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Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge slowly begins to open up after more than a year shut down due to the pandemic.

"Take a quiet walk with mother nature. It will nurture your mind, body, and soul." — A.D. Williams

COURTESY PHOTO: PAM FARRIS - May has arrived and it's a great time to visit the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

May has arrived and it's a great time to visit the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. The seasonal trail has reopened. It is prime time for songbirds and their songs and calls fill the air. Many have begun nesting while others are setting up their territories. Take a walk on the trail and look for the brightly colored lazuli buntings, black-headed grosbeaks and western tanagers in the forest and common yellowthroats in the margins of the wetlands. Shorebirds continue to migrate though and killdeer usually begin nesting on the refuge this month.

Photo Society Meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 6

Darrel Rhea, whose work can be seen on the website Behance, will be guest speaker. He will share his personal explorations in photography, art and illustration. It's non-commercial and his source of zen and play. He has been a designer, design management consultant and a design researcher for his whole career. If you are interested in attending, please make reservations by email to Willem Stoeller at HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you will receive a Zoom invite.

• Puddle Stompers programs for children up to 5 years old: held virtually from 10-10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, May 12, and 19

Topics are native bees on May 12 and frogs on May 19. If your children are interested, email HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive a Zoom link. You can find past programs posted on the Friends website, friendsoftualatinerfuge.org under "educational resources." These virtual events include animal facts, sing-along songs, crafts and an outdoor walk or activity.

The visitor center remains closed due to COVID restrictions. However. the parking lot is open and there are portable restroom facilities. Nature's Overlook, the Friends of the Refuge retail store, also remains closed but much of the store's inventory is available for purchase online, with curbside pickup on Saturday mornings or by reservation If you're looking for Mother's Day, Father's Day, graduation or another occasion. Please check out our merchandise at https://bit.ly/2V116zP. You'll find everything from jewelry, socks, games, puzzles to field guides, journals and logo clothing.

• 25th annual Tualatin River Bird Festival virtual tour: Friday and Saturday, May 14-15

Look for the festival schedule and details on the Friends' web site, HYPERLINK "http://www.Friendsoftualatinrefuge.org/" www.friendsoftualatinrefuge.org. You will also find the festival on YouTube and Facebook.

There will be a live presentation on the upcoming release of the California Condor back to the Pacific Northwest with members of the Yurok Tribe, USFWS and the Oregon Zoo.

Get an up live close view of the Chicken Creek Restoration Project with refuge staff and fisheries. What is lurking in the water and why it matters.

In a live event called "This is Kalapuya Land," Five Oaks Muesum guest curator Step Littlebird Foget (Grand Ronde, Kalapuya) and Five Oaks Museum cultural resource manager Mariah Berlanga-Shevchuck discuss this groundbreaking exhibit. The exhibit prompts critical thinking around representation of Indigenous history and non-Indigenous institutions.

Gerardo Calderon will engage in music and storytelling on the Andean Condor, which is the national symbol bird of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Chile and is highly respected by many of the people of these countries and has inspired a number of legends.

Please check the Friends website, www.friendsoftualatinrefuge.org, for all of the details.

Pam Farris is a member of Friends of the Refuge


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