National Wildlife Refuge System
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February 2013 Events


A groundhog enjoys a bask in the sun at Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island. Further south, at John Heinz Refuge in Philadelphia, “Tinicum Tim and Tina” will give Punxsutawney Phil some competition at the refuge’s Groundhog Day Festival on Saturday, February 2.

Credit: Andrew MacLachlan/USFWS

Groundhog Day Family Festival
Saturday, February 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, PA
Begin the day with a guided groundhog walk at 9 a.m., followed by indoor fun starting at 10 a.m. Sing and dance to live music, engage in crafts for kids, enjoy light refreshments, and more. Winners of the student drawing and writing contest will be announced at the festival.


Saturday, February 2, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. — Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, TX
See more than 15 species of sparrows in one day. This sparrow workshop includes classroom sessions and field trips on the refuge. Register: 512-339-9432.

Naturalist Badge
Saturday, February 2, 10 a.m. to noon — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Earn your Webelos Naturalist badge at the Environmental Education Center in Alviso. Learn about birds, migration, flyways, food chains, human impact, and the importance of wetlands. Then take a walk and use our binoculars to spot birds in the wild. Call Debra at 408-262-5513 ext. 102 for reservations.


Bald Eagle Tours
Saturday, February 2, 9, 16, 23, 9 a.m.  — Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, OK
View the refuge’s bald eagle cam at headquarters and learn about the bald eagle. Then hop aboard the refuge tour bus to view three active nests.


San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival
Friday, February 8 to Sunday, February 10 — San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
The 17th annual festival includes field trips to the refuge.


Bald Eagle Day
Saturday, February 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, UT
Enjoy a full day of free activities, including auto loop tours to view eagles, eagle crafts and games, movies, and a presentation of a live bald eagle.


14th Annual Everglades Day Festival
Saturday, February 9 — Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, FL
Attend the refuge’s biggest annual event. Enjoy talks, wildlife demonstrations, games, conservation exhibits, music and entertainment. Walk or take a trolley to exhibit tents. See the Everglades in your own backyard.


Guided Refuge Hikes
Saturday, February 9, and Saturday, February 23, 9 a.m. — Buenos Aires National Wildlife, AZ
Enjoy a 3.8-mile hike. Public hikes are held on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from November to April. Have lunch under the shade of a natural rock arch. Fee:  $5 per person. Register: Bonnie Swarbrick at 520-823-4251.


Wild Discoveries for Kids
Sunday, February 10, 1 to 3 p.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Celebrate Valentine’s Day by learning how animals find their mates through smell, sounds and dance. Enjoy hands-on games and make a holiday craft to take home. No reservations required for this drop-in program in the Visitor Center Discovery Room. All ages are welcome.


Winter Wings Festival
Thursday, February 14 to Sunday, February 17 — Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, CA
The 34th annual festival celebrates the waterfowl-rich Klamath Basin, a major migratory stop on the Pacific Flyway. More than 80 percent of birds that use the flyway stop over in the Klamath Basin. The basin’s six national wildlife refuges attract a wide variety of waterfowl and raptors, many in astounding numbers. Popular festival events include an “owl prowl” at Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and field trips to other Klamath Basin refuges.


The Great Backyard Bird Count
Friday, February 15, to Monday, February 18
Join citizen scientists in this annual bird count, hosted by Audubon, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada,  to document the winter movement of birds. Many national wildlife refuges will take part. Here is one example:

  • Patuxent Research Refuge, MD  Saturday, February 16
    Prepare by attending a bird ID presentation at the refuge on February 2 at 2 p.m.

Puddlestompers Nature Exploration
Tuesday, February 19 to Friday, February 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, MA
Let your kids discover the beauty and wonder of late winter and early spring during Puddlestompers February Vacation Week Drop Off Program. The group will venture outside along refuge trails as much as weather permits. They will look for animal tracks and learn how animals survive the winter and why evergreens keep their leaves. Hands-on exploration, active movement and play, crafts, stories, and songs will be part of the integrated curriculum. Sign up for 1, 2, 3 or all 4 days. Cost: $60/day/child; Friends of Assabet River receive a 10 percent discount. Contact Rona Balco at 978-779-2259.


Whooping Crane Festival
Thursday, February 21, to Sunday, February 24 — Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, TX
Enjoy a weekend in Port Aransas, Texas, and events including an overnight nature trip, birding tours, boat trips and refuge tours to see the magnificent whooping cranes in their winter habitat. Check back later for the complete schedule.


Disappearing Treasures: National Eagle and Wildlife Property Repository Tour
Friday, February 22, 10 a.m. to noon — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Sign up for this special program to tour this one-of-a-kind facility that houses illegally imported animals and animal products seized at U.S. borders. The facility also manages the Native American Eagle Feather Program. Families are welcome.


Thunder on the Prairie – The American Bison
Saturday, February 23, 9:30 to 11 a.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Massive bison herds once blanketed the Plains, their hoofs echoing like thunder when they stampeded.  Learn about bison and enjoy a guided tour of the bison pasture with a refuge naturalist.


Wetlands Water Café
Sunday, February 24, 1 to 2:30 p.m. — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Visit the wetlands of the South Bay at the Environmental Education Center in Alviso and learn about wetlands nutrients and organisms that build a diverse web of life. Participants will use the lab to observe wetland creatures up close and learn about their role in the ecosystem. All ages are welcome. Reservations: Contact Julie at 408-262-5513 ext. 104.


San Diego Bird Festival
Thursday, February 28 to Sunday, March 3 — San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
The San Diego Audubon Society will team up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners to host the 2013 San Diego Bird Festival. Events will include field trips to the three national wildlife refuges near San Diego.

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Last updated: December 3, 2012