On the Refuge: Experience all of winter firsthand in December
Winter has arrived with rain and cold weather. A walk on the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge may not sound too appealing, but it's a good time to go if you like to watch birds. Most of the trees are bare which it makes easier to find that bird you just heard calling, It's easy to see an eagle or a hawk, but the little elusive birds are easier to find in winter when the leaves are gone.. You can easily spot the white-breasted nuthatch or the brown creeper going up and down a tree looking for insects or spot the woodpecker hammering the tree trunk above your head. You may even spot a winter rarity.
The Chicken Creek Restoration Project will pick up again in the spring. However, volunteers have begun the task of planting native vegetation around the wetlands in front of the visitor center and have planted 3,900 wapato bulbs. Wapato is a plant that was used by native Americans for food. The Friends of the Refuge have pledged to complete the replanting of all the native vegetation at the visitor center. However, they need some help to complete the project. For as little as $2 per plant, you can be part of "Planting Your Roots" at the fefuge. The campaign also needs assistance with setting out the plants. If you enjoy gardening, then join us for the next volunteer planting event. Check the Friends website at www.friendsofthetualatinrefuge for information.
There will be no Photo Society meeting this month. The next meeting will be 7 p.m. Feb. 6.
Drop-In Exploration Days: 10 a.m. to noon, Jan. 5
Join us for free activities and crafts in our environmental education classroom in the visitor center. Explore the animals and plants that call our refuge home. All ages are welcome and themes will rotate monthly. No registration is required for this drop-in program.
Puddle Stompers – Beavers: 1 to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and 10 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 14
This pre-school environmental education program invites children and their families to spend the morning learning about the natural wonders of the refuge. Volunteer naturalists lead nature crafts, share stories and guide hikes on refuge trails. The refuge supplies "froggy" raingear for the kids, but adults should bring their own. Each month has a new theme. Registration is required via the Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife website
Owl Prowl: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 10
Come join us with hands-on learning and a night walk to get to learn more about this outstanding hunter. Owls remind us that nature is still very active after the sun goes down. During this night hike you'll learn about the different owls who call the refuge home and their mysterious nocturnal lives.
You'll explore their habitat and learn about their amazing adaptations for life at night. Flashlights are provided and the event is recommended for older children and active adults. This hike requires ability to walk for two miles.
All ages are welcome, but registration is required.
Second Saturday Work Parties & Volunteer Planting Events: 8:45 a.m. to noon, Jan. 11
Join Refuge biology staff for a habitat restoration project. No experience is necessary. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle. All ages are welcome, but registration is required. Check the website for registration and meeting location.
Waterfowl Watch 101: 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 11
Nature Ambassadors: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 22
If you like to explore nature off of the refuge, drop into our nature table. This program will be held at the Sherwood Public Library, 22560 S.W. Pine St. The event is good for all ages and no registration is required.
Pam Farris is a member of Friends of the Refuge
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