Guided walks explore flora, fauna of Nisqually refuge

Staff reportJune 29, 2014 

The summer guided nature walks continue at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The walks, offered on weekends, are led by refuge staffers or volunteers.

The walks take place on the refuge’s trails, considered beginner level because they are smooth with no elevation. Participants should plan on wearing comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. They can bring binoculars or check them out from the Norm Dicks Visitor Center.

The programs are open to the public and free of charge, but the $3 refuge entrance fee still applies. Participants are reminded that pets are not allowed in the refuge.

All the walks leave from the visitor center unless otherwise noted.

For more information, call the refuge at 360-753-9467.

Here is the schedule for the coming month:

JULY 6

It’s in Your Nature–Sights and Sounds of Summer: 9-10:30 a.m. This walk is about listening to bird song, bird sightings and looking for flowering native plants. This walk follows the Twin Barns Loop Trail, and will be led by naturalist Jan Sequin.

JULY 12

The Magical Forest: 1:30-3 p.m. There is always something new to see and hear walking around the refuge. This family-friendly walk explores the relationships between plants, animals and other organisms.

JULY 13

Home Sweet Home: 8:30-10 a.m. This is a chance to learn about the many species that have called the Nisqually River delta home, from the smallest invertebrate to the Native American, the explorer, the settler and the farmer. Meet at the flagpole in front of the visitor center.

Amazing Animal Adaptations: 10-11 a.m.: This walk will focus on adaptation, with the discussion looking at how animals have found ways to inhabit different environments. During this family-friendly program, participants will look at pelts and other artifacts, then head outside to explore.

Nisqually Deli–The Pond Menu: 1-2 p.m. For animals, each habitat at the refuge is like a restaurant, providing a unique cuisine, according to a refuge news release. Learn about what special adaptations have creatures developed, and how the life cycles and food web are related to the pond environment. Meet at the visitor center pond overlook.

JULY 19

Raptors of the Delta: 10-10:45 a.m. Among the raptors that can be found on the refuge are peregrine falcon, bald eagle, northern harrier and great horned owl. Experienced birder Richard Cormier will talk about the unique aspects of a raptor’s life. Meet in the visitor center auditorium.

The Essential Riparian Forest: 1:30-2:30 p.m. The emphasis of this walk is the forest that grows along the banks of lakes, rivers and streams. Join this family-friendly guided walk led by Dean DeBell.

JULY 20

The Nisqually and Medicine Creek-Where Nature, Culture and History Converge: 1-2:30 p.m. During this walk, participants will learn about the events surrounding the signing of the Medicine Creek Treaty. Lynn Corliss will talk about how the Nisqually people came to the river delta and how their lives changed with the settlement of Europeans. Meet at the flagpole in front of the visitor center.

JULY 26

It’s in Your Nature-Exploring the Wild: 10 a.m.-noon Naturalists Art Pavey, Jan Kramer and Cheri Greenwood will lead this nature walk, talking about everything from bitterns to butterflies, salmonberries to salmon fish.

AUG. 2

Birds of a Feather–Take Flight on a Bird Walk: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Experienced birder Eric Slagle leads this walk that will be full of the sights and sounds of the refuge’s various bird species. Meet at the landing overlooking the pond at the visitor center.

Amazing Animal Adaptations: 1-2 p.m. Learn about how animals have adapted to their environment.

AUG. 3

Modern Bird Family: 10-11:30 a.m. The way birds form families and raise their young are peculiar to each species. They also have developed diverse habits to meet the needs of their life. Join Nathanael Swecker for this bird walk. Meet at the landing overlooking the pond at the visitor center.

The Magical Forest: 1:30-3 p.m. There is always something new to see and hear walking around the refuge. This family-friendly walk explores the relationships between plants, animals and other organisms.

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