National Wildlife Refuge System
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Refuge Events Calendar

A wild turkey displays its feathers at Walkill River National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois will present a program about turkey biology on November 13.
A wild turkey displays its feathers at Walkill River National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois will present a program about turkey biology on November 13.
Credit: Gary Stolz//USFWS

It is always a good season to visit a national wildlife refuge. Go for a hike. Sight a bird. Restore your sense of wonder. The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world's premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants. There is a National Wildlife Refuge within an hour's drive of most major cities.

Here is a sampling of upcoming refuge events:

Attend a Regional Wildlife Festival
Tuesday, November 9 - Sunday, November 14 — the Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival is a six-day celebration of the wild side of the Outer Banks. The festival offers more than 85 events from marsh maze paddling and wildlife photography to birding and natural history. All proceeds go to the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society, a nonprofit group that supports national wildlife refuges in eastern North Carolina.  The festival includes guided tours to Alligator River, Pea Island, Mackay Island, Mattamuskeet and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuges.

For more festival information, visit http://www.wingsoverwater.org or call 252-216-9464.

Learn about Turkeys
Saturday, November 13, 10:30 a.m. — Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois
Turkeys can see in colors and their field of vision spans about 270 degrees. Learn more at the visitor center.

For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/midwest/craborchard/ or call 618-997-3344.

Hear a Talk on Wildlife and Native Plants
Saturday, November 13, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. — Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Delaware
Hear Doug Tallamy, professor and chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, talk about his book “Bringing Nature Home — How to Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants.”  Tallamy offers inspirational native design ideas with a focus on creating balanced landscapes and increasing biodiversity.

For more information, visit http://bombayhook.fws.gov or call 302-653-9345.

Practice Your Bird Identification
Sunday, November 14, 11 a.m. - sunset — Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Delaware
Get a close look at the different bird species in the impoundments. Wildlife Drive will have a station with scopes, binoculars and field guides to help you identify waterfowl, passing raptors and whatever else flies by. Check in at the Visitor Center for the exact location.
For more information, visit http://bombayhook.fws.gov or call 302-653-9345.

Take a Sunset Tour of the Refuge
Sunday, November 14, 3 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. — Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Delaware The tour will start in the afternoon with a walk over the salt marsh and a ride through the refuge, sighting birds and exploring habitats. The tour will end shortly after sunset which brings waterfowl into the impoundments looking for an evening resting place and also provides opportunities to view deer and other wildlife that start to move around in the evening.

For more information go to http://bombayhook.fws.gov or call 302-653-9345.

Enjoy the Fall Flight Festival
Sunday, November 14, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. — Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
Bring a camera and binoculars and enjoy a close-up look at the geese, ducks, cranes and other migratory birds that winter on the refuge. Drive the five-mile gravel Wildlife Drive, open only four days a year. Volunteer naturalists will be available at select locations with spotting scopes to identify birds.

For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/newmex/lasvegas/index.html
or call 505-425-3581 ext. 205.

Attend Waterfowl Observation Day
Saturday, November 13, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. — Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
Meet at the Brownsville Overlook in Minnesota to view migrating birds en route to their wintering grounds. Staff from the refuge and Mississippi River Wild will be available at Brownsville Overlook every Saturday and Sunday in November between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to share information about migrating waterfowl and eagles.

For more information, visit http://midwest.fws.gov/UpperMississippiRiver/ or call 507-452-4232.

Attend a Geology Presentation
Saturday, November 20 (daylight hours) — Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona
Learn about shattered land masses, mega-volcanoes and vanished landscapes on a nature walk led by geology expert Richard Conway on the trails of Brown Canyon. Trails are located in the foothills of the Baboquivari Mountains along a sycamore-lined stream flanked by oak woodland beneath volcanic dikes and pinnacles.

For more information, visit http://www.friendsofbanwr.org/ or contact Richard Conway (r_conway@mac.com) at 520-405-5665.

Enjoy an Art Show
Saturday, November 20, and Sunday, November 21, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. — DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, Iowa
Attend an annual event featuring artwork, photography, carvings and more from on-site local artists.

For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/midwest/desoto/ or call 712-642-4121.

Take Part in National Family Volunteer Day
Saturday, November 20, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. — Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Delaware
Family work projects include trimming plants, weeding, planting a flower bed and clearing walking trails.

For more information, visit http://bombayhook.fws.gov or call 302-653-9345.

Enjoy a Refuge Art Show
Sunday, November 21, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. — DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, Iowa
Annual event features artwork, photography, carvings, and more from on-site local artists.

For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/midwest/desoto/ or call 712-642-4121.

Put Some Wildlife in Your Thanksgiving Weekend
Thursday, November 25 - Sunday, November 28, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (time of activities may vary) — Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia
Take time out from your feasting to see and hear the spectacle of waterfowl migration. You don't have to leave your car. Just drive up the Service Road to the northern portion of the refuge. This road is open to cars during this special event only. Increase your awareness and appreciation of these long distance-travelers by joining in various family-friendly activities offered during this time.

For more information, visit www.fws.gov/northeast/chinco or call 757- 336-6122 ext 309.

Attend a preschool nature exploration program
Friday, December 3, 10 a.m. — Preschool Colt Capers program, Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge
Attend a free nature exploration program for 3-5 year olds and their parents at 7200 Crane Lane.
Learn a wildlife story and complete an art project. Program takes place on the first Fridays of November and December. Opossums are the topic for Colt Capers on November 5 and bears on December 3.

To register for Colt Capers, send an e-mail to MississippiSandhillCrane@fws.gov or call 228-497-6322.

Attend Eagle Days
Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5 — Squaw Creek National Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri
Attend a special event to celebrate the refuge's 75th anniversary.

For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/midwest/squawcreek or http://www.squawcreek.org
or call 660-442-5754 ext 14.

Celebrate the Holiday Season
Thursday, December 9, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. — Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois
Celebrate the holiday season with food and cheers at the refuge's open house.

For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/midwest/cypresscreek/ or call 618-634-2231.

Learn About Bobcats
Saturday, December 11, 10:30 a.m. - noon — Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois
Learn about the lives of bobcats, small wild cats seen frequently on the refuge.
Free Again Wildlife Rehab will present a live bobcat at the visitor center from 11 a.m. to noon.

For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/midwest/craborchard/ or call 618-997-3344.

Help Count Birds
Monday, December 13, 6 a.m. — Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois
The Christmas Bird Count is an all-day census of early winter bird populations in which many refuges participate. This conservation effort has been conducted throughout the country during mid-December for more than 100 years. The information gathered has resulted in the longest running database in ornithology. The data show trends of bird populations across America.

For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/midwest/cypresscreek/ or call 618-634-2231.

Snap Great Wildlife Photos
Tuesday, December 28, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. — Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
Learn how to catch a perfect shot of winter wildlife and majestic landscapes. Reservations are required.

For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/newmex/sevilleta/ or call 505-864-4021.

Take Part in the 14th Annual Trinity River Christmas Bird Count
Tuesday, December 28, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. — Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, Texas
Trinity River Refuge is one of many national wildlife refuges participating in this annual bird count. Tarkington Prairie and Gaylor Lake will also be counted, along with the refuge. Meet at 7 a.m. at the Valero Gas station at the intersection of Hwy 105 and Hwy 321, about six miles southeast of Cleveland. Some folks will bird the “bottoms” so bring a sack lunch, rubber knee boots and other appropriate outdoor clothing. Birdwatchers of all levels are welcome.

For more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/trinityriver/ or contact Stuart Marcus (stuart_marcus@fws.gov) at 936-336-9786.

Attend the Galt Winter Bird Festival
Saturday, January 29, 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. — Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, California
Celebrate wintering Central Valley migratory birds at the Galt Winter Bird Festival. The festival offers exhibits, workshops and tours to local refuges, including Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.

For more information or to sign-up for a tour, visit the City of Galt website at: www.ci.galt.ca.us
or call 209-366-7115.

Attend Winterfest
Saturday, February 5, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. — Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN
Free activities focus on how wildlife and people deal with the snow and cold. Try out snowshoes. Enjoy exhibits, nature crafts, face painting, food, sleigh rides, a bonfire and wildlife presentations.

For more information, visit http://midwest.fws.gov/sherburne or call 763-389-3323.

A complete list of refuge activities and special events is available at: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/SpecialEvents/FWS_SpecialEvents_Search.cfm.

 

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