Visit Morris Arboretum’s celebration of Our Feathered Friends, the many birds who either make their home there or drop in as they migrate through this area, including the Hooded Warbler shown here. (Photo by Joe Fuhrman)

Visit Morris Arboretum’s celebration of Our Feathered Friends, the many birds who either make their home there or drop in as they migrate through this area, including the Hooded Warbler shown here. (Photo by Joe Fuhrman)

by Marie Mercaldo Ingegneri

More than 25 designer birdhouses are now on display at Morris Arboretum as part of the garden’s three-season celebration, Our Feathered Friends at Morris Arboretum. This theme honors the many birds that either make their home at the Arboretum, or drop in for a visit as they migrate through this area.

And thanks to the gift of a generous donor, Morris Arboretum has been improving bird habitat at the garden by planting native trees and shrubs favored by birds.

The Home Tweet Home: Designer Birdhouses exhibit features six houses built by Thomas Burke, best known in this area for meticulously creating some of the iconic houses that artist Andrew Wyeth painted. Other artists’ birdhouses on display have a distinct whimsical flair, while some designers have taken a more down-to-earth approach to their construction. We’ll see in which houses the birds choose to reside!

Our Feathered Friends will introduce visitors to these fascinating creatures and all that they inspire during special bird-themed events, classes and trips now through October. All activities are free for members, or with no additional charge with regular garden admission. Here is a sampling of events:

Early Bird Saturdays

See the Arboretum in a new light when visiting at 8 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month now through October.

Garden Discovery Series

On the first Saturday of every month, visitors can experience hands-on fun at the Garden Discovery Table from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors of all ages will learn new and fascinating facts about birds and have the chance to create a cool craft to take home. Here’s what’s coming: May 3 — Avian Architects; June 7 — I Spy a Bird! July 5— Swan Sisters; August 2— Songbirds: Sweet Tweets of Summer; September 6 – Chirping Cheerios!; October 4 – Crows, Ravens and Jays, Oh My!

Morris, the Merrie Little Owl

Owls quietly roost during the day in well-camouflaged locations. Guests may pick up a clue sheet now through September at the Visitor Center to search for Morris, the seasonal mascot in some of his favorite resting spots.

Birds in Their Habitats

Images from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will feature more than 130,00 images.

VIREO (Visual Resources in Ornithology) is the world’s largest collection of bird images. The photos in this exhibit were selected to represent both resident and migratory birds that can be spotted at the Arboretum. This show runs through October.

Spring Birding Trips

Expert Birder and Trip Leader Ruth Pfeffer will lead the following trips: Tuesday, May 13 – Horseshoe Crabs and Migrating Shore Birds; Sunday – Tuesday, May 18-20 – Birding Adventure: The Eastern Shore of Maryland; Saturday, May 31 – Birding Aboard the A.J. Meerwald, an Historic Oyster Schooner.

For pricing and additional information visit morrisarboretum.org/classes or call 215-247-5777, ext. 125.

Share your photos and experiences about feathered friends at Morris Arboretum by using hashtag #MAbirding. Follow us on Twitter @morrisarboretum for more Feathered Friends updates!

Morris Arboretum, at 100 E. Northwestern Ave., in Chestnut Hill, is open weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open late on Wednesdays in June, July, and August until 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.morrisarboretum.org.

Marie Mercaldo Ingegneri is marketing project coordinator at Morris Arboretum.

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