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Moundville Archaeological Park

This Weekend: Birdfest (April 9-10, 2021)

Nestled along the banks of the Black Warrior River, UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park (MAP) hosts its annual Birdfest Friday and Saturday, April 9-10, 2021. As a member of the West Alabama Birding Trail, Moundville Archaeological Park has held a bird outing as part of its Saturday in the Park program for the last several years.

Birdfest guests can take a bird walk with local experts, including one of the park’s newest volunteers, Dwight Lammon (Tuscaloosa, AL).

Information on wildlife conservation, bird watching checklists, birdhouse plans and much more will be available and free of charge to everyone.

  • Dates: April 9-10, 2021
    • UPDATE: Both dates for the Birding Tours are SOLD OUT.
  • Tour Times: 9:00 AM Each Day
    • Requires Registration
    • Capacity: 10 People Per Tour
  • Cost: Tours are included with Park Admission
    • Adults – $8
    • Seniors – $7
    • Students – $6
    • Under 5 – Free
    • Native American visitors – Free with tribal membership card
    • UA Museums members – Free with museum membership
  • Location: 634 Mound State Parkway, Moundville, AL 35474-6413

Schedule of Birdfest Events

To watch the events, tune into our Moundville Archaeological Park Facebook Page and UA Museums’ YouTube channel. Please view the schedule below. All times are Central Standard Time. Online events are indicated by an asterisks. 

April 9th 

9:00 am        Tour with Dwight Lammon at Moundville Archaeological Park (SOLD OUT)

10:00 am     Eagle Puppet Craft

3:00 pm       Livestream Broadcast: Birding in the Black Belt with Meg Ford of the Alabama Audubon

April 10th 

9:00 am      Tour with Dwight Lammon at Moundville Archaeological Park (SOLD OUT)

10:00 am    Make a Birdhouse with Moundville Archaeological Park Maintenance Staff

3:00 pm      Livestream Broadcast: Make a Birdfeeder with Pam Sloan of Discovering Alabama

Education Materials

Background

Native American recognized the benefits of having these birds as close neighbors. For example, because of the martins’ appetite for insects and their aggressiveness toward other birds. Early historical accounts as well as later ethnographic studies of southern native groups document a mutually beneficial relationship between the martin colonies and these Native American communities.

Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes throughout Alabama, for example, mounted gourds on the branches of bare saplings to attract purple martins, a practice that many Alabamians continue in one form or another to this day.

Designs of supernatural raptors and other birds, drawn in wet clay, embossed onto copper or sculpted into stone, make up a significant portion of the collections exhibited in the park’s Jones Archaeological Museum. Native Americans categorized animals in a different manner than we do today. Animals were assigned to the different planes in the cosmos – the watery underworld, the world we stand on or the upper world. Certain animals, like birds, were special because they could transcend between these different spheres. A waterfowl, like a duck or heron, could go between all three worlds. The “Duck Bowl,” on display in the Jones Museums and touted by Harper’s Magazine as one of the finest pieces of prehistoric sculpture in North America, represents a supernatural version of a waterfowl.

Crafts and Activities

Thank you for joining our Virtual component of Birdfest. We hope that you will get outside and look for birds around your home. We encourage everyone to visit our West Alabama Birding Trail destination and use our birding checklist or use our Birding checklist to look for birds around your home. Make sure to check out some of our resources and crafts below.

Gourd Birdhouse Activity Instructions

Birdhouse Instructions

Pine cone  Bird Feeder Instructions

Bald Eagle Puppet Activity

Birding Resources  

Moundville Birding Checklist

Please be on the lookout for these birds around the park!

Alabama Audubon’s How to Start Birding Guide

Alabama Birding Trails’ Teacher Resource Guide (great for any beginner, not just students!)

Resources for Educators