National Wildlife Refuge System
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April 2014 Events

volunteer restore habitat
A volunteer helps restore habitat at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, TX. Many national wildlife refuges are planning volunteer activities and celebrations this month to mark Earth Day on April 22.
Credit: Steve Hillebrand/USFWS


John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival
April 11 to 13 — Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, OR
The festival includes birding trips to the refuge from Harney County, Oregon. On one trip – a llama birding trip — your own personal llama (for the duration of the trip) will carry your gear. Registration opens February 3.


April 10 to 13 — Galveston, TX
Featherfest includes field trips to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge and Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.


Bayou Teche Black Bear and Birding Festival
April 11 to 13 — Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge, LA
The annual festival in Franklin, Louisiana celebrates species found in North America’s largest river swamp, such as white pelicans and roseate spoonbills. Guided boat tours and paddling trips into the Refuge are featured attractions, along with a photo show, music and fireworks.


Spring Roadside Cleanup
April 12, 9 a.m. to noon — Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ
Help pick up litter along refuge roads. Meet at refuge headquarters on 241 Pleasant Plains Road.


Prairie Chicken Festival
April 12 to 13, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, TX
Enjoy tours of the refuge, native plants and Attwater prairie chickens on their “booming grounds.”


Upcycle Art Festival
April 16 — J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, FL
This inaugural refuge event will showcase fine art and craft made from recycled and repurposed material. Admire artist’s inventiveness while learning the importance of recycling and
protecting wildlife.


Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival
April 16 to 22 — Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
This week-long birding and nature festival in northern California’s coastal redwoods includes a fiend trip to Humboldt Bay Refuge. The festival also includes more than 100 eco-tours and workshops, an art show, live birds of prey and a keynote lecture.


Great Dismal Birding Festival
April 24 to 26 — Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, VA
Experience birding in the Great Dismal Swamp during the height of the spring neotropical songbird migration. You might catch a glimpse of the Swainson’s warbler and the Wayne’s warbler, two of North America’s most secretive birds. The festival is part of International Migratory Bird Day, which celebrates the incredible journeys of migratory birds between their breeding grounds in North America and their wintering grounds in Mexico, Central and South America.


Balcones Songbird Festival
April 25 to 28 — Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, TX
The 14th annual event in Marble Falls, TX includes guided tours of the nature habitat of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. See the endangered Golden-checked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo and many more.


Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival
April 25 to 27 — Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, WA
The Hoquiam, WA, festival, which coincides with the peak of spring shorebird migration on the Washington Coast, includes field trips to Grays Harbor Refuge and other birding spots.


Birding and Crystal Festival
April 25 to 27 — Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, OK
The annual Birding and Crystal Festival typically features guided tours, workshops, decoy-carving demonstrations and selenite crystal digging contests.


Santee Birding and Nature Festival
April 25 to 27 — Santee National Wildlife Refuge, SC
This festival celebrates the natural beauty of South Carolina by providing wildlife watching and natural history opportunities in the state’s midlands and beyond. The event includes field trips to Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge and Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.


Earth Day
Outdoor events on or about April 22 mark the birth of the modern environmental movement on this day in 1970. Many national wildlife refuges will host Earth Day events in mid-April. Among them:

  • April 26, all day — Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, IA

    Help the refuge restore prairie and oak savanna ecosystems. The Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge will provide a free lunch to participants. Pre-register: 515-994-3400.

  • April 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, TX

    Enjoy an afternoon of outdoor activities at the Champion Lake public use area. Activities will include refuge boat tours, canoeing, kayaking, bird and butterfly viewing, walking the levee trail, dip netting and fishing lessons in the lake for the kids.


Hike with a Ranger
April 26, 8 to 10 a.m. — San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Learn about San Diego’s biologically diverse native habitats and what the refuge is doing to protect them on a guided interpretive hike. This hike is along the Sweetwater Interpretive Loop Trail, and focuses on springtime migratory birds. Please bring water, wear sturdy hiking shoes, binoculars and a sketchbook if you have them. Some binoculars can be borrowed for the hike.


Bird Sketching 101
April 27, 1 to 4 p.m. — Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ
Learn to sketch birds with an expert at the visitor center. Reservations are required: 973-425-9510.

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Last updated: January 29, 2014