Schedule of Events – BirdFest and Bluegrass 2014

October 4th and 5th, 2014.

The 2014 Schedule will be available in August. Here are examples of the kinds of programs that occur during BirdFest & Bluegrass.

Join the Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Staff as we celebrate the coming of fall and the wildlife that make the Refuge their home. BirdFest is an opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of fall migration.

 Sample of Events & Activities: The 2014 Schedule Will Be Released In August
Some Events and activities will change from the 2013 program

2013 Birdfest Matrix of Events 

Downtown Ridgefield

Welcome Ceremony  Saturday 11:00.  Located in the main tent in Davis Park. Photography winners will be announced by ProPhoto Supply and awards given.

Keynote Speaker, Jon Young, Understanding the Language of Birds  Saturday 12:00 to 2:00. Old Liberty Theatre. Jon Young shares 30 years of experience in deciphering the mysteries of Bird Language as a doorway to connection to nature. Learn secrets to understand the common birds around your home and what they have to say. The language of Corvids (Jays and Crows) is often confusing and mysterious but some of their calls can help us to find illusive animals such as deer, Cooper’s Hawks, and owls. Bird Language is a portal to greater empathy and excitement in younger generations as a way to rejuvenate birding and enhance Responsible Environmental Behavior. Sliding scale suggested donation, $5-$10.

Birders MarketplaceBirders’ Marketplace  Saturday 10:00 to 5:00. Sunday 11:00 to 4:00.  Art’s & Crafts galore! Located in the Ridgefield Community Center and on Mill Street. Fabulous photographs, garden art, jewelry, wood carving, books, bird supplies, glass, ceramics, and much more. Come see the Refuge Photography contest winners. Exhibits will feature all sorts of information about birds, plants, and local wildlife. Come learn, explore, and even get a head start on holiday gifts!

Food Vendors  Saturday 11:00 to 5:00. Sunday 11:00 to 4:00. Located in booths along Mill Street.

Storytelling  Saturday 10:00, 12:00 & 4:00. Sunday 12:00 & 3:00. Storyteller Nancy McQuillan has 20 years of experience entertaining audiences, featuring birds and other animals. Nature lovers of all ages are welcome.

Family ActivitiesFamily Activities  Saturday 10:00 to 5:00. Sunday 11:00 to 4:00 at Davis Park. The Steller’s Jay is our featured bird this year in our fun and free crafts and games tables. Kids of all ages are welcome. Most of all, we want you to have fun while learning about BIRDS!



Audubon Live Bird ShowAudubon Live Bird Show  Saturday 1:00 at View Ridge Middle School. Come meet owls, falcons, and a vulture from the Audubon Society of Portland. Learn about the amazing abilities and adaptations that help them survive in the wild. You will also learn about ways Audubon “inspires people to love and protect nature.” Get up close to some of these birds you’d see on the Refuge. Sponsored by Ridgefield Business Assoc. and local businesses.

Audubon Live Birds Up-Close Display  Saturday 2:30 to 3:30. Sunday 1:00 to 3:00 at Davis Park. You can get an close-up look at these magnificent birds, and learn about their habitats. This show is sponsored by the Ridgefield Business Association.

ZAP Oregon Zoo Animal Display
  Sunday 2:00 to 4:00. In Davis Park. ZAP Teens from the Oregon Zoo will be on hand with a variety of bones, pelts, and other hands-on materials that allow you a chance to discover some amazing animal adaptations.

Refuge Carty Unit & Cathlapolte Plankhouse

Bird Walk on the Carty UnitBird Walk on the Carty Unit  Saturday 8:00 to 11:00. Bird the Oaks to Wetland Trail with guides from Vancouver Audubon Society. This is an excellent opportunity to sharpen your birding skills with experienced local birders.  Meet at the tent between the pedestrian bridge and Plankhouse for this free walk.

Cathlapotle Plankhouse Tours & Family Activities  Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 4:00.  Activities and docent led tours of the Plankhouse will highlight the lifestyle of the Chinookan culture through hands-on activities.

English Ivy Basketry Workshop,Rewild Portland Saturday 9:00 to 3:00 Help combat the English ivy invasion on the Refuge, and create a functional work of art in the process! Participants will gather and process English ivy in the morning, and then use the ivy gathered to make beautiful baskets in the afternoon workshop. Basket making demonstrations will also be going on throughout the day near the Plankhouse. Space in the workshop is limited; contact Peter Bauer at to register or for more info.

Ethnobotany HikeEthnobotany Hike  Saturday 11:30. Ethnobotany is the study of the relationships that exist between people and plants. On this guided hike, participants will discover ways in which people of the past have shaped their landscapes to benefit both plants and people. There will also be discussion of the use of plants as food and medicine. Meet under the tent across the Carty Unit pedestrian bridge. The hike will be approximately two hours long.

Animal Track and Sign 101Animal Track & Sign 101 Walk  Saturday 1:00 to 3:00.  A pattern of foot prints in the mud. Nibbled branches of a tree. A pile of scat. Though not commonly seen, the animals of the Refuge leave us many clues that tell us about their lives. In this introductory level walk, join the naturalists of Cascadia Wild (, as they share techniques to get you started on your animal tracking journey. Participants will learn tracking basics (key characteristics of common animal families, gait patterns, and habitat types) and then go on a hike and explore the animal sign of the Carty Unit.

Cathlapolte Village Overview and Site WalkCathlapotle Village Overview and Site Walk  Saturday 1:00 to 4:00.  Join an archaeologist for an overview of the history of the Cathlapotle Village, and a walk out to the archaeological site. Cathlapotle is the Chinookan village that stood for hundreds of years on what is today Refuge property. When Lewis & Clark visited the people of Cathlapotle in 1805, they documented 14 plankhouses and over 900 people living there. Participants should come prepared for the weather and a three mile hike on uneven terrain. Meet under the tent across the Carty Unit pedestrian bridge.

Audubon Guided Family Bird Walk  Saturday 10:30 to 12:30. A family-friendly birding walk with an Audubon naturalist. Bring your children and nurture their appreciation for the wonder and beauty of nature. Meet at the tent between the pedestrian bridge and Plankhouse.

Guided Family Naturalist WalkSaturday 3:30 to 5:30. Join Refuge naturalists along the Oaks to Wetland Trail and learn about some of the interesting plants, animals, and bugs that call the Refuge home.  Meet at the tent between the pedestrian bridge and Plankhouse.

Flintknapping Demonstrations  Saturday 12:00 to 4:00. Flintknapping is the process by which traditional tools such as arrowheads and spear points were made. This is an excellent opportunity to see a master craftsman, Dennis Torresdal, at work. Look for Dennis near the Plankhouse.

Geo-Adventures  Saturday & Sunday.  Anytime between 12:00 to 4:00.  Anyone who likes to solve puzzles and enjoys being outdoors will enjoy this activity. Visit GPS locations within the Carty Refuge Unit. Pick up your Geo-Adventure bag at the Plankhouse tent, and then set off with clues and a journal that guide you and your family along your journey. We provide GPS units to use and find the answers to the questions using navigational and logical skills.

Geology Walk  Sunday 10:30. “Montana Comes to Ridgefield — How the Missoula Floods Influenced the RNWR.” Join local geologist, Jim Maul, for a fun and entertaining walk where you can see lasting impacts from the cataclysmic floods at the end of the last ice age. Meet at the Carty Unit lower parking lot.

Artwork of the Plankhouse, a Modern Interpretation on Traditional Chinookan Art  Sunday 12:30.  In this presentation, participants will learn about the characteristics unique to the art style of traditional Columbia River people, and how these elements are shown in the artwork of the Plankhouse. There will also be discussion on how the artwork of the house represents many aspects of Chinookan culture.

Keeping Traditions AliveKeeping Traditions Alive  Sunday 1:30.  Sam Robinson is the Vice-Chair of the Chinook Indian Nation and was involved with the Cathlapotle Plankhouse Project and continues to be involved with education programs at the Plankhouse. During this presentation, he will discuss how the Chinook people are keeping the traditions and culture of their ancestors alive.

Traditional Salmon Bake  Sunday.  Starting at 2:30 until samples last. 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. Complimentary samplings while supplies last.

Refuge River ‘S’ Unit

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Guided Bus Tours  Saturday Only 9:00-5:00 on the hour, 11:30-4:30 on the half hour.  Join a free guided bus tour of the River ‘S’ Unit from the Community United Methodist Church parking lot, 1410 S. Hillhurst Road. Experienced guides will highlight the Refuge’s history, management, and wildlife during each tour. The buses afford great viewing opportunities
along the Auto Tour Route. For planning purposes, anticipate a 11/2 to 2 hour tour with a brief stop at the Observation Blind.  All ages will enjoy Bird Bingo as you travel around the River ‘S’ Unit. Mark off birds you see – three in a row, wins a prize!

Bird Walk on the River ‘S’ Unit  Sunday 8:00 to 11:00. Bird the Kiwa Trail with guides from Vancouver Audubon Society.
This is an excellent opportunity to sharpen your birding skills with experienced local birders. Meet at the tent by the Kiwa trailhead for this free walk.

Audubon Guided Family Bird WalkAudubon Guided Family Bird Walk  Sunday 10:30 to 12:30. A family-friendly birding walk with an Audubon naturalist. Bring your children and nurture their appreciation for the wonder and beauty of nature. Meet at the Kiwa trailhead.

Audio CD for Tour Route  Available Sunday and all throughout the year, enjoy the discovery audio interpretive tour of the River ‘S’ Unit. Pick up a CD at the Visitor Contact Station, and follow the markers around the auto-tour route. Find out why this land became a Refuge. What are those big furry animals in the water? You can also download the podcast at: or on iTunes.®

Spotting Scopes in Observation BlindSunday. Stop by the Observation Blind during your trip
around the Auto Tour Route and visit with birders staffing the Observation Blind.