Are you interested in discovering more about birding? Join Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) Executive Director Dominique Naccarato for an experiential introduction to birding in the Upper Arkansas Valley on Saturday, May 8 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Sands Lake. Birding is a hobby you can engage in from the car, while hiking or biking, or even alongside serious birders who keep a birding “life list.”

Naccarato will uncover the basics of birding, including how to identify flight patterns, body and beak shape and function, and bird sounds. Participants will also receive instruction in the field on how to use binoculars and how discovering bird behavior can provide insight into what’s going on in one’s neighborhood or ecosystem.

Naccarato has served as GARNA’s director for the past three years, but she began learning about birding under the mentorship of GARNA Birding Club leaders Andrew Mackie, Denny Arter and Sally Waterhouse when she first began working at the nonprofit in 2013. According to Naccarato, birding continues to teach her to take a system’s level view and to value a sit-spot for viewing birds and habitat.

Preregistration for the hike is required. Visit to register. Program tickets are $5 for GARNA members and $10 for non-members. For more information, contact GARNA at or 719-539-5106.

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