Come One, Come All to BirdFest
You can check out the schedule of free events here : http://www.ridgefieldfriends.org/birdfest.php
And the special events that require pre-registration
Mark your calenders, reserve
and we will see you there!
**Please note that on Sunday, October
14, the River 'S' Unit will only be
by group bus tour. The busses will pick
up and drop off at Ridgefield High School.
Consult the BirdFest
website for more details on the bussing
All Hands on Deck!
With BirdFest right around the
corner, we are looking for
enthusiastic individuals to help
make this day a success. 4,000
people visit the refuge for
this event every year, and with
crowds that big, we need
volunteers to make the BirdFest
experience its best.
People of all skills and experience levels are needed for
various volunteer opportunities.
Here are some of the areas where we
need your help:
and take-down festival logistics;
tables, chairs, tents, post
Greeter- Staff information tables
at various locations around
town and on the Refuge. Assist
with schedule and event information,
bus tours, shuttle buses, etc.
with Family's Activities, games,
and craft stations at Davis
- Serve as
an "Ambassador" for
the Friends of Ridgefield NWR
at various locations around
downtown Ridgefield and on the
paddlers for kayak tours.
Check out the BirdFest volunteer
webpage here for
If you are interested in helping with any of the above
activities or for more info, contact
Barb through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at (360) 991-5965.
Carty Unit Volunteers
Besides the volunteers that are needed around town and
at information booths, we will
be needing people to help out
around the Plankhouse.
There will be a variety of activities,
all either having to do with cultural
or environmental education. If
you like interacting with families
or interpreting nature or Chinookan
culture, this is the opportunity
We are looking for individuals to help in the:
- Plankhouse as docents
- Oaks to
Wetlands Trail tent
If this looks interesting to you, contact Sarah Hill at
for more info or call (360) 887-4106.
Education Training for Teachers and
Volunteers - October 20th, Steigerwald
Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Lake NWR is one of the four refuges
in the Ridgefield National Wildlife
Refuge Complex. It also happens
to be the only other refuge in
the complex that is open to the
public. The recent opening of
the Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art
Trail has brought a lot of interest
from both the general public as
well as local schools. In response
to this, the Gorge Refuge Stewards
(The "Friends" of the
other three refuges in the complex)
have partnered with local organizations
to create a new education program
that caters to 5th grade learning
objectives in the Washougal area.
This is already a very well received
program and this summer is seeing
the first teachers and volunteers
trained to the new student activities.
If you are a teacher interested in taking your students
Lake NWR OR you are a volunteer
interested in helping to lead
these groups, please come to the education
training on October 20th. We will
join refuge staff and volunteers
at the refuge trail at 9am,
then follow up at the local middle
school until 3pm. Six clock hours
For more information or to sign up, please contact the
Gorge Refuge Manager, Jim Clapp,
at 360-835-8767 or Jim_Clapp@fws.gov.
Invest in Wildlife Fundraiser Postponed Until
This year's fundraiser has been postponed until April or
May 2013. It was scheduled for
September 22, but due to many
competing events that weekend,
it will be rescheduled for a better
time. Keep an eye out for the
Refuge photography contest winners were going to be announced
at the fundraiser, but you won't
need to wait until spring to learn
the results of the contest!
The unveiling of the winning pictures and honorable mentions
will take place on Saturday October
13, 2012 at BirdFest
at 10:00 am in the Ridgefield
Community Center. They will
then be placed on our website
in the wildlife photo gallery.
Refuge Events and News
Funding Secured for New Carty Unit
The Refuge is proud to announce that funding has been secured
for a new pedestrian bridge on the Carty
Unit! The new bridge will connect the
headquarters to the Cathlapotle
and Oaks to Wetland Trail. It will be
a vital link to refuge programming,
nature-based, historical and cultural
education programs and special events
on the Carty Unit. The new bridge will
replace the more than 30 year
old bridge, which is sometimes
too steep for visitors with physical
limitations. The Carty Unit gets about
35,000 visitors each year, and this
remodel will enable all people to get
out and enjoy what the refuge has to
offer. Construction is expected
to start in the summer of 2013.
Refuge Birding Walks
Join a Refuge volunteer naturalist for
a series of birding hikes on Ridgefield
Lake National Wildlife Refuges. This
is an excellent opportunity to sharpen
your birding skills while enjoying Refuge
trails. All hikes start at the respective
trail head. Space is limited, so please
reserve your spot early.
For a list of walks and how to sign up go to: http://www.fws.gov/ridgefieldrefuges/ridgefield/recreation.html
Waterfowl Hunting Begins October 13
Ridgefield NWR has provided a public waterfowl hunting
area since it was established in 1965.
The National Wildlife Refuge System
Improvement Act passed by Congress in
1997, identified hunting as a wildlife-dependent,
priority public use for the National
Wildlife Refuge System. At Ridgefield,
the waterfowl hunt program is operated
in a manner that is consistent and compatible
with the purposes and goals of the Refuge
and provides a quality experience for
the hunter. This program contributes
to the continuation of America's traditions
and heritage in wildlife conservation
and outdoor recreation.
Waterfowl hunting is permitted in designated blinds on
approximately 760 acres of the River
S Unit, west of the AutoTour Route, and is in accordance with State and
Federal regulations and Refuge specific
conditions. Hunting does not interfere
with the safety of other visitors and
the Auto Tour Route remains open throughout
the season. If you wish to avoid hearing
or seeing these birds harvested, you
are encouraged to visit on Mondays,
Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, which
are all non-hunt days on the Refuge.
Proceeds from hunting fees, licenses, equipment tax, and
duck stamps are used by state and federal
agencies to study populations, conserve
and restore habitat, and purchase additional
protected lands. Much of the Refuge
system would not have been purchased
without these funds. At Ridgefield NWR
we appreciate all user groups and the
unique perspective they have of outdoor
recreation. We thank everyone who visits
for their appreciation for wildlife,
dedication to keeping our natural resources
open to all people for all time, and
for your patience in using the same
lands for different purposes.
With the beginning of the hunt season, so ends the Kiwa trail access. From October 1st - May 1st, The
Kiwa trail will be closed to Visitors. During this
time, visitors to the River 'S' Unit
must also stay in their vehicles when
traveling along the Auto Tour Route.
don't fret! The Carty Unit is still
open for foot traffic and hiking all
Upcoming Refuge Events
Refuge Birding Walks
Join a Refuge volunteer naturalist
for a series of birding hikes
on Ridgefield and Steigerwald
Lake National Wildlife Refuges.
This is an excellent opportunity
to sharpen your birding skills
while enjoying Refuge trails.
All hikes start at the respective
trail head. Space is limited,
so please reserve your spot early.
For a list of walks and how to
sign up go to: http://www.fws.gov/ridgefieldrefuges/ridgefield/recreation.html
Be sure to mark your calenders
for the weekend of October 13&14!
There will be lots to do both
on the refuge and in town, so
keep an eye out for the event
schedule to be posted on the Friends
website. If you just can't wait
to see whats in store for this
year, you can stop by the Carty
Unit headquarters and pick up
a paper schedule! Office hours
are 8am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.
With the onset of fall, the plankhouse
programs are coming to a close.
The weekend of BirdFest
will be the last time the Plankhouse
will be open to visitors until
the spring. There are lots of
great things planned for that
weekend, and we hope to see you
out at the Plankhouse!
talks and activities happening in
or near the Plankhouse:
Saturday, October 13
- All day:
Family activities tent, Oaks
to Wetlands Trail activities
tent, Plankhouse tours.
English Ivy Basketry workshop,
- 11:30 -
- Life in the Lake; drop
in and discover the aquatic
invertebrates of the refuge
- 1:30 -
Cathlapotle Village overview and site walk
- 2:00 -
Habitat Restoration walk
Sunday, October 14
- All day:
Family activities tent, Oaks
to Wetlands Trail activities
tent, Plankhouse tours.
- 10am -
- 12:30 -
Native American Fishing on the
Lower Columbia River; Dr. Virginia
Butler speaking in Plankhouse
- 1:30 -
Keeping Traditions Alive; Sam
Robinson, Chinook Indian Nation,
speaking in Plankhouse
- Traditional Salmon Bake; Blessing
and samples while supplies last
If you would like to help with the activities in or near
we could sure use the help!
Volunteers are needed to staff
the Family activities and
Trial Guide tents, as well as guiding visitors
in the Plankhouse.
If interested, contact Sarah
Hill at Sarah_Hill@fws.gov.
Habitat Restoration Update & Events
Sunday, October 13th - BirdFest
Ivy Pull and basket workshop
There will be a special restoration event happening on
the Saturday of BirdFest.
From 9am to 11am, join the folks
Portland as they pull English
Ivy from the Carty Unit. This
ivy will then be used as the material
for a basket making workshop that
will be held from12:00pm-4:00pm next to the Plankhouse.
English Ivy is an invasive species that has damaged many
native ecosystems throughout the
Portland removes this nuisance
of a vine from the land and uses
it to weave artful, utilitarian
baskets. Join them in restoring
the habitat of the refuge and
create your own basket with the
Rewild Portland crew.
The pull and the workshop will be on a drop-in basis, so
feel free to come to the pull,
the workshop, or both!
Contact Peter Bauer at email@example.com for
Restoration Walk - 2:00pm
Join our habitat restoration coordinator Lynn Cornelius
for a walk on the Oaks to Wetlands
Trail on the Carty Unit. He will
discuss ways the refuge is managing
invasive species and building
habitat. He will also share habitat
restoration tips and tricks that
participants can use in their
own back yards.
Fall Planting Season Begins October
Join us for our first Fall/Winter volunteer event:
Saturday October 27th
9:00 to 12:30 at the Carty Unit - 28908 NW Main Avenue
Wear boots or waterproof footwear and dress for the weather.
We will be planting trees, building
and installing cages around
the trees to protect them from
hungry critters such as beaver,
deer, and mice.
Stay tuned for our New Fall/Winter Flyer of volunteer events
coming out in early October.
Roger's Refuge Ramblings
by Roger Windemuth
Itís Autumn time at the refuge! And once again, itís
the changing of the guard.
We say good bye to the friends
of summer and welcome back our
old friends of fall and winter.
Late summer and autumn is migration
time and the face of the refuge
Not only will the leaves be turning red and gold, but the
lakes, ponds, and wetlands will
again be filling, hiding the mud
and plants that were exposed during
the dry summer. The ducks
and geese will again be covering
the skies and many parts of the
grasslands. The refuge will
have a fresh new look, completely
different from just a few short
Migration is an interesting phenomenon, At whatever
moment, throughout the year, day
or night, there are birds wending
their way high in the skies of
the Western Hemisphere, migrating.
But it is in the spring and fall,
when the continentís sky is swarming
with billions of birds, that migration
becomes apparent even to the most
unobservant. And yet, not
all migration of birds is done
by wing. When the first
winter snow comes, the Blue Grouse
leave the warmer foothills of
the Western mountains and migrate,
by foot, up to the bitter wind-driven
cold of the high country, searching
for a diet of conifer needles.
Among our summer refuge birds, the Rufous
Hummingbird is one of our smallest
visitors. It migrates south along
the mountain ridges to its traditional
winter home in Mexico. But, more
and more over the last quarter
of a century, these little tykes
are finding their way to the southwest
and many places east of the Mississippi.
Another summer refuge bird is
the Yellow-headed Blackbird.
It is less cold-tolerant than
its cousin, the Red-winged Blackbird,
and retreats farther southward.
Yellow-headed Blackbirds leave
most of their breeding areas and
occupy a winter range that stretches
from the extreme southwestern
United States to central Mexico.
This year at the refuge they began
to migrate early. The last
one was seen on July 20.
Among our winter refuge birds, the Canada Goose, a.k.a.
the Cackling Goose is the most
numerous and, because of its numbers,
the most vocal of our winter birds.
At one time the Cackling Goose
was a sub-species, along with
ten other sub-species of the Canada
Goose, but since 2004, it can
boast that it, along with three
other sub-species is now its own
species, collectively called Cackling
Goose. Cackling Geese breed
in western Alaska along a narrow
strip of coastline primarily between
the Yukon and the Kuskokwim Rivers.
They generally migrate to the
Pacific Northwest in winter. In
fact, it was this past week, September
24 -26 that they made their first
appearance at the refugeóaround
three weeks earlier than usual!
I have just mentioned several summer and winter migrants.
There are many, many more that
spend a few months each year enjoying
the Ridgefield Refuge. Of
course there are a number of birds
that enjoy the refuge year around,
but thatís another story.
Come out this fall and notice the changing populations
of the refuge. Notice also
the colors of fall. This
is the time of year when the refuge
is on display.
Some of the unusual and rare birds that were seen this
past month are Greater White-fronted
Goose, Green Heron, Black-crowned
Night Heron, Red-shouldered Hawk,
Plover, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper,
Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Red-necked
Phalarope, Barn Owl, Black-throated
Gray Warbler, Lazuli
Welcome New Members!
Besides receiving monthly E-News with Refuge updates,
upcoming events, and wildlife news,
members enjoy member- and volunteer-
only events. With your $50+ membership
you will receive an annual Refuge Pass,
which covers entrance fees.
Donít forget to glance at the Refuge calendar, your one-stop
shop for fun activities and volunteer
opportunities, at http://www.ridgefieldfriends.org/calendar.php
Discounts at Local Businesses for
New and Renewing Members have begun!
Would you like to enjoy
a cup of coffee from Ridgefield's Season's
after a morning hike on the Refuge?
Or perhaps breakfast before you head
out on auto tour route at Pioneer Street
Cafe or lunch at Vinnie's Pizza after
a long day of wildlife viewing? Or maybe
you would like to get a discount on
some supplies at Shorty's or Backyard
If any of these sound appealing to you then become
a Friend or renew your membership
starting July 1 to get a member
card with some great discounts
and offers from local businesses.
To renew or to become a Friend
visit here. For questions or inquiries
about membership contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ďThe Friendís mission is to support, protect, and enhance
the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge and its
wildlife habitat, and to broaden public
awareness and participation in its environmental,
cultural, and educational opportunities.Ē
visit our website at www.ridgefieldfriends.org
Click here to donate to us through