National Wildlife Refuge System
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March 2014 Events

Get ready to celebrate the Refuge System’s 111th birthday March 14. Here, Career Discovery Intern Phillip Andrew revels in the view while taking a biological inventory of Pickerel Lake at Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. See birthday events in mid-March.
Credit: USFWS


Raptor Ramble
March 1, 8:30 to 11 a.m. — Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, NM
Join a volunteer naturalist for a ramble in a 15-passenger van seeking raptors on the refuge. Look for the many plumages of the red-tailed hawk. Learn to distinguish male, female and immature northern harriers and American kestrels, as well as how to spot and identify adult and immature plumages of Cooper’s hawks and bald eagles.


Eagle Tours
March 1, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, OK
Take a guided bus tour to see eagle nests through scopes.


Volunteer Work Day
March 1, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Help plant native trees to provide habitat for the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. Wear waterproof footwear, bring gloves and dress for the weather. Hot drinks and snacks provided.


Osprey Nest Monitoring Workshop
March 1, 1 to 2:30 p.m. — Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, DE
Learn how you can help the refuge conduct a statewide survey of ospreys.


Birding by Ear
March 2, 9 a.m. to noon — John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA
All are welcome to join this free, volunteer-guided bird walk to see and learn about avian species at Heinz Refuge. Bring binoculars or borrow from the Visitors Center. Dress for seasonal weather and be prepared to walk outside for 2 to 3 hours.


Refuge Ramble
March 2, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. — Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ
Join a guided walk to look for signs of spring.


Monthly Concord Conservation Coffees
March 4, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. — Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, MA
Attend an informal gathering and information exchange between town natural resources and other interested staff and board members and local environmental leaders, organizations, naturalists and interested citizens.


Butterfly-Dragonfly Walks
March 5, 12, 19, and 26, 10 a.m. to noon — Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, TX
Look for amazing and unique butterfly species on this guided walk. Explore different refuge trails and habitats in search of different species. Please wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring protection from the heat and insects. The refuge has binoculars you can borrow.


Star Party
March 7, 7 p.m. — Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, FL
See the stars above the refuge’s comparatively dark skies. The Astronomical Society of the Palm Beaches will focus telescopes on various parts of the night sky. Astronomers will explain what you are viewing. RSVP:


Ocelot Conservation Day
March 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville, TX.
See a live ocelot and learn how Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge and the Gladys Porter Zoo are working to recover this endangered animal. Ocelots once roamed from South Texas into Arkansas and Louisiana; today, the small wildcat is found only in deep South Texas. The refuge is home to one of two remaining breeding populations of ocelots. Learn how you can help this endangered species. Ocelot Day is a joint outreach event of the refuge and the zoo.


Swan Day Festival
March 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, UT
Celebrate Tundra Swan Day with a day of free activities. Take an auto loop tour to view the return of these magnificent migratory birds. Enjoy swan-themed crafts, games and movies inside the Wildlife Education Center.


Winter Tram Tours
March 9 and 23, 1 to 4 p.m. — Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, VA
Join staff for a scenic ride while looking for wintering waterfowl and other native wildlife. Tours travel through Back Bay Refuge into False Cape State Park and include a one mile hike to the Wash Woods cemetery site. Register: 757-426-7128. Cost: $8.


Happy Birthday, National Wildlife Refuge System!
March 14
Scores of national wildlife refuges will host open houses and public celebrations in honor of the Refuge System’s 111th birthday. On March 14, 1903, President Teddy Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Florida’s Pelican Island to protect wild birds from bounty hunters. Today, the Refuge System’s 562 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts provide vital habitat for thousands of animal and plant species.

Use the “Find Your Refuge” feature on this page to see if your local refuge has an event scheduled. Or check the special events listings. Refuge celebrations will include:

  • Refuge System Birthday Bash!
  • March 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. —Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
    Enjoy a free festival complete with wildlife tram tours, live animals, children’s crafts, music and entertainment at the National Wildlife Visitor Center, on Powder Mill Road between Route 197 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Laurel.  

  • 111th  Birthday Celebration
  • March 15, 9 to 11:30 a.m. − Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, DE   
    Learn about the establishment of the National Wildlife Refuge System and Bombay Hook Refuge. Tour the refuge and walk a trail to learn about wildlife and habitats.  Register: 302-653-6872.


Eagle Festival
March 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, MD
The festival includes several free “eagle prowls” – short bus tours to see active eagles’ nests on the refuge. No pre-registration required. For more information, call 410-228-2677.


Full-Moon Guided Canoe Trip
March 15, 7 to 9 p.m. — Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, FL
Enjoy a guided paddle in the northernmost part of the Everglades. $32 includes canoe rental. Meet at the Lee Road boat ramp. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants; bring a flashlight and bug spray. Sign up: 561-733-0192. More info


Waterways as Trade Routes
March 20, 7:15 p.m. — Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Learn about the Hudson Bay Company’s history in and around Ridgefield Refuge. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The presentation will begin at 7:15 p.m. More info.


Hike with a Ranger
March 22, 8 to 11 a.m. — San Diego National Wildlife Refuges, 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 on the McGinty Mountain Trail, and focuses on special soils, rare plants and historical mines. Please bring water, sturdy hiking shoes, binoculars and a sketchbook if you have them.  Some binoculars can be borrowed for the hike.


Welcome Back Swallows Tour
March 23, 2 to 3 p.m. — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Join a refuge docent to see swallows newly arrived from South America to their Bay area breeding grounds.  Learn about their courtship rituals and unusual choice of nest-building materials. Bring binoculars and camera. No reservations required.  


Spring Woodcock Walk
March 23, 6:30 p.m. to dusk — Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ
Watch the elaborate mating displays of the American woodcock. Half-hour indoor program followed by guided walk. Dress warmly.


Film – Birders: The Central Park Effect
March 27, 7 to 9 p.m. — Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, MA

Film shows how a hidden world of wild birds in Manhattan changed the lives of a diverse group of full-of-attitude New Yorkers. A discussion follows.

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Last updated: February 26, 2014