BROWNSVILLE TN (May 1, 2023): Bird watchers and nature enthusiasts are invited to learn about the many birds of West Tennessee during the 10th annual Hatchie BirdFest beginning this Friday, May 5 – Sunday, May 7, in Brownsville. The three-day event will offer a variety of activities for all ages and skill levels, including hikes and demonstrations.

The festival kicks off with canoe trips and clean-up on the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge (HNWR) Friday. The cleanup is in conjunction with Environment for the America’s World Migratory Bird Day and efforts to stress the importance of water to migratory birds. Volunteers will focus on removing trash and other debris polluting our waters and hazardous to wildlife.

Friday evening’s opening reception will be held on the historic Brownsville court square at 28 S. Court (former Economy Store). Guests are invited to enjoy local restaurants and community Cinco de Mayo celebration before the event begins at 5:30 pm, with music by the Dirt Pilgrims, a Jackson, Tenn., based folk band. Wildlife biologist and bird expert Bob Ford will present select readings and discuss a new book titled Dawn Songs, followed by a special presentation by ornithologist Dr. David Pitts who will speak about the nesting habits of the Ruby-throated hummingbird. The evening will also commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Hatchie BirdFest.

Early risers are invited to gather at the Delta Heritage Center to meet for a Saturday morning afield with experienced bird guides learning about the more than 200 species of birds who make their home on or are migrating through the HNWR. If wildlife photography is more your thing, bring your camera and join the hands-on photography walk.

Cyndi Routledge, Southeastern Avian Research (SEAR), will be demonstrating how to band hummingbirds Saturday morning and will also present a program Saturday afternoon about the “Hummers.” Routledge is a federal and state licensed Master Bird Bander and has banded over 15,000 hummingbirds since she began her research in 2014.

The popular Birds of Prey program takes place at noon Saturday and features live bird demonstrations. This highlight of the festival utilizes injured birds through the rehab and environmental education program at Reelfoot Lake State Park.

Dick Preston, Tennessee Ornithological Society past president and Memphis Chapter member, will present a program on Prothonotary Warblers Saturday afternoon. Participants can also learn about butterflies and wildflowers during an afternoon hike and Saturday evening includes a nocturnal walk around Oneal Lake to learn about “Creatures of the Night” with HNWR Manager Brian Roberts.

Sunday morning hikes are informal and led by wildlife biologist Bob Ford. Sunday afternoon’s seminar with Horticulturalist Carol Reese will take place at Willow Oaks Flower Farm, Highway 54 North, where owners David and Sarah Levy will showcase their greenhouses.

All hikes and activities are free and most originate at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, 121 Sunny Hill Cove, Brownsville. Several activities will be broadcast Live on Facebook. For a complete schedule, visit or call the Delta Heritage Center at 731-779-9000.

About the Hatchie BirdFest: The Hatchie BirdFest is held annually at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, Tenn. The three day event features unique outdoor activities for all ages and is perfect for seasoned or beginner birders. Participants explore the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge and other prime bird watching locations that serve as home to more than 200 species of birds. The weekend includes expert speakers, demonstrations, hikes and exhibitors. To learn more about the festival, visit or call 731-779-9000.

About the Center: The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, in Brownsville, is a music heritage destination that offers a refreshing Southern experience showcasing the history and culture of rural West Tennessee. Inside visitors can learn about the history of cotton, explore the scenic and “wild” Hatchie River and get to know the legendary musicians who call West Tennessee home. Also located on the grounds is the Tina Turner Museum at Flagg Grove School, the childhood school of Tina Turner, and the last home of Blues pioneer Sleepy John Estes. The Delta Heritage Center is also a featured stop along the Americana Music Triangle connecting Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. To learn more about the Center, visit or call 731-779-9000.