Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, 2591 Whitehall Neck Road, Smyrna, announced its May schedule of events and programs.
Programs, free with paid entry of $4 per vehicle, include:
— Bird walks with Marcia Poling: 8-11 a.m. May 9, 16, 23 and 30. Join Marcia Poling, avid birder and artist, to look for early songbird arrivals from Mexico and South America. The group will walk trails in search of songbirds and will stop to identify shorebirds along the wildlife drive. Location to be determined depending on current sightings. Meet at the Visitor Center.
— Beginning Birding: Shorebird Program: 10 a.m. to noon, May 12. Eileen McLellan and Terry Willis will give a presentation about shorebirds, their migrations and identification techniques. After the presentation, participants will visit the Bird Identification Station to practice their new skills.
— Monarch presentation and gardening tips for monarchs: 2-3:30 p.m. May 12. Learn how to identify monarchs and about their migration. Participants will learn about their habitat requirements and gardening tips to attract butterflies. Learn about the monarch and how to help them survive. While monarchs will be the main focus, other local butterflies and pollinators will be included.
— Toddlers/preschoolers 1 to 5 years old and guardians are free: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 15. Children ages 1-5 are developing cognitive skills and being in nature can expose them to sights and sounds that might go unnoticed in their everyday setting. Take children on the wildlife drive, walk a trail, climb a tower, read them a nature book and look at wildlife exhibits in the visitor center.
— Garden Keepers: Meadow Maintenance and Reseeding: 1-3 p.m. May 17. Join Larry and Leslie Cook prepare the meadow for spring, clean up the path and reseed some milkweed.
— Refuge Introduction Tour: 10 a.m. to noon May 18. Climb aboard the refuge’s 12-passenger bus for a two-hour guided tour of the refuge. Attendees can look for wildlife, walk a short trail and learn how the various habitats on the refuge are managed to provide the food, water and cover needed by the species of wildlife that live on or pass through the refuge. Bring binoculars, or borrow a pair at the Visitor Center. To register, call 653-9345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Jr. Rangers Learn about Migratory Shorebirds: 9:30 a.m. to noon May 19. Ages 7-11 can learn about the seasonal movement of shorebirds from their wintering grounds, to stopovers, then on to their breeding and nesting grounds. The focus of this session is to identify some of the common shorebirds visiting the area while learning about the nutrient-rich habitats they depend on before continuing their journey north. To register, call 653-9345 or email email@example.com.
— The Shorebird and Horseshoe Crab Connection presentation: 12:30-3 p.m. May 19. Greg Breese, project manager for the Delaware Bay Estuary Project, will start the program with a 15-minute video on shorebirds, their migration journey and horseshoe crabs on the Delaware Bay. The red knot, a robin-sized shorebird, was designated as threatened under the Endangered Species Act on Dec. 9, 2014. After the presentation, the group will go to Pickering Beach to see horseshoe crabs that come up onto the beach to spawn. Starts in the refuge’s auditorium. To register, call 653-9345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Bird Identification Station: 1-4:30 p.m. May 20. Get a close look at the different bird species in the impoundments. Randy Murphy will be set up on the wildlife drive with scopes and binoculars to help identify shorebirds, wading birds and whatever else flies by. Look for the blue ID Station sign along the auto tour route.
— Purple Martin Nest Checks: 11-11:45 a.m. May 21, 25 and 30. Joel Martin and Ray Gingerich will perform weekly purple martin gourd and house nest checks during May, June and July. Individuals can observe and assist with recording data, counting eggs and hatchlings and after they hatch hold a chick. See birds that spent the winter in Brazil and perhaps an adult sitting on a nest. The nests need to be checked quickly to make sure the martins are not disturbed for a long period of time. Meet at the Visitor Center. Also meets in June and July.
— Tour of the refuge: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 27. Volunteer Ray Cullom leads a tour of the refuge. Find out how the refuge is managed for wildlife, visit different habitats and walk a trail. Meet at the Visitor Center. Also 1:30 to 3 p.m. May 27.
For more, visit fws.gov/refuge/bombay_hook.