BROOKSVILLE — Joyce Flanagan was impressed with the presentations given Wednesday, Jan. 5, at the National Bird Day Celebration.

“It’s very nice,” she said of the center.

The event at the Chinsegut Conservation Center included lectures on the types of birds you might find in your backyard in Florida, as well as how to set up bird feeders to attract a particular type of bird, what kind of bird seed or food you might want to put in the feeders, what kinds of plants should be in your yard to attract birds and wildlife, and how to keep the visiting birds safe from your house pets.

The center is only about 20 minutes away from the suburban sprawl of the Spring Hill-Brooksville area, and it’s a quiet refuge from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Outside the center, birds of all types are flying around. Some birds stay all year, some are passing through and just stopping for food, and others seem to congregate, have a meeting and then take off for parts farther south.

Hana Brinkley, the center’s director, has worked in her job for a year.

“We are doing things today to help folks figure out how they can attract birds and wildlife to their yard,” she said.

Alice Herden, a staff member from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, gave a presentation on the many different species of birds you might see in your backyard, as well as how to tell males from females.

Lilly Browning, a county employee who regularly speaks on Florida Friendly Landscaping at events in person and online, also gave a presentation on how to set up a yard to become a place for birds and wildlife to feed and congregate.

“I’m going to show you ways that you can landscape your yard with natural elements that will attract the birds,” she said.

There also are YouTube videos, including one at titled “How to create a backyard wildlife habitat.”

More information is available at You can see other videos of Browning explaining landscaping at

Just beware because there’s a cycle of life in nature, and sometimes the wildlife you attract might draw predators. For example, using plants to draw in butterflies will attract birds and other meat-eating wildlife that snack on caterpillars. It’s just how nature works, Browning said.

Flanagan, a visitor from Joliet, Illinois, was among 20 or so people registered to attend the all-day event. With a camera and large lens, she left the lecture area during a break to take some excellent pictures of the birds she saw at the center.

Hannah Harwood of Beverly Hills, Florida, said she liked the presentations.

“I think it’s nice,” she said. “I like the paved walkways, so you don’t go off the trail.”