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The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge has plenty to do in the spring, plus thoughts on Oregon's seasons.

COURTESY PHOTO: PAM FARRIS - As spring re-animates the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, the quiet, wooded trails are ideal for birdwatching.March is a good month for birdwatching on the 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.

Nehls states that "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. 15 to May 15

• Summer: May 16 to Aug. 15

• Fall: Aug. 10 to Nov. 15

• Winter: Nov. 16 to Feb. 15

"Keep in mind that weather may influence migrations, but not the seasons," Nehls goes on to say. "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."

Pam Farris is a member of the Friends of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.


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