The annual "Great Backyard Bird Count," as well as the first of two beginning birding classes, will be held this weekend at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located at 6465 Refuge Road in Sherman, on the Big Mineral arm of Lake Texoma.

The annual "Great Backyard Bird Count," as well as the first of two beginning birding classes, will be held this weekend at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located at 6465 Refuge Road in Sherman, on the Big Mineral arm of Lake Texoma.


The bird count, a nationwide citizen science project, is set for Feb. 14 through 17. It will be observed at the refuge with a free, guided bird walk at 1 p.m. this Sunday. Leading the walk will be Dr. Wayne Meyer, associate professor of biology at Austin College. During the walk, bird sightings will be reported to the Great Backyard Bird Count.


Participants in the bird count/walk will meet at the refuge’s Visitor Center. Attendees will need to dress for the weather and bring binoculars and other needed items. Some binoculars will be available for loan. The walk will not be held if the weather is bad.


Anyone wanting to learn about birding is encouraged to take part in two beginning birding classes scheduled for this Saturday and for Feb. 22. Both sessions will run from 10 a.m. until noon at the refuge’s Visitor Center and will provide the opportunity to learn to identify common songbirds.


Leading the free program will be Dick Malnory, an amateur birder who has volunteered at the refuge since 2004. The classes will cover bird identification tips as well as choosing field guides and optics. For guaranteed handout materials, register in advance by calling the refuge at 903-786-2826 or online at friendsofhagerman.com/Activities. Participants can also register at the door at this Saturday’s session.