Schedule of Events
6:00am and 5:00pm: Sandhill Crane Tours on River S Unit:
The most unique viewing experience BirdFest has to offer! This is a once in a lifetime chance to hear and see the magnificent flight of hundreds of sandhill cranes as they visit their night roost. Join expert staff to learn about cranes and wildlife. Meet at the Visitor Contact Station on the River ‘S' Refuge Unit 15 minutes before the tour time. Wear weather appropriate footwear and clothing in muted colors.
Participants will be required to walk approximately 500 yards over rough, uneven terrain to get to a viewing blind. Please assess your own abilities for this event. Bring your own water. Non-Refundable. Space limited, RSVP early
8AM-10AM at Carty Unit
Bird Language Hike for Adults- Registration Required, free
Join one of our Refuge Birders on an extended hike on the Oaks to Wetlands Trail. Learn techniques for reading the environment in order to open your ears to the multitude of ways that birds communicate through calls and movement. This workshop goes beyond spotting a fantastic bird to learning how to understand these animals' relationship to each other and their environment. Great for experienced birders. Meet at the tent located across the sidewalk in front of the Plankhouse. We recommend wearing sturdy shoes as parts of the trail are on uneven ground.
8:30AM-10AM at Kiwa Trail, River S Unit
Hands-on Birding Photography at Kiwa Trail- Registration Required, $15.00
This event is great for avid birders or anyone interested in learning more about bird photography and how to utilize everything Olympus has to offer when it comes to their camera gear. Olympus will provide a limited number of camera bodies and lenses for people to borrow during this exploration of the refuge. We will be meeting at the River S Unit- Kiwa Hiking Trailhead. Parking is available at the trailhead or at the Observation Blind. The Kiwa is an easy 1.5-mile loop. Allow at least 15 minutes to drive from the River S entrance to the Kiwa Trail. A limited number of spots are available, please register early.
9AM-3PM at River S Unit
Spotting Scopes with Vancouver Audubon Society overlooking wetlands of the Hunt Zone.
On your trip around the River S unit Auto Tour, stop at the Hunt Gate to visit with Vancouver Audubon Society birders staffing the scoping station overlooking the wetlands of the hunt zone, an area not usually open for public access. We hope to view dancing Sandhill Cranes again this year. Parking is inside the gate.
10AM-4PM at Cathlapotle Plankhouse, Carty Unit
Cathlapotle Plankhouse Tours, Family Grove, Flintknapping, and Community Partner Booths
Visit the Family Grove by the Plankhouse and enjoy activites designed to inspire stewardship and learn about Chinookan Culture. Visit our Community Partner Booths for information about nature, culture, ecology, and the history of our region. See how traditional tools such as arrowheads and spear points were made. This is an excellent opportunity to see a master craftsman at work.
10:30AM & 1:30PM: Kayak Tours at Ridgefield Kayak
Guided Interpretive Paddles
Join our experienced guides and naturalists from the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge for a 2.5 mile paddle on Lake River. This natural history tour of the wildlife refuge will meander along the scenic Lewis and Clark trail. Welcome home the fall migration, enjoy music and lunch on the beach! Children free when accompanied by an adult in a double kayak.
12:30PM-2:00PM at Cathlapotle Plankhouse, Carty Unit
Pacific Northwest Ethnobotony Hike
Join one of our Refuge Naturalists for an in-depth exploration of the native flora of the Refuge. Since Time Immemorial the lives of local indigenous peoples, wildlife, and oaks have been deeply interconnected. This hike highlights several of the major points on the Oaks to Wetlands Trail, including a massive ancestral oak, a cedar grove, Boot Lake, and the oak balds. Meet at the tent located across from the Plankhouse. Hikers should come prepared for an extended hike on moderately uneven terrain.
3:30PM at Plankhouse, Carty Unit
Chinookan-style Salmon Bake
Join us for a blessing of the food, including drumming by members of the Chinook Indian Nation and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and taste the traditionally baked salmon and seafood stew. Sponsored by Columbia Credit Union. While supplies last.
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