Articles & News

Creepy Critters and Birds of Autumn


Published: 10.29.2020

Naturalist Marianne winds up October with the creepy and spooky then, in November, introduces us to Russell Forest’s autumn birds.

Wildlife Presentations

Creepy Critters
Saturday, October 31 – During Fall Family Festival, 9am-2pm
Naturalist Cabin at Russell Crossroads

All of nature is equally amazing and valuable, but the truth is some critters give us the creeps. This month, stop by the Naturalist’s Cabin to see some specimens that are apt to cause a chill. Some will have eight legs while some will have none, but all will be on display for learning and discovery. Included will be a large OWL whooooose features make it perfect material for Halloween decorations. No need to be squeamish or fearful! We will discuss the positive attributes of our wild neighbors who lurk in the shadows. Live animals—bring your camera. No charge—everyone is welcome!

Birds of Autumn
Saturday, November 14 – 9am-2pm
Friday, November 27 – During Christmas at Crossroads, 9am-2pm 
Naturalist Cabin at Russell Crossroads

Russell Forest is teeming with birds all year, but both the species and their behaviors have a bit of a shift in the fall. Visit the Naturalist’s Cabin during the listed times this month to discover and learn about our area’s autumn birds including what species to look for and how to attract them to your yard as the weather changes. Live birds will be on hand to demonstrate their design features and to facilitate discussion about their role in Russell Forest. Program is appropriate for all ages. No charge—everyone is welcome!

Guided Nature Tours

Let’s get spooky!
Saturday, October 31 – 5:45pm

Meet at Wilson Road Trailhead

We will be deep in the woods as night falls on the scariest day of the year! We will tell GHOST STORIES and focus on discussing CRYPTOZOOLOGY and wildlife that *could* hurt us as we wind through the Russell Forest trails. This is NOT a haunted trail experience; it is an immersive nature adventure that will include content relevant to Halloween! Flashlights will be provided. Costumes are optional!

Bird Habitats and Behaviors
Friday, November 27 – 2:30pm
Meet at Willow Point Cutoff Trailhead

Join the RLOLM Naturalist for a walk through Russell Forest trails with a focus on bird habitats and behaviors. Feeding, watering, and roosting areas will be identified and discussed, and we will compare and contrast all of these with habitat needs during other seasons of the year. Guided Nature Tours occur at a leisurely pace with plenty of impromptu learning experiences.

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED! There is a $10 fee for the Guided Nature Tours. Please contact our Naturalist at 256.496.2710 to inquire and to register. Marianne can also be contacted at [email protected].

For all Guided Nature Tours: It is recommended that participants have a moderate fitness level and are able to stand or walk for at least two hours. Walking pace will be relaxed with frequent stops. Comfortable, seasonally appropriate clothing and shoes are advised. Participants may also wish to bring bottled water and sunscreen. Insect repellent is provided. Binoculars and cameras are welcome. There are no bathrooms on the Forest Trails.

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