TOWNSEND -- March is for the birds, much to the delight of library patrons. Over the course of the month, children, families and adults will all have a chance to learn more about our feathered friends.
"I am now addicted," said organizer Kim King. Once she started photographing local birds, she fell in love the all things avian. Now the member of the Friends of the Townsend Public Library and the Library Trustees is sharing the love.
"The idea was mine, we just kind of went from there," she said. Events are being run and sponsored by a variety of volunteers and groups.
WGBH radio host Ray Brown started the month off. "He was full of knowledge and easy to talk to," King said. The audience had so many questions during the March 5 presentation, "Magic of Migration," that it continued past the time the library usually closes. The program was co-sponsored by the friends of the library and the Friends of Willard Brook.
The gardening group was more than willing to take part. "Oh, yeah, sure, we'll do a gardening with birds," coordinator Carolyn Sellars told King. That talk was held March 6.
Bluebird Day, Saturday, March 16, will have something for almost everyone. Using plans from the Mass. Audubon Society website, John and Kim King will lead a workshop at 10 a.m. on building bluebird houses. The materials cost is low, $5, because the rough cut lumber was donated to the library by Jarvenpaa & Sons Sawmill in Westminster.
At 11 a.m., George Brouillette of Groton and Jeanne Nevard from Pepperell, both members of the Mass. Bluebird Association, will lead a talk about bluebirds. This will be followed by a bluebird walk. For those who would like a bluebird box, but do not want to build one, Brouillette will have some for sale.
The short walk will go to the bluebird house in front of Squannacook Elementary School. It was built by the late Tony Reeves, who was the custodian at the school. "He was the go-to guy for learning about bluebirds," King said.
The following weekend brings even more. Mark Archambault from the Nashua River Watershed Association will lead an "Early Migratory Bird Talk and Walk" on Saturday, March 23, at noon. After a PowerPoint presentation, participants will walk to Hillside Cemetery, where the Reeves family maintains two bluebird houses built by their father, Tony Reeves, near his grave. "These houses are the last ones he built," King said.
The group will also stop at a heron rookery on Dudley Road. The birds might already have started to migrate, King said. The NRWA did not charge the library for the program.
The Creature Teachers, always a popular crew in Townsend, King said, will return on Sunday, March 24, at 3 p.m. with a family program. They will bring live exotic birds from around the world. This program is sponsored by the Townsend Public Library Endowment Fund.
Hands-on activities are always popular, and library volunteers and staff have scheduled bird-related themes for crafts programs throughout the month. "We tried to do a whole range," King said.
Bird-themed artwork is on display throughout the library. "We're inviting people we know who had bird art," King said. Real nests are on display in the glass-front case. One contains wool from the King's compost heap. "They pulled it out and actually used it in a nest," she said, Our son "Daniel found it on the ground in the fall."
For information on upcoming programs, visit www.townsendlibrary.org.