By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Avid bird watcher and nature lover Mike Bellows is inviting the community to celebrate Earth Day at Shrewsbury’s parks Sunday, April 22, beginning at the Shrewsbury Senior Center, 98 Maple Ave., at 8 a.m.
For more than 30 years, the annual Shrewsbury Earth Day Bird Walk takes participants on a tour of Shrewsbury’s parks for a morning of bird watching. The event is free and is sponsored by the Worcester Forbush Bird Club.
The event will include the area behind the Senior Center and Town Hall, Rotary Park, Lake Quinsigamond – north and south ends, Dean Park and the SAC Park. The walk should last at least two hours but has no specified end time. People can stay with the walk as long as their schedules permit. There will be restroom and snack breaks.
Bellows encourages people of all levels of bird watching expertise to take part. He especially encourages novices as this will be a great introduction to the pastime. He will have a list of all stops along the route and will have done some advance scouting for what one might see, including eagles, mallard ducks, bluebirds and spotted sandpipers.
But it’s not only birds he hopes to find. New to this area is the black squirrel.
“I’ve never heard of a black squirrel but in talking with people at the Senior Center they come from Ohio and West Virginia so now we have them in Shrewsbury,” Bellows explained.
He is quite knowledgeable and the walk will be peppered with information such as migration patterns and habitat.
Bellows is a 40-year resident of Shrewsbury and his love of bird watching began while growing up in Vermont. After serving in the military in Vietnam he found bird watching to be therapeutic. Now a retired letter carrier, he devotes much of his time to volunteering.
In case of inclement weather, the event will be postponed. For information, contact Mike Bellows at 508-845-1651, 508-414-9169 or email him at [email protected].