Songbirds, nature lovers flock together in May at Refuge
"There is something of the marvelous in all things of nature." — Aristotle
May has arrived and it's a great time to visit the Refuge. The seasonal trail has reopened. It is prime time for songbirds. 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 through and killdeer usually begin nesting on the refuge this month.
Tualatin River Photo Society
Thursday, May 2, 7 p.m., Visitor Center (enter by side door)
Speaker to be announced. The group meets to share information, learn from each other and guest speakers, and create opportunities to expand their photography. Everyone is welcome whether you take pictures with a cell phone or have the latest equipment.
The Nature Ambassadors program, presented by the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, is a drop-in youth program for children and families visiting local libraries. Volunteer naturalists present nature-themed programs such as pelts/skulls, bird nests and eggs, and endangered species. Children can see specimens up close, participate in hands-on activities, and make a craft to take home. Come to learn about the wildlife and habitats that you will find on the Refuge. Note: These outreach events do not take place at the refuge. Please confirm the location before attending.
• Newberg Public Library
Thursday, May 2, 4-5 p.m.
Join refuge naturalists to learn about bird eggs and nests. Opportunities include hands-on activities, specimens and crafts at this drop-in activity.
• Sherwood Public Library
Wednesday, May 8, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Join refuge naturalists to learn about the upcoming Tualatin River Bird Festival. Opportunities include hands-on, bird-themed activities, specimens and crafts at this drop-in activity.
• Drop-in Exploration Day: Animal Tracks
Sunday, May 5, noon-2 p.m.
Join us for free animal tracking activities and crafts in our environmental education classroom. Come explore animal tracks and make your own to take home. All ages welcome. Activity held in the Visitor Center. No registration required for this drop-in program. Stay as long as you like within the two hour time frame.
• Puddle Stompers
Wednesday, May 8, 1-3 p.m.
• Second Saturday Restoration Work Party
Saturday, May 11, 8:45 a.m.-noon
• Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Annual Tualatin River Bird Festival
The festival is our biggest event of the year. It is sponsored by the Friends of the Refuge, in partnership with the Refuge, to celebrate the natural world that surrounds us.
Plan to spend the day and sample some of the many family-friendly activities. For early risers, start the day with walks to listen and look for birds greeting the dawn. The walks will be led by longtime birding experts starting at 5:30 a.m. Festival activities begin at 10 a.m. and will the offer kids and adults plenty to do. The kids can build a bird house to take home or paint a duck decoy. They can visit a pond study and see the tiny world that lives in the water or try their hand at the backyard fishing station. The always popular Conestoga-style wagon rides will be back to give you a tour of the perimeter of the Refuge. If you prefer, you can walk the Refuge and visit the interpretive stations along the trail to learn more about the plants, animals and birds that call the Refuge home.
The Nature Store will be open and offers a wide selection of books and field guides about nature as well as gift items for everyone on your list. Conservation exhibitors will be present to answer questions about their organizations and explain ways you can help protect the environment.
Free festival parking will be available at the office building at 12205 S.W. Tualatin Road, corner of Southwest 124th and Pacific Highway. Free ADA shuttle buses will provide continuous transportation to the Refuge. Note: There will be no onsite parking at the Refuge. For complete up-to-date information about the festival, go to friendsoftualatinrefuge.org or call 503-625-5944, Ext. 227.
Native plant sale slated at Refuge
Spring is here. Are you looking for some new plants for your garden? Have you tried gardening with native plants? Then you won't want to miss this plant sale.
Check out all of the wonderful native plants you can grow in your garden. You will find camas lily, trillium, violets, ferns, fringe cups, wild ginger, starry sedum and many more. These plants will attract birds, bees and butterflies to your garden. They are the perfect plants for the gardener who has little time or doesn't have a green thumb. Plants will be supplied by Bosky Dell Nursery, which specializes in Oregon natives only.
Volunteers will be available to answer questions about choosing and growing native plants. Checks, cards and cash accepted in the Visitor Center.
While you're picking out your plants on Saturday, take time to enjoy the Earth Day activities at the Refuge from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. See the Friends website at www.friendsoftualatinrefuge.org for more information.
The Friends is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. All money donated is tax-deductible and donations help with refuge programs.
If you go
When: Friday, April 26: 4-5:30 p.m. Members pre-sale. Join at the sale.
Open to the public: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 27: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, 19255 S.W. Pacific Highway, Sherwood
Contact: Bonnie Anderson – 503-625-5944, Ext. 227
— Submitted by Pam Farris