National Wildlife Refuge System
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January 2014 Events

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Marilyn Parker, left, and Liz Reeder, right, snap photos with their smartphones at Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada. A winter photography hike at Minnesota Valley Refuge on January 4 will teach winter photo-shooting tricks.
Credit: USFWS


Birding Hikes
January 4, 8 to 10 a.m.
January 11, 8 to 10 a.m. — Santee National Wildlife Refuge, SC
Join a professional photographer on a stroll to look for birds and explore the Wright’s Bluff Nature Trail. No registration required. All ages and experience levels welcome.


Winter Photography Lecture and Hike
January 4, 9:30 a.m. to noon — Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, MN
Taking photos in winter can be a challenge. Learn to set your camera to keep skin tones true and the snow from looking dingy grey. The talk will also cover shooting techniques, shooting locations and how to protect your gear. Bring any type of camera and warm clothing.

Eagle Watch   
January 4, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, 1:30 to 4 p.m. — Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, OK
Take a bus tour to search for bald and golden eagles. Reserve after December 31: 580-429-2151. Children must be 8 or older. $5 per person.


Game Day Sunday
January 5 and 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Enjoy fun, educational family games in the Discovery Room.  Try your skill at “Bird-opoly” or “Caught in a Web.” No reservations required. Games for ages 5+.


Christmas Bird Count
January 5 — Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, NM
Scientists, students, families and others will brave frigid pre-dawn temperatures to help track the health of bird populations at a scale that professional scientists could never accomplish alone.


Pioneer Festival
January 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, FL
Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s first game warden, Paul Kroegel. Enjoy the sights, sounds and aromas of Florida’s pioneer days. Free festival includes demos by duck decoy carvers, bee keepers, wool spinners and boat builders. Enjoy live music, bird programs, scavenger hunts and prizes.


All About Snakes
January 11, 10 a.m. — Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, TX
Enjoy a free nature program about the snakes of north Texas. The program includes an indoor talk and a brief field trip on the refuge


Bird Walk: Winter Waterfowl and Other Birds
January 11, 9 a.m. to noon — John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA
Join a free guided bird walk, focusing on waterfowl, woodpeckers, sparrows, raptors and herons.  Bring binoculars or borrow them from the visitor center. No experience necessary.


Festival of the Cranes 
January 11, 8 a.m. — Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, AL
See thousands of wintering sandhill cranes as well as whooping cranes and white pelicans. Enjoy refuge tours, birding workshops, nature walks, live raptors and kids’ activities.


Marsh Bird Walk
Sundays, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Explore native birds and raptors with a guided walk at Sweetwater Marsh. Meet at the Living Coast Discovery Center (LCDC) entrance. While the refuge is free to enter, this guided tour with requires LCDC admission ($14).


Photo Workshop
January 11, 10 to 11 a.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Learn tips and tricks to great wildlife photography from visitor services staff. Get the inside track on the best locations for refuge photos during this auditorium program. After the program, take advantage of a special photo op.

Bird Walk
January 12, 9 to 11 a.m. — Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Take a free guided bird hike with Audubon Society walk leaders. Borrow binoculars; share the walk leader's spotting scope. Bird walks usually cover about two miles. Beginners are welcome.


Eagle Tours
January 18 and 25, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, OK
Take a guided bus tour to see eagle nests through scopes.


Snowshoe Clinic
January 18, 9 a.m. to noon — Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, MA
Learn to snowshoe in Sudbury’s Memorial Forest, which includes the southern unit of Assabet River Refuge. Eastern Mountain Sports will provide snowshoes and instructions.  Space is limited. Sign up early. Register here.


Wildlife Viewing Tours
January 18 and January 19, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Let a naturalist be your guide for this family-friendly bus tour. Look for bison, hawks, eagles and deer in a winter landscape.


Eagle Watch
January 18, 19, 25 and 26 — Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, IL
Take a guided van tour to see an active bald eagle nest and other eagle hangouts. Reservations are required: 618-998-5933 or 618-997-3344 ext. 1.


Bird Watching Trek
January 20, 8 to 10 a.m. — Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, MN
The Wilkie Unit is a great place to see winter birds. Trumpeter swans, sucks, rough-legged hawks, bald eagles and northern shrikes have overwintered here in the past. Bring your binoculars and favorite field guide.


Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway
January 23-26, Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Sacramento Refuge is one of several field trip destinations for this major West Coast bird festival. The refuge, a Central Valley birding hot spot, boasts a large viewing platform overlooking wetlands teeming with bird life, a photography blind (available by reservation), an auto-tour route and miles of hiking trails.


Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival
January 22 –27, Eastern Florida State College, Titusville, FL
The 17th annual event is billed as the largest birding and wildlife festival in the United States. Festival includes field trips to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.


Find the Elusive Gray Fox
January 25, 2 to 3:30 p.m. — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
On a walk, learn to distinguish the paw prints and markings of a gray fox. Gain insights into the fox’s nature and behavior. Bring a hat, binoculars, and good walking shoes.


Eagle Tours
January 18-19, 25-26, 9 a.m. to noon — Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, OK  
Take a guided bus tour to see nesting bald eagles through scopes.


Christmas Bird Counts for Kids
Encourage children to take part in one of the world’s oldest wildlife surveys: The Christmas Bird Count, which began more than 100 years ago. The kids’ version is specifically oriented for the young. Among refuges hosting CBC for Kids events:

  • January 4, 8 a.m. to noon — John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA
  • Join PA Young Birders in its 4th annual event for kids. The event will include presentations, an introduction to eBird, and a tally rally with hot pizza and beverages.

  • January 11, 9 a.m. to noon — Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, IL
  • Kids of all birding abilities are welcome. Dress for the outdoors. Bring your own binoculars or borrow them. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is not necessary.

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Last updated: December 23, 2013