16th Annual BirdFest & Bluegrass Celebration

October 3rd and 4th, 2015

 The 2015 schedule of events is being planned currently. To get an idea of what usually happens during BirdFest & Bluegrass, you can check out the 2014 schedule of event on this website. Keep your eyes peeled for the 2015 event schedule to be posted in August of 2015. 

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 and Bluegrass is an opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of fall migration.

Bird Language, Watercolor, and Photography Workshops & Crane Tours by Reservation Only
Canoe & Kayak Trips
Bluegrass Concerts &Jamming

Click Here to Download the Entire 2014 Event Schedule


-Drop In events the Day of the Festival-

These events require no pre-registration

BF 2014 matrix

Downtown Ridgefield

Friday, October 3rd at 7:00 pm The Birds
Old Liberty Theater is proud to present a rare viewing of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic. Come if you dare, no binoculars required but hats are recommended. Admission is free.

Kinetic Bird Parade, Saturday 9:00. Get BirdFest off to a moving start by decorating your bicycle, stroller, wagon, or wheelbarrow- anything with wheels – in a bird-theme (think wings, feathers, beak), and join the parade from Overlook Park to Davis Parks. Must be people- powered. Prizes for originality, frivolity, imagination. Must have fun.

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

Birders MarketplaceBirders’ Marketplace, Saturday 10:00 to 5:00. Sunday 11:00 to 4:00. Arts & 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 Activities, Saturday 10:00 to 5:00. Sunday 11:00 to 4:00 at Davis Park. The Belted Kingfisher 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 Show

Audubon Live Bird Show, Saturday 1:00 at View Ridge Middle School. 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. This show is sponsored by the Ridgefield Business Association.

Audubon Live Birds Up-Close on Display Saturday 2:30 to 3:30. Sunday 1:00 to 3:00 at Davis Park. You can get a 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 will be on hand with a chance to discover some amazing animal adaptations.


Refuge Carty Unit & Cathlapotle Plankhouse

Bird Walk on the Carty Unit

Bird 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.

Weaving with Invasive Species, Saturday 12:00 to 4:00. Ever wish there was something useful you could do with invasive plants like English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry? You’re in luck! Peter Bauer, executive director or Rewild Portland has many ideas on how to use these pesky invaders. Stop by the Rewild Portland booth near the Plankhouse and learn how to use blackberry, ivy, and other invasive species for craft, food, and even medicine!

Ethnobotany Hike, Saturday 12:30 to 2:30. 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.

Cathlapotle 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.

Animal Track and Sign 101Audubon Guided Family Bird Walk, Saturday 10:30 to 12:30. Take 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.

Flintknapping Demonstration, 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.

Bow Making Demonstration, Saturday 12:00 to 4:00. Humans have been hand crafting bows and arrows for thousands of years. Found in cultures across the globe and through time, the practice of bow making is a truly human art form. Watch bowyer and craftsman Tony Deland as he continues the human tradition of turning staves into useable works of art. Look for Tony outside the Plankhouse.

OMSI Puzzlers, Sunday 10:00 to 4:00. Try your hand at a variety of puzzles and logic games at OMSI’s interactive puzzler booth. Find this in the field next to the Plankhouse.

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.

Slugs, Bugs, and Snails walk, Sunday 11:00 to 12:00. Curious about the creepy crawlies we have here at the Refuge? Join one of our volunteer Naturalists on a hike along the Oaks to Wetlands trail exploring the smaller side of Refuge wildlife. Discover special adaptations and strategies that these creatures use to slide, fly, and crawl around the trails, and come away with an appreciation of the small friends under our feet. Meet at the tent across from the pedestrian bridge.

Mammals of the Refuge, Sunday 1:30 to 2:30. From our lakes and rivers to the hills and oak forests, mammals can be found all over the Refuge. Take a walk down the trail with a volunteer Naturalist, and see what mammal evidence you can find! Meet at the tent across from the pedestrian bridge.

Film Screening: The Lost Fish, Sunday 12:00. Inside the Plankhouse. One of the Pacific Northwest’s oldest fish is disappearing, and along with it the sacred place it holds among many American Indian Tribes. For a species that has squeezed through most of the earth’s great extinctions, the sharp declines in Pacific Lamprey populations are a signal of how severely we have changed river ecosystems. The Lost Fish is Freshwaters Illustrated’s film and visual media campaign – collaborative with US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission – to raise public awareness of the conservation needs of Pacific Lamprey, its ecological importance, and its cultural significance among Northwest Tribes. Join us for a screening of this film, followed by a discussion panel of people dedicated to saving this incredible animal.

Keeping Traditions AliveFirst Person, First Peoples Sunday 1:00. Deana Dartt Newton, curator of the Portland Art Museum’s Native American collection. Museum is actively working to address many of the issues around interpreting its Native American collection, and is striving to include di- verse voices and community perspectives into curatorial and educational practice. This presentation will focus on recent projects within the museum’s Object Stories initiative: a partnership with the Native American Youth Association (NAYA) Family Center to connect Native youth with the collection, and an artist-led project that gathered stories from Yup’ik community members in Bethel, Alaska. Deana will speak about her work, which aims to provide opportunities for more meaningful and culturally relevant learning in the museum.

Keeping Traditions Alive Sunday 2:00.  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 3:00 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, 11:30-3:30 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: www.RidgefieldFriends.org 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.