Plenty of activities at wildlife refuge

Published 12:06 am Friday, May 31, 2013

Come join the staff and Friends of St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day, National Trails Day and National Pollinator Week. From 8 a.m. until noon, we will be leading bird walks, canoe trips and children’s activities. All ages and all skill levels are encouraged to participate.

The refuge is home to many breeding birds — warblers, chats, flycatchers and more. Mornings bring a host of sounds as birds announce their presence and redefine their territories.

A guided bird identification walk will begin on the Magnolia National Recreation Trail at 8 a.m., led by staff biologists. They will point out different species of birds while providing identification tips, sounds, and life history facts. These knowledgeable guides will also share information about other wildlife and plants encountered along the trail.

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At 10 a.m., refuge staff will guide a canoe trip through flooded forests where paddlers will see birds, fish and maybe an alligator, as well as many of the native species that have adapted to this dynamic system. The refuge has nine canoes available for paddlers. This is typically a popular event. You are encouraged to call for reservations or bring your own canoe or kayak.

All morning, children will be guided through the “Animal Olympics” trail, discovering the “critters” living in the Hidden Pond, and guided on their own bird walk. The Animal Olympics includes 14 stations for children to be entertained over a half-mile portion of the Magnolia Trail. Each station is a little different, but they can walk like a duck, jump like a grasshopper or run like an alligator as part of the Animal Olympics. Those completing the course will receive a certificate acknowledging their accomplishment.

Join us at the Pond Discovery Station to learn what wildlife, besides fish, live in a pond. A microscope will be set up to see the little “squiggles” not ordinarily seen in the water.

The Friends of St Catherine Creek Refuge will be offering free hamburgers and hotdogs to all participants.

This will be a fun morning! Visitors should come enjoy the butterflies in the garden and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to be introduced to a host of fantastic outdoor recreation activities available at the refuge, which is just 20 minutes from downtown Natchez.

All events will begin at the refuge office located at 21 Pintail Lane. To get there from Natchez, head south on U.S. 61 for approximately 12 miles, turn right at the brown refuge sign onto York Road for 2 miles, and left on Pintail Lane for about 0.1 mile. The office is on the left. Call 601-442-6696 for information and reservations.


Bob Strader is the refuge manager at St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Adams County.