National Wildlife Refuge System
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May 2013 Events

A rufous hummingbird displays its bright colors and quick-beating wings. On Saturday, May 25, Audubon calendar photographer Jerry Goffe will share some hummingbird photography tricks with visitors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.

Credit: Roy W. Lowe, USFWS

International Migratory Bird Day
Refuges across the nation will host events to mark International Migratory Bird Day, which is celebrated this year on or about May 12. Here are a few examples:

  • Birding Festival
    Friday, May 10 to Monday, May 13 – Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, WI
    Take part in guided birding hikes, bus and boat tours, youth activities, bird banding demos, live birds of prey presentations, and other special exhibits.
  • South Bay Bird Fest
    Saturday, May 11, noon to 3 p.m. – Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
    Take part in guided walks, games, crafts, face painting and other activities at the Alviso Environmental Education Center.  See a live bird show showcasing avian antics.
  • Bird Watching Trip
    Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 19, 8 a.m. – Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, MD
    Join an expert birder for a free guided bird-watching trip through the refuge. All levels of experience welcome. Bring binoculars and field guides. No preregistration is required. Meet at the visitor center.
  • Wings Over Muscatatuck Bird Festival
    Saturday, May 11 – Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, IN
    The 2013 festival will feature bird tours, children’s activities, live birds of prey, guided walks and interpretive programs, bird banding and other special events.
  • Yakima Valley Spring Migration
    Saturday, May 11 – Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge, WA
    Celebrate the migration of birds and their return to the Yakima Valley. Come identify, count and observe bird species throughout the morning.
  • Bird Walks
    Saturday, May 11, 7 a.m. to noon – John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, PA
    Join a volunteer-led bird walk to see and learn about species that use the refuge.  Spring migration peaks in May, as colorful warblers, vireos, tanagers, grosbeaks, buntings and orioles move through. The refuge’s bald eagle chicks will be about eight weeks old and getting ready to fledge in June.
  • Kenai Birding Festival
    Thursday, May 16 to Sunday, May 19, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, AK
    Share your interest in the birds on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The area offers pristine beaches, beautiful state parks, a fantastic wildlife refuge and, best of all, thousands of birds. The festival includes a series of talks and birding field trips.

 

Nature Discovery Hike for Families
Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. — Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, ME
Discover the wild world around us. Children of all ages are welcome. Meet at the parking lot just beyond Carter Meadow Road. More information: 207-745-0676.

 

Birding the Backyards of America
Saturday, May 4, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. — Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, NY
Author Randi Minetor and her husband, photographer Nic Minetor, bring you stunning photos and fascinating stories of chasing down nectar feeders from southeastern Arizona to the boreal forests of Yellowstone National Park.

 

Spring Wildflower Walk
Wednesday, May 8, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, DE
Look for wildflowers, including Jack-in-the-pulpit, May-apple and other spring bloomers. Meet at the visitor center.

 

Archery Class for Children
Thursday, May 9, 4:30 p.m. — Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, NJ
Refuge staff will lead archery classes for children in grades 4 through 8. This training follows the National Archery in the Schools Program and will provide 24 hours of instruction and practice followed by a tournament. Class size is limited and registration is required. Contact: Fran Stephenson, 938-702-7266 ext. 10.

 

Birding Expedition
Saturday, May 11, 10 to 11:30 a.m. — Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, NY
The Family Nature Club will identify birds near the visitor center, Seneca Trail and Wildlife Drive. Families will learn to identify common birds, using binoculars and field guides.

 

Vernal Pools
Saturday, May 11, 8 a.m. to noon — Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, ME
Learn to identify vernal pools and their inhabitants. Expect to see yellow and blue spotted salamanders and wood frogs. The event is free.

 

Disappearing Treasures: National Eagle and Wildlife Property Repository Tour
Friday, May 17, 10 a.m. to noon — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Sign up to tour this one-of-a-kind facility that stores confiscated and illegally imported animal products from U.S. borders. This facility also manages the Native American Eagle Feather Program.

 

Hike with a Ranger
Saturday, May 18, 7 to 11 a.m. — San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Come learn about the unique habitats of this refuge. Walk on the Par 4 Drive Trail in East County, Jamul. Look for spring birds. All ages are welcome.

 

Youth Fishing Day
Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, VA
Introduce a child to fishing and build support for the outdoors. The event is meant for children, ages 5 to 12. The refuge provides bait, fishing rods, and snacks. Volunteers and staff will demonstrate appropriate angling techniques, handling, and fish identification. Register: 703-490-4979.

 

Endangered Species Day
Saturday, May 18, 10 to 11:30 a.m. — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Tour the refuge’s normally closed Warm Springs Unit, which protects threatened and endangered species such as Contra Costa goldfields, vernal pool tadpole shrimp and California tiger salamanders. Hear how the Endangered Species Act, 40 years old this year, protects these species. See spring wildflowers and dip for California tiger salamander larvae, if winter rain levels permit. Reservations: 510-792-0222 ext. 362

 

10th Annual Downeast Spring Bird Festival
Friday, May 24 to Sunday, May 26 — Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, ME
Enjoy a weekend-long birding event.

 

Hummingbird Photography with Jerry Goffe
Saturday, May 25, 8 a.m. — Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, NM
Learn about photographing hummingbirds from one of Audubon's 2013 calendar photographers. Practice doing it yourself. Meet at visitor center.

 

Shorebird and Horseshoe Crab Presentation
Saturday, May 25, 9 a.m. to noon — Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, DE
Learn about shorebird migration and horseshoe crabs on the Delaware Bay. Then head to Pickering Beach and Port Mahon to see shorebirds and the horseshoe crabs that come up onto the Bay beach to spawn. Meet at the refuge auditorium.

 

Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival
Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, DE
Learn about the area’s horseshoe crabs and shorebirds. Enjoy live music, guided canoe trips, children’s activities, the Horseshoe Crab Express train ride, a scavenger hunt, and trail walks. Activities will take place in the Town of Milton.

 

Refuge History
Saturday, May 25, 2 p.m. — Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, VA
Welcome back a piece of history to our WWII bunkers – a giant gun, 68-feet long and weighing 120 tons. This barrel stood guard on the USS Missouri as the Japanese surrendered at the end of the war.

 

Pennsylvania Free Fishing Day
Saturday, May 27, 8:30 a.m. — John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, PA
Enjoy this event, sponsored by the PA Fish & Boat Commission. Refuge buildings will be closed for the holiday, but grounds will be open from sunrise to sunset.

 

Canaan Valley Birding Festival
Thursday, May 30 to Sunday, June 2 — Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, WV
Visit the spectacular Allegheny Highlands region and enjoy the amazing diversity of breeding birds and their habitats. The county offers a unique mix of boreal forest, wetland habitats and high altitude (4,250 feet), making it the perfect birding location each summer for breeding birds. Bird walks, guest speakers and other fun activities are planned for everyone from bird experts to beginners.


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Last updated: March 26, 2013