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Bird-watching ranks as one of the country's most popular pastimes, if you count those looking through the sight of a rifle.This year's Jabalna Festival will highlight the proliferation of indiscriminate bird hunting. The festival's eight weeks of events will include hikes and educational activities in six different mountain towns – all with a feathery focus. Nour Farra Haddad, in her touristic guide "Eco-Lebanon: Nature & Rural Tourism," documented more than 16 different regions with enough species diversity for successful bird-watching.Festival organizers Noujaim and her husband Charles Noujaim are tied to one of the prime spots for scouting birds. To reach as many people as possible, the bird campaign, titled "Happy Birday," will be the first Jabalna project in its seven-year history to take place in multiple locations: Hasbaya, first, then Faqra, Ehmej, Ehden, Maaser al-Chouf and wrapping up in Anjar.Regional bird authorities like Ghassan Jarady and trained Jabalna staff will lead panel discussions about the nation's various species and where they settle each migration season.That would be great for ecologist Indary, who also runs one of the only, albeit informal, bird-watching groups in the country "Bird Talk".
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