National Wildlife Refuge System
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January 2013 Events

Buenos Aires NWR

A view of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona shows Altar Valley and the Baboquivari Mountains. A four-mile hike on January 12 and January 26 will explore the lower reaches of Baboquivari Peak.

Credit: J.N. Stuart/Flickr

Bald Eagles in Your Backyard
Saturday, January 5, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
The American bald eagle is one of the most recognizable aerial predators and our nation’s symbol. Look for these magnificent visitors near their winter residence at the refuge. Cameras and binoculars are recommended.


Winter Bird Count for Kids
Saturday, January 5, 8 a.m. to noon — John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, PA
Pennsylvania Young Birders at Heinz Refuge invite kids ages 8 to 16 to join in the 2013 Winter Bird Count for Kids. All levels are welcome, from advanced birders to those who just like to get outside and see wildlife. Contact for more details.


Scout Day
Saturday, January 5, 1 to 3 p.m. — Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, ID
Take a hike, make a nature craft, earn a wildlife badge and meet other scouts. Scout Day is held on the first Saturday of each month through May. Register: 208-467-9278.

Acorn Planting
Saturday, January 5, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Join refuge staff to plant acorns that will grow into oak trees so important in many of San Diego’s ecosystems. Learn state-of-the-art planting techniques. RSVP: Cathy Chadwick 619-447-4715


Winter Solstice Bird Survey
Sunday, January 6, 8 to 10 a.m. — Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, MA
Take part in an informal bird survey. Bird identification skills are helpful, but not necessary. Please bring binoculars and a bird ID guide. RSVP by 3 p.m. on Friday, January 4, to John at or 978-201-6028. Beginners welcome.


Wednesday Morning Bird Walk
Every Wednesday, 8 a.m. — Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Join some of the most knowledgeable birders in the area in seeing the abundance of avian life at the refuge. The free weekly walks take place rain or shine, winter or summer. All skill levels are welcome.

Bald Eagle/Waterfowl Event
Saturday, January 12, noon to 5 p.m. — Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, TN
Enjoy a tour of Duck River Bottoms, a portion of the refuge’s waterfowl sanctuary normally closed to the public. See and hear tens of thousands of waterfowl, representing as many as 23 species. Snow date: January 26.


Owl Day
Saturday, January 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, UT
Come out for live owl presentations, owl crafts, owl pellet dissection and much more fun.


The Remarkable Gray Fox
Saturday, January 12, 2 to 3:30 p.m. — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
What makes gray foxes unique? Join a walk and talk to find out. Come away with a handful of tools to help you determine if gray foxes are present where you live. Good walking shoes and a hat are recommended.


Van Tours
Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 3 p.m., January through April − Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, TX
Explore the refuge and learn about the habitat and wildlife it protects.  Free two-hour tours are offered twice a day every Saturday and Sunday.  Bring binoculars or borrow a pair from the refuge. Reserve: 361-286-3559.


Saturday, January 12 and Saturday, January 26, starting 9 a.m.  − Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, AZ
Take a four-mile hike along a sycamore-lined stream in the lower reaches of Baboquivari Peak. Stop for lunch under a natural rock arch. $5 per person. Meet at junction of the Brown Canyon entrance road and Highway 286. The refuge sponsors twice-monthly hikes through April, on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. Register: Bonnie Swarbrick at 520-823-4251.


Wheelchair Lottery Hunt
Saturday, January 12 — Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, LA
Enter a drawing to take part. Fifteen hunters will be selected to participate. All applicants must be wheelchair users and must provide a Louisiana Class I – Physically Challenged Hunters Permit. Contact Jean Mikeal at 318-574-2264 or


Living with Dinosaurs Exhibit Opening
Wednesday, January 16, to Friday, January 18 ­­— J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, FL
See a new visitor center exhibit that includes the articulated skeleton of the crocodile that roamed the refuge until her death in January 2010. Learn about crocodilians, true living dinosaurs. The Living Dinosaur exhibit was made possible with a $10,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation and generous support from Ding Darling Society members Bill and Annie Vanderbilt and John and Kathy McCabe.


Disappearing Treasures: National Eagle and Wildlife Property Repository Tour
Friday, January 18, 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.


Beginning Bird Drawing for Families and Adults
Saturday, January 19, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Learn to draw birds. Pick up some skills to help you draw what you see. Practice techniques for life-like drawing and for getting proportions right. Appropriate for ages 8 to adult. Children should be accompanied by an adult. All skill levels welcome. Reserve: Debra, 408-262-5513 ext. 102. Environmental Education Center, Alviso


Bald Eagle Tours
Saturday, January 19, and Saturday, January 26, 9 a.m. — Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, OK
View the bald eagle cam at refuge headquarters and learn about the bald eagle. Then hop aboard the refuge tour bus to view three active nests.


Florida Manatee Festival
Saturday, January 19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, January 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Crystal River, FL
Enjoy a visit to Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge to see endangered West Indian manatees, gentle aquatic mammals that seek refuge in winter in the refuge’s warm springs. See photos from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory of the Manatee Nebula, a celestial gas cloud that bears an uncanny resemblance to the manatee.


Bird Walk
Sunday, January 20, 8:15-10:15 a.m. – Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
Search for birds in several refuge habitats on this guided hike. 
Field guides and binoculars are recommended. North Tract. Reserve: 301-497-5887.


Owl Prowl
Sunday, January 20, 4:30-6 p.m. Ages 10+ – Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
Discover the nighttime world of the refuge as you look and listen for nocturnal animals on this guided walk. North Tract. Reserve: 301-497-5887


Birding Trip
Wednesday, January 23, 8 a.m. — Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, FL
Enjoy a refuge birding trip. Birding trips take place on the fourth Wednesday of every month through April. Meet at the parking lot closest to the ponds.


Spacecoast Birding and Wildlife Festival
Wednesday, January 23, to Monday, January 28 — Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, FL
The 16th annual event is the largest birding and wildlife festival in the United States, say organizers. The festival includes field trips to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.


Groundhog Drawing and Writing Contests
Through Friday, January 25 — John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, PA
Enter a drawing and/or writing contest open to students of all ages. All entries must be received at the refuge by Friday, January 25, and will be displayed at the Groundhog Day Family Festival on Saturday, February 2. Learn more here.


Marsh Mud Mania
Sunday, January 27, 1 to 2:30 p.m. — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
The mud flats of the southern San Francisco Bay provide food for thousands of migratory and resident bird species. One spoonful of South Bay mud can contain thousands of organisms. Come see for yourself during this fun, hands-on opportunity. Participants will use tools to investigate mud, and go on a guided walking tour of the marshlands. Reservations: Julie at 408-262-5513 ext. 104. All ages are welcome.

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Last updated: January 4, 2013