Herons, Egrets and Anhinga. Those are just three of the many bird species Dr. Bruce Beehler, an ornithologist in the Division of Birds at the Smithsonian Institution, encounters on his trip across the United States to learn more about their migration habits. One stop on his expedition is Georgia-Pacific’s certified Wildlife At Work habitat which is part of their 2,100 acre facility in Monticello, Miss. Comprised of bottomland hardwood forest, wetlands, open meadow and forest along the Pearl River, 1,600 acres are actively managed for wildlife.
In mid-to-late April songbird migrants such as Thrushes, Vireos, Warblers and Flycatchers flood through the area as they journey north, explains Dr. Beehler. In order to reach Mississippi, some species travel more than 800 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
“There are a whole bunch of birds here people don't know about that are actually part of our lives,” according to Beehler.
“What I like is that so many of them look alike but there’s always one unique feature that separates them,” says Tim Jones, Environmental Leader of the GP Monticello Facility, adding that he enjoys trying to figure out the different bird species as he spots them in the forest.
In addition to maintaining a bird-friendly environment, GP provides tours along nature trails for schools, clubs and other organizations to help educate them about the native wildlife species. “Our goal is to show that industry and environment can work together,” explains Jones.
Watch the video to learn more about the different types of migratory birds Dr. Beehler discovered in Monticello.