, Newburyport, MA

March 8, 2014

Programs at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Newburyport Daily News

---- — Parker River National Wildlife Refuge will offer the following free public programs during the month of March. Note that many of the refuge programs require registration. Registrations are not confirmed until the registrant receives a phone call from a member of the refuge staff. Those with questions about a program should contact the refuge at 978-465-5753.

“Up Close and Personal” Refuge Tour

Saturday, March 8, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, March 9, 1 p.m.; Monday, March 10, 9:30 a.m.; Friday, March 14, 9:30 a.m.; Saturday, March 15, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, March 16, 1 p.m.; Friday, March 21, 1 p.m.; Sunday, March 23, 1 p.m.; Monday, March 24, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, March 30, 1 p.m.

Join a refuge ranger for an “up close and personal” tour of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The tour will be conducted via refuge van, with several brief “drive by” stops along the way. The tour will provide an insider’s perspective of the refuge through the multiple lenses of the cultural history of Plum Island and the Great Marsh, native wildlife and their habitats, and the role of refuge management in the conservation of these precious natural resources.

This guided two hour program is most appropriate for older teens and adults. Binoculars and/or a camera are recommended, but not required. Meet the ranger in the lobby of the Refuge visitor center 15 minutes prior to the program start time. Each session is limited to 10 participants; no more than 4 individuals per sign-up. Advance registration is required for this program, as enrollment is limited. Be advised that individual tours may be subject to cancellation.

Those who call and leave messages after hours, your registration is not confirmed until you receive a confirmation call from a Refuge staff member.

The Photographic Society of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, March 8; 1:30 p.m. in the visitor center auditorium

Attend our next Photo Society meeting and witness the spectacular wildlife images of wildlife photographer Peter Christoph.

In “Snowy Owls and More – the Epic Adventures of a Massachusetts Bird Photographer,” Christoph will present a narrated slideshow of his favorite bird photographs, all taken right here in Massachusetts, where he lives. His program is both entertaining and informative as he shares stories of his photographic adventures and the techniques he uses to capture his subjects. He’ll also share the locations of some of his favorite places where he goes to take photos of birds in their natural habitat.

The Photographic Society welcomes anyone who has an interest in nature, wildlife, and/or photography – whether you are a total novice or earn a living by taking pictures. The club meets every month, generally on the second Saturday afternoon. Club activities include special presentations, slide shows (of members’ work), intra-club mentoring and training, photo shoots, on-line photo sharing, and involvement in the refuge’s various photography-related programs, events, and outreach activities. Registration is not required to attend this program. Call 978-465-5753 for more information about the Photographic Society.

Making Tracks: Learning to Read Wildlife Clues

Saturday, March 22; 10 to 11:30 a.m.

If you have ever seen tracks in the snow, sand, or soil and were curious about what made them, then this is the program for you. Refuge staff will lead attendees through the basics of identifying common animals through the clues that they leave behind. A brief introduction to animal tracks and sign in the visitor contact station will be followed by time spent outdoors on the Refuge to look for tracks and attempt to determine their owner’s identity. This is a program for beginners, so parents are encouraged to bring their children 10 and older. Dress appropriately for cold and damp weather.

Meet the ranger at the visitor contact station (located on the Refuge at Lot 1) 10 minutes prior to the program start time. Registration is required as the program is limited to 10 participants.