On the Refuge column
March is a good month for birdwatching on the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.
I have included some interesting information from Harry Nehls' "Field Notes," published in a 2013 Portland Audubon Warbler newsletter. Nehls, now retired, is a well known expert on birds. I was intrigued by what he says about the seasons: "The human concept of the seasons does not match that of wildlife. As the seasons advance and retreat with the sun's movement, the timing differs with an area's distance from the equator."
For Oregon the seasons best fit the following approximate schedule.: spring: Feb. 16 - May 15; summer: May 16 – Aug. 15; fall: Aug. 10 – Nov. 15 and winter: Nov. 16 – Feb. 15
Nehls goes on to say, "Keep in mind that weather may influence migrations, but not the seasons. So if spring comes to Oregon in mid-February and lasts until mid-May, spring migrations fit well into this framework with some overlap caused by ambitious individuals and late movers."
Drop-In Exploration Day – Pollinators: 10 a.m. to noon March 1
Join us for free activities and crafts in our environmental education classroom in the refuge's 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.
Tualatin River Photo Society: 7 p.m. March 5
Guest speaker Susan Dimock, a retired clinical social worker and psychotherapist, began a second career as a fine art and nature photographer in Bandon. She specializes in wildlife and seascape images of the Oregon coast where she and her husband have lived for 16 years.
Photo society meetings are free and open to both members and non-members of Friends of the Refuge. Monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the visitor center at the refuge, 19255 S.W. Highway 99W in Sherwood.
Plant Your Roots: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 7
Join us for the first planting event at Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Break ground at our new refuge and plant several different riparian species at the edge of the lake bed. Plan to meet and park at the parking lot at Brown Park (the Gaston baseball field). Bring appropriate layers and shoes that can get dirty. Gloves, tools, snacks and water will be provided. If you are a new volunteer at the Tualatin River refuge, please print out and complete the volunteer form available at www.friendsoftualatinrefuge.org to bring to the planting event.
Nature Ambassadors – Plentiful Plants: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 10
The program will be held at Sherwood Public Library, 22560 S.W. Pine St, Sherwood. Discover which plants on the refuge are native and which are pesky intruders, while learning why natives are so important to our ecosystems. Play a pollinator matching game, discover how to identify some of the native plants here on the refuge or take home your own native wildflowers and grasses seed ball.
Second Saturday Work Party: 8:45 a.m. to noon March 14
Help with restoration projects around the refuge. Join us to remove invasive species and assist in other biological restoration. Meet at the flagpole in front of the visitor center. Tools, gloves, snacks and water will be provided.
Nature Ambassadors – Pollinator Power: 2 to 3 p.m. March 24
This program will be held at Newberg Public Library, 503 E Hancock St. How do bees help people to survive? How can a beetle help a plant to reproduce? Much of the planet's flowering plants rely on pollinators for survival, including the plants that produce 75 percent of the crops people eat. Learn all about pollinators and how important they are to the planet's ecosystems.
Pam Farris is a member of Friends of the Refuge
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.