National Wildlife Refuge System
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August 2013 Events

Great Blue Heron
A youngster displays his catch at a Fish and Wildlife Service fishing derby. A fishing clinic at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, RI, on August 10 will teach kids the art of baiting, casting and catching.
Credit: Keith Shannon/USFWS

First Fridays Program
Friday, August 2, 5 p.m. — Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, MO
Enjoy food, music and activities such as refuge tours, a turtle tank, archery, birding, a reptile and bat booth, and a live eagles and a raptors demonstration by Dickerson Park Zoo.


Birds for Beginners
Saturday, August 3, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Discover tips and tricks to birding. Learn to use binoculars, guide books and other bird identification aids. Then head into the field with a naturalist to put your new skills to the test. Recommended for beginners and families.


Kayak to Chimon Island
Saturday, August 3, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, CT
Paddle to Chimon Island. Then go ashore for a guided tour, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Island Keeper. More information: 203-849-8341.


Bird Survey
Sunday, August 4, 8 a.m. — Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, OH
Join a refuge volunteer in a bird survey. Bring your binoculars and dress for the weather. Meet at the trailhead parking area.


Bird Walk
Sunday, August 4, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Join a birding tour led by trained docents at the Living Coast Discovery Center on Sweetwater Marsh. Tour requires paid admission to the Discovery Center: $9 - $14, depending on age. Meet at the Discovery Center entrance.


Explore Humbug Marsh and Gibraltar Bay
Sunday, August 4, 1 to 4 p.m. — Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, MI
Visit the Humbug Marsh and Gilbraltar Bay units of Detroit River Refuge to explore and learn more about the nation’s only international wildlife refuge.


Wildlife Wednesdays
Wednesday, August 7, 7 to 9:30 p.m. — Seney National Wildlife Refuge, MI
Join refuge staff for a guided auto tour of the refuge backcountry. Look for refuge wildlife while learning about refuge history and management.


Constellation Exploration
Friday, August 9, 8 p.m. — Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, NJ
Join Friends of Wallkill River and the Skylands Astronomy Club in exploring the constellations. Rainout/cloud date: August 10.


Refuge Story Time
Friday, August 9, 10 a.m. — Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, WV
Bring your preschooler to a free monthly story-telling series, hosted by the refuge and the Friends of the 500th.


Owl Prowl
Saturday, August 10, 8 p.m. — Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, MO
Learn about the owls of Mingo Refuge from a refuge ranger. Then join an owl prowl for a chance to see an owl on the refuge.


Bike the Dikes
Saturday, August 10, 1:30 to 3 p.m. − Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, OH
Join a ranger in exploring the refuge trail system by bicycle in search of wildlife.


Fishing Clinic
Saturday, August 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, RI
Try your hand at tying knots, baiting, casting and fish painting. Enjoy loaner poles, two surf-fishing clinics, casting and baiting demonstrations, children’s activities and fun handouts. The first 110 youngsters receive a free mini tackle box in honor of the 110th anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System.


Discover the Night Sky
Saturday, August 10, 9:30 p.m. – Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, NV
View double stars and planets through a telescope, and learn ancient stories about constellations. Meet at the day use area on the campground road.


Watershed Investigators
Saturday, August 10, 10:30 a.m. to noon — Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, MA
Join a monthly kids program that explores nature through crafts, games, stories and hands-on discovery. This program is geared toward grades 2-5, but all are welcome.


Summer Birding
Saturday, August 10, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, MN
See how bird life on the refuge’s western prairie units differs from that on the refuge’s eastern forested units. Search for meadowlarks, bobolinks and other prairie-dependent bird life.


Cutting the Mustard
Sunday, August 11, 11 a.m. to noon — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Learn how the mustard plant was introduced from the Mediterranean to California more than 200 years ago, and how it’s displaced native habitat. Collect seeds from the plant to reduce the seed bank and make a mustard condiment. Reservations: 510-792-0222 ext. 363.


Wild Wednesdays
Wednesday, August 14, 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 3 p.m. − Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, OH
Join a ranger for hands-on activities and outside fun. Children ages 3-5 meet from 10 a.m. to noon. Children ages 6-12 meet from 1 to 3 p.m.


Disappearing Treasures
Friday, August 16, 10 a.m. to noon — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Get a behind-the-scenes look at this one-of-a-kind facility that stores illegally imported animal products confiscated from U.S. borders. This facility also manages the Native American Eagle Feather Program.


Bats Among Us
Saturday, August 17, 7 to 9 p.m. — Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Watch bats as they emerge at dusk. Find out how humans benefit from their presence. Learn about the study of bats.


Desert by Moonlight
Saturday, August 17, 8 to 9 p.m. – Desert National Wildlife Refuge, NV
Discover the refuge under the full moon. Learn the secrets of the moon and hear tales of full moon lore. Register:


Full-Moon Guided Canoe Trips
Saturday, August 17, 7 to 9 p.m. — Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, FL
Enjoy a guided moonlight canoe tour through part of the refuge. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants and bring a flashlight and bug spray. Canoe rental from Loxahatchee Canoeing is $32; you may not bring your own. One canoe seats two to three people. Reservations: 561-733-0192.


Refuge Bicycle Tour
Sunday, August 18, 10 a.m. — Don Edwards S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Take a docent-led bicycle ride on the refuge’s levee trails and learn about the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. The tour is an easy-paced nine miles with a few stops. The levees are unpaved but level. Helmet required. Water and a snack recommended. Rain cancels. Confirm: 510-792-0222 ext. 141.


Wildlife Conservation and Recreation Day
Saturday, August 24 — Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
Learn about wildlife conservation and recreational opportunities through habitat exploration, children’s crafts, archery and firearm demonstrations. Check here for details closer to the event.


Nature Story Hour
Saturday, August 24, 9 a.m. — Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, IL
Attend a nature story hour at the refuge visitor center, located near the village of Brussels, Illinois, on Hagen Road about four miles from the Brussels Ferry. Preregister by August 19: 618-883-2524.


The Edible Prickly Pear
Saturday, August 24, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, NM
Meet the prickly pear cacti. Taste the tunas (fruits) and nopales (pads) prepared several ways. Extract the juice from fruits you pick in the arboretum. Take home recipes and cactus juice. Bring an apron, long strong tongs, a sack lunch and a clean empty plastic bottle (1L or larger) with lid. Reservations required: 575-835-1828.


Greenwing Day
Saturday, August 24, 5 p.m. — Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, MO
Attend this youth event, hosted in cooperation with Yellow Creek Ducks Unlimited, to learn about duck hunting, decoys, trapping, wildlife and more.


Wetlands Water Café
Sunday, August 25, 2 to 3:30 p.m. — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Wetlands contain many nutrients and organisms that build a diverse web of life. Use a refuge lab to observe wetland creatures up close and learn about the important role they play in the ecosystem. Reservations: 408-262-5513 ext. 104.


Fitness Hike
Thursday, April 29, 2 to 3:30 p.m. — Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, AK
Join a 2.5-mile moderate hike on the Centennial Trail. No dogs please.


Youth Waterfowl Workshop: Learn to Hunt
Saturday, August 31, 9 a.m. — Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, WI
Youth ages 9-16 will prepare to hunt before the opening of Wisconsin's youth hunting season. Learn about waterfowl identification, duck calling and decoy placement. Attend shooting demos and a gun safety refresher. Adult mentors are welcome to join their child during class. Pre-registration is required. Youth participants will need to show their gun safety certificate to participate at the shooting range with workshop mentors. Contact Kara Zwickey: 608-565-4412 or

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Last updated: July 23, 2013