Thursday 7

COLUMBIA BIRD WALK, search for winter birds and waterfowl during a walk on a wooded path along Wilde Lake, beginners welcome, sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, 8:30 a.m., meet at the boat dock, 10000 block of Hyla Brook Road, Columbia. Free. 410-461-3361.

COLUMBIA BIRDING DISCUSSION, Scott Sillet of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center discusses "Impacts of the El Nino Cycle on Migratory Song Birds," sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, 7:30 p.m., Longfellow Elementary School, 5470 Hesperus Dr., Columbia. Free. 410-461-3361.

COOKBOOK AUTHOR TALK, Nancy Baggett discusses her book, "The All-American Cookie Book," a recipe collection with cookie lore and history, including how American cookies evolved, 7 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Free. 410-313-7700.

COLUMBIA SIGN LANGUAGE PROGRAM, for ages 11-17, learn simple signs, the history of American Sign Language and play sign-language games, presented by Kathy MacMillan of Columbia's Maryland School for the Deaf, 7-8 p.m., Central Branch Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., at South Entrance Road, Columbia. Free. 410-313-7860.

ELLICOTT CITY KIDS STORY TIME, "The Knight and the Dragon," by Tomie DePaola, and "The Kiss That Missed," by David Melling, 10 a.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4300 Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-203-9001.

COLUMBIA COOKING DEMONSTRATION, for seniors, share recipes and watch a cooking demonstration with students and guest speaker, teacher Debbie Belote, sponsored by Intergenerational Connections, 10-11:30 a.m., Long Reach High School, Room 246, 6101 Old Dobbin Rd., Columbia. Free. 410-313-7117.

BRAIN INJURY SUPPORT GROUP, for individuals with brain injury, facilitated by a clinician, share information and discuss the effects of brain injury on daily life, sponsored by Humanim, a private nonprofit organization that provides residential, vocational, clinical and case management services to people with disabilities, 1-2 p.m. the first Thursday of each month, Humanim, 6355 Woodside Ct., Columbia. Free. 410-381-7171, Ext. 2226.

Friday 8

STEVENSON NATURE CRAFT PROGRAM, for ages 5 and older, learn how to make corn husk dolls, led by naturalist Monica Wiedel, materials provided, sponsored by the Irvine Nature Center, 6-7 p.m., 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson. $8; members, $5; preregistration required. 410-484-2413.

Saturday 9

STEVENSON BEGINNERS BIRD WALK, for adults, a walk through woods and fields to identify birds and learn about their behaviors, led by naturalist Rob Mardiney, sponsored by the Irvine Nature Center, 9-10 a.m., 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson. $5; members, $3; preregistration required. 410-484-2413.

LAUREL WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM, "Weight Loss: An Innovative Approach," discussion of a diet that has been considered optimal for most people, including a lunch adhering to the approach, sponsored by Tai Sophia Institute for the Healing Arts, 7750 Montpelier Rd., Laurel. $65; preregistration required. 410-888-9048, Ext. 6611.

BASEBALL AUTHORS' TALK, Frank Ceresi of Alexandria discusses a book he co-authored, "Images of America: Baseball in Washington, D.C."; and author John Holway discusses his book, "The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues," 9 a.m., Borders Books, Music and Cafe{acute}, Columbia Crossing Shopping Center, 6151 Columbia Crossing Cir., Columbia. Free. 410-290-0062.

VIRGINIA MOUNTAIN HIKE, a strenuous nine-mile circuit hike in the Massanutten Mountains on the Massanutten East, Shaw's Gap and Sherman's Gap trails, bring lunch and water, sponsored by the Sierra Club, Howard County Group; car-pool departure, 8 a.m., from the west side of the Broken Land Parkway and Route 32 Park and Ride lot, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-439-4964.

Sunday 10

SQUIRREL PROGRAM FOR KIDS, for ages 3-4, an introduction to the tree-dwelling rodent, 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-2 p.m., Patuxent Research Refuge, National Wildlife Visitor Center, off Powder Mill Road, between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 197, Laurel. Free. 301-497-5887.

ELLICOTT CITY POETRY READING, read your own work or listen to others, bring extra copies of your poems, presented by the Wine Glass Poets group, 2 p.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4300 Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-203-9001.

ELLICOTT CITY BIRD WALK, search for migrating waterfowl and other species during a walk on a paved path around Centennial Lake, beginners welcome, sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, 8 a.m., meet at the lake, far end of the west-end parking lot, Centennial Lane, Ellicott City. Free. 410-461-3361.

Monday 11

CANCER SUPPORT GROUP, for ages 15-35, support groups for cancer survivors, those close to a person with cancer or those suffering a loss from cancer, share experiences and feelings, facilitated by Susan Jacobson and Anita Millison, sponsored by the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Mondays, Century Plaza Building, 10632 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-964-0202.

CHILD CARE WORKSHOP, for parents and child care professionals, "Educational Activities for Birth-Age 6," learn about educational activities and how to make learning fun, sponsored by the Howard County Child Care Resource Center, 6:30-9:30 p.m., 3300 N. Ridge Rd., Suite 360, Ellicott City. $18; preregistration required. 410-313-1940.

Tuesday 12

COLUMBIA EVENING BOOK CLUB, discussion of "Atonement," by Ian McEwan, 7 p.m., Central Branch Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., at South Entrance Road, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7800.

BASIC CROCHET PROGRAM, for beginners of all ages, bring a crochet hook, yarn provided, 7 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Glenwood. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5577.

ELLICOTT CITY KIDS BOOK TALK, for ages 5-8, learn about children's author and illustrator Eric Carle, hear a story and participate in a small group discussion, participants should read or listen to a book by Carle before the program, a meeting of the library's Picture Book Club, 7-8 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-1955.

Wednesday 13

COLUMBIA GENEALOGY DISCUSSION, "Maryland Probate Records," led by Vernon Skinner, sponsored by the Howard County Genealogical Society, 7:15 p.m., Florence Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Free. 410-465-6696.

SAVAGE MYSTERY BOOK CLUB, discussion of "The Hum Bug," by Harold Schechter, 7 p.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knightsbridge roads, Savage. Free; preregistration required. 410-880-5980.

ENCOUNTER BOOK CLUB, discussion of "The Weight of Water," by Anita Shreve, 7 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7700.

SENIORS WEB-SEARCHING PROGRAM, learn how to use the Internet in a small group session, 11 a.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-1950.

BALTIMORE PROSTATE CANCER SCREENINGS, for men ages 50-80, African American men ages 45-80, those with a close relative with prostate cancer, those who have not seen a urologist at least yearly or those who have not had a PSA blood test and digital rectal examination within the last year, sponsored by Franklin Square Hospital Center, 5-8 p.m. Wednesday and Nov. 19 at the hospital, Primary Care Center, 9000 Franklin Square Dr., Baltimore. $10; preregistration required. 877-715-4673.

Thursday 14

GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP, for those who have suffered the loss of a spouse, family member or friend, facilitated by Jim Easley and Carolyn Luken, sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging, 10-11:30 a.m. Thursdays, Ellicott City Senior Center, 9401 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-1400.

WOMEN'S VOICES BOOK GROUP, discussion of "Persia Cafe{acute}," by Melany Neilson, 7 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7700.

-- Compiled by Linda James

Items are accepted on a space-available basis from public and nonprofit organizations only and must be received at least 14 days before the Thursday publication date. Submit information to Community Events, The Washington Post, 10490 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Suite 650, Columbia, Md. 21044. Include event name, dates, times, exact address, prices and a publishable contact phone number.