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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Sun Block

   solar eclipseThe moon covers the center of the sun during the November 13, 2012, total solar eclipse, visible from the southern hemisphere. Photo courtesy of Romeo Durscher/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Get ready. The nation’s first total solar eclipse in 38 years  is on its way.

On August 21, the moon will pass between the earth and the sun, briefly blocking out the sun for a wide swath of the United States. The swath reaches coast to coast from Portland, Oregon, to Charlotte, N.C. And along the way, more than a dozen national wildlife refuges are bracing for crowds.

They are redeploying staff and adding volunteers and setting up special parking areas.

And many are setting guidelines on how to welcome eclipse viewers and share their excitement, while protecting fragile wildlife habitat and maintaining public safety.   eclipse mapMore than a dozen national wildlife refuges in the lower 48 are in the “path of totality” of the August 21 solar eclipse. That means they will experience the full blockage of the sun during the two-to-three minutes of the eclipse. Map by Liz Cruz/USFWS

The Pacific Northwest, with six publicly accessible refuges in the total eclipse path and some of the best weather prospects once off the coast, has created its own web page and blog about the event.

‘It’s a pretty big deal, especially in Oregon where the best chance of seeing the eclipse occurs,’ says Erin Holmes, deputy supervisor of the Service’s Pacific Northwest region. 

In the Midwest, a solar eclipse-theme rock concert near Crab Orchard Refuge is expected to add to visitors there. The refuge will waive usual entrance fees that day. Look for more information on the refuge website.

A photo essay from the National Wildlife Refuge System looks at what you can expect if you head to one or another of these refuges.     

 Look for a new online story about your national wildlife refuges every Wednesday on the Refuge System home page.

Susan Morse, National Wildlife Refuge System communications


How will bird vocalizations (even at this late time of year) and roosting behavior on wildlife refuges change during the period of darkness during the upcoming eclipse? That's an interesting question for one of your ornithologists that might broaden the conversation about the eclipse. It's not just about astronomy.
# Posted By David Klinger | 8/2/17 6:58 PM

What is the anticipated response of birds on national wildlife refuges? Will there be changes in roosting behavior and vocalizations, even at this late time of fhe year for bird songs? An eclipse is more than just astronomy -- it's biology, too.
# Posted By David Klinger | 8/3/17 6:44 PM

A number of citizen science projects like
http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/life-responds-... will investigate organisms' responses to the eclipse.
# Posted By Matt, Fish and Wildlife Service | 8/8/17 1:49 PM
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