16th Annual BirdFest & Bluegrass Celebration

October 3rd and 4th, 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.

 Workshops &  Tours by Reservation Only
Canoe & Kayak Trips
Bluegrass Concerts, Jamming, and Film
Click Here to Download the Entire 2015 Event Schedule

-Drop In events the Day of the Festival-

Click matrix to enlarge

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Downtown Ridgefield

220px-The_Birds_original_posterThe Birds & Beers
Friday, October 2nd at 6:00 pm, Free
Back by popular demand, the Old Liberty Theater is proud to present Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic. Happy Hour starts at 6:00, Movie starts at 7:00. Admission is free.



Birders’ 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
Various food vendors are located in booths along Mill Street.Family Activities

Birders Marketplace


Family Activities
Saturday 10:00 to 5:00. Sunday 11:00 to 4:00 at Davis Park.
The American White Pelican is the 2015 Bird of the Year! Play migration route twister, build a pelican nest, make a bird feeder, and more at this family friendly activity station! Kids of all ages are welcome. Most of all, we want you to have fun while learning about BIRDS!

Nancy StoryTeller 6 kids



Stories & Crafts at the Ridgefield Library
Saturday 10:00 to 11:00 and 12:00 to 1:00
Head over to the Ridgefield Library for a story and a craft featuring some of our favorite wildlife tales.



“The Once and Future Columbia River Condor” by Jack Nisbet
Saturday 12:00-1:00, View Ridge Middle School Library

Archaeology, tribal oral histories, and field journals from early white visitors make it clear that California condors have been a part of the Pacific Northwest natural scene since the last Ice Age. After a precipitous decline, however, no birds have been seen along the Columbia for the past century. Join Naturalist, author, and historian, Jack Nisbet, for a presentation that will trace that spiral of extinction and try to imagine how these magnificent birds, soon to be re-introduced, will cope with the place we live in now.

Photo Credit
John Kirk Townsend 1839, “California Vulture”, Philadelphia Academy of Science


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


pro photoPhotography Contest Winners
Saturday 2:00, in the main tent in Davis Park
Photography contest winners will be announced at the main tent in Davis Park. Pro Photo Supply will be on hand to announce the winners in both the adult and youth category and to hand out the gift card prizes. The winning photographs will be on display inside the Birder’s Marketplace/Ridgefield Community Center throughout the weekend.


BirdFest Mobile Photography Contest2015-08-04 14.52.33
Winners will be displayed  at the Birders’ Marketplace in the Community Center
Open to all residents of SW Washington and Greater Portland area who take photos with a mobile phone or tablet cameras can submit images to the contest. Contest is FREE to enter. Photo should be of any bird taken in the local Washington/Oregon area. One entry per person to be emailed to “ridgefieldartists@live.com”. Deadline to enter is September 19, 2015. For more details go to http://ridgefieldfriends.org/birdfest/cell-phonephoto-contest/.


Refuge Carty Unit & Cathlapotle Plankhouse


Welcome and Bridge Dedication Ceremony
Saturday 10:00Bird Walk on the Carty Unit
Located at the Trailhead of the Oaks to Wetlands trail.Rotting, swaying, shaking, slippery, and steep; despite its faults the Carty pedestrian bridge has dutifully transported countless visitors and over 100,000 students. For those nostalgic about the removal of the old bridge, help us honor a retirement of 35 steadfast years of Federal service. Others welcome a new state-of-art pedestrian bridge offering safe access for all future visitors. The dedication of the new pedestrian bridge represents years of planning and design. Join this event to celebrate the completion of this project and lend your support to other facility improvements planned for the Refuge. The Carty Unit will be closed on Saturday until after the ceremony.

destiny drilling


Cathlapotle Plankhouse Tours & Family Activities
Saturday 11:00 to 4:00. Sunday 10:00 to 4:00
Activities and docent led tours of the Plankhouse will highlight Chinookan culture and lifeways through hands-on activities.



Community Partner Booths
Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 4:00
Find this in the field next to the Plankhouse. Over the weekend, visit the Carty unit to learn about the many organizations that are helping teach about the nature, culture, ecology, and history of our region.



Weaving with Invasive Speciesrewild ivy basket
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!



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.



Flintknapping Demonstration
Sunday 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 Demonstrations
Sunday 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.


Animal Track and Sign 101A Walk Through the Oaks
Sunday 11:00 to 1:00
Since time immemorial, the lives of people, wildlife, and oak trees have been deeply interconnected. Join Refuge Naturalist, Roland Begin, on a leisurely stroll under our ancient oaks and discover the many relationships they have with their environment. Meet at the tent across from the pedestrian bridge.


Montana Comes to Ridgefield 
“How the Missoula Floods Influenced the RNWR”
Sunday 10:30
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.


A Curious History of the Refuge
Sunday 1:00 at the Plankhouse
The Refuge’s eclectic history connects British Naval Explorers, the U-Haul Corp., and Charles Lindbergh. Eric Anderson, Refuge Deputy Project Leader, will share a sampling of odd facts, tales, and accounts contributing to the Refuge’s rich historical landscape.



Keeping Traditions Alive 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


Audubon Guided Family Bird Walk

Audubon Naturalist Guided Bird Walk on the Kiwa Trail
Saturday and Sunday 9:00 to 11:00.

Bird the Kiwa Trail with guides from the Vancouver Audubon Society. This is a great opportunity to sharpen your bird identification skills with experiences local birders. Allow travel time to trailhead parking lot, no fee, a one mile hike.



Audubon Naturalist Guided Family Bird Walk on the Kiwa Trail
Saturday and Sunday 1:00 to 3:00

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. Allow travel time to the trailhead parking lot, no fee, a one mile hike.


Audubon Naturalist Staffed Spotting Scopes
Saturday and Sunday 9:00 to 3:00
Skilled birdwatchers from Vancouver Audubon Society will be available with spotting scopes to assist with wildlife identification. Scopes will be available off the auto tour route immediately past ‘Marker 4’.


Hunting & Conservation
Saturday and Sunday 11:00 to 3:00WWA
The Refuge’s numerous wetlands are home to thousands of wintering waterfowl. Ridgefield NWR as a premier location to engage in wildlife dependent recreations including photography, birdwatching and waterfowl hunting. Learn how hunters contribute to wildlife conservation. Interested in hunting? Get advice about gear, licenses, hunting locations, and applications. Volunteers from the Washington Waterfowl Association will be staffing a hunt blind along the Kiwa Trail, look for directional signage.


RVS Discovery TourAudio 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.