and our temperature climate makes this the perfect place to enjoy nature right from your chair on the patio."
After PeaCee's Big Backyard, Saturday evening, Feb. 10, the City will welcome world-renowned wildlife photographer Moose Peterson for a free community presentation at the Flagler Auditorium, 5500 State Road 100, Palm Coast. He will share his images and the stories behind them beginning at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are also being sold for a pre-event reception that starts at 5:30 p.m. This keynote event, "An Evening with Moose Peterson," is sponsored by FPL.
Also, registration is still open for many of the bird field trips and workshops for the Birds of a Feather Fest:www.birdingfest.com. The fourth annual festival, also based at Palm Coast City Hall, will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9-11. Participants can choose as much or as little as they'd like over the three days.
All trips and classes are taught by expert guides. A free reception Friday evening at Green Lion Café at Palm Harbor Golf Club will give everyone an opportunity to meet the experts.