16th Annual BirdFest & Bluegrass Celebration

October 3rd and 4th, 2015

Special Events and Tours, by reservation only. Pre-registration Required on ALL of these tours. Tours fill quickly. Check with the Friends Info booth at Davis Park for available spots due to cancellations.


SOLD OUT: Sandhill Crane Tours

2P Roger.vanGelder 8x10 - Copy

(5 tours available) $25 per person
Friday 5:00 pm, Saturday 6:00 am and 5:00 pm, Sunday 6:00 am and 5:00 pm.

The most unique wildlife 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 Visitors Contact Station on the River ‘S’ Refuge Unit 15 minutes before the tour time and wear weather appropriate footwear and clothing in muted, neutral 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. For directions to the River ‘S’ Unit’s Visitor Contact Station go to: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Ridgefield/map.html Have questions, call the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Refuge office: 360-887-4106.

For reservations, go to: http://sandhillcranetour.eventbrite.com

Carty Unit History Hike

FullSizeRenderFree, Limited to 25 participants
Friday 4:30 to 7:00 pm, Meets in Carty Unit Parking Lot

Honoring of the Refuge’s 50th anniversary, staff will lead a guided interpretive hike exploring the Carty Unit’s rich archeological, cultural, historical, and geologic history. This evening hike should also afford great bird watching opportunities. Total hike distance is 3-miles crossing fields and undeveloped paths. Starts Carty Parking Lot, Advanced Reservation Required, Free, Space limited to first 25.

Please RSVP by 10/1 to BirdfestReservations@gmail.com.

FULL: Photography Workshop: The Art of Photographing Birds

digital-camerasFree,  Limited to 15 participants

Saturday 12:30 to 2:00, Meets under the tent across from the bridge on the  Carty Unit

Join professional photographer Karen Ulvestad as she shares her experiences in wildlife photography. In this free workshop students will learn camera settings and techniques in the field, and questions are encouraged through-out the workshop. All skill levels and cameras (DSLR, Mirror-less, Point and Shoot, or Film) are welcome. Please dress for the weather.

This workshop is full. To be added to the waiting list, visit BirdfestReservations@gmail.com.

Intro to Watercolor Painting Workshop

intro to watercolorFree, limited to 10 participants per session, Meets on Carty Unit
Three sessions: Saturday 11:00 to 12:00 / 12:30 to 1:30 / 2:00 to 3:00

In these one-hour workshops, participants will be guided step by step though basic watercolor techniques: how to apply a wash, how to apply details with light and shadow, and the effect of distance on colors as they paint a sunset scene in the forest to take home. This workshop will be led by skilled artists and Friends and Refuge volunteers Ron Ward and Laura DeVito, and is appropriate for upper elementary students to adults.
Space is limited in each of the sessions, RSVP by 10/1to BirdfestReservations@gmail.com.

FULL: Bird Language for Beginners

HM-Gary.Davenport-8x12Free, Limited to 20 participants
Saturday 9:00 to 1:00

If you have ever listened to birds sing, you may have noticed that they use different sounds at different times. By picking up on what the birds are telling each other, you can begin to get a bigger picture on what is happening in the ecosystem you are in. In this workshop, participants will learn the five voices birds use to communicate, learn the shapes of bird alarms, and do a bird listening sit and debrief session. This workshop will give participants will have foundational knowledge and resources to go further into the study of Bird Language and aims to foster a deeper connection to nature and wildlife.

RSVP by 10/1 to BirdfestReservations@gmail.com.