National Wildlife Refuge System
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National Wildlife Refuge Week

Two Wading Birds Mating

At Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, two wading birds show off their mating plumage. National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 14-20, celebrates the sights and sounds of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of public lands set aside to protect wildlife.

Credit: Bonita Caldwell/USFWS

Many refuges will host public events in honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 14-20. The nation’s 556 national wildlife refuges protect wildlife habitat while cleaning our air, filtering our water and pollinating our crops. They also provide world-class hunting and fishing and hiking. Check the special events calendar for Refuge Week events. Among the events planned:

Saturday, October 13:

Halloween Adventure: The Wild Night Life of the Refuge. Enjoy an afternoon and evening of family fun and learning about animals that are active at night, including bats, owls and coyotes. Pre-registration is required: 701/442-5474 ext. 117

Join the refuge’s Refuge Week celebration at Doeskin Ranch. Butterfly tagging and butterfly walks are among planned activities.

Take a guided canoe tour along the Old Cache Channel. Meet: Cache Levee Access.
For reservations, call (618) 634-2231, beginning September 13.

See live birds of prey. Enjoy a day of family events including guided hikes, fishing and hands-on nature program for youth.

Celebrate with a morning 5k Run/Walk, followed by activities throughout the day.

Meet your “wild” neighbors at this free event celebrating National Wildlife Refuge week. Enjoy a variety of wildlife activities and booths, arts and crafts, and nature films for all ages. Preview the new 9-mile Wildlife Drive, a self-guided auto tour route.

Wild Things in Lacombe. This large annual event at the Bayou Lacombe Centre celebrates all things wild.

Sunday, October 14:


Scores of refuges will once again host The Big Sit!, an annual event in which teams count and report bird species seen or heard from a 17-foot-diameter circle. Participating refuges include:  

Tubby Cove Observation Platform, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Endicott Observation deck, sunrise to sunset

Dawn until dusk

Champion Lake Pier, sunrise to sunset

Saturday, October 20:

Attend an open house at the refuge on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Take a guided bird hike in ancient rainforest habitat. View forest restoration planting sites. Take a tour of the greenhouse where native koa, ohia, and rare lobeliads and mints are being propagated.


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Last updated: July 31, 2012