Portland-area nature events

Stag Beetle Power! has a long list of Portland-area events for kids; here are those that would interest readers of this blog (yes, I am shamelessly copying):

Science Fun”, Tuesday, February 1, 2-4PM, Beaverton City Library Meeting Rooms A and B. “Science learning centers for beginning scientists and their families. Complete with a book corner featuring easy-reading science books. Registration is required. Please phone (503) 350-3600 to register or sign-up in person at the Children’s Desk on the first floor of the library. Registration begins one month before the program.” This program is suggested for K-3.

Raptor Identification Class”, Tuesday, February 1, 7PM-9PM. Gresham City Hall Springwater Trail Room, 1333 NW Eastman Parkway, Gresham, OR. Free. “Get excited about the kings and queens of the air. Join Gresham in welcoming Metro’s naturalist James Davis, a local birding guru, as he uses slides and specimens to teach raptor identification. Learn to identify eagles, falcons and hawks. Then use new identification skills at Metro’s annual Raptor Road Trip, Feb. 5 on Sauvie’s Island. Meet in the Springwater Trail Room at Grehsam City Hall. Free. For more information, call 503-618-2604.” http://calendar.oregonmetro.gov/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=3376 Mr. Davis has done raptor identification presentations before, limiting attendance to adults and teens. This a free presentation that is listed as “family friendly”.

Connect2science through Nature for K-5 Educators”, a series of 5 classes for adults, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4 & Feb. 5, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, and Thursdays, Mar. 10, Apr. 14, & May 12, 4:00 – 8:00 pm. Tryon Creek State Park. “Explore the forest through authentic nature-based investigations. Learn techniques to integrate science learning with outdoor experience based on the new 2009 Oregon Science Content Standards. Explore ways to complete engaging Inquiry and Engineering and Design work-samples beginning with observations of the natural world.” http://www.tryonfriends.org/programs/calendar-listings/icalrepeat.detail/2011/02/04/349/-/connect2science-through-nature-for-k-5-educators.html

Timberline Nature Walk With Bruno!”, throughout the winter, Friday through Sunday at 10AM. Meet at the US Forest Service Desk inside Timberline Lodge, on Highway 26 at Mt. Hood. Free, donations appreciated. “Join a Ranger and the 150 pound mascot of Timberline Lodge — the St. Bernard Bruno for some fun on Mount Hood! Depart from Timberline Lodge and stroll through the high country with Bruno on this short 1-2 mile walk (depending on weather) while learning about the winter ecology of Mount Hood. Once the snow flies, be sure to bring your winter gear and an appetite for adventure! For additional information, please call 503-622-2033 or visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mthood/.” http://www.timberlinelodge.com/tours-activities/

Prowling For Owls”, Friday, February 4, and Friday, February 18, 7PM-9PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. “Whooooo goes there? Join us at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge to find out about the owls who make the Refuge their home. During a night hike we will learn about the mysterious lives of our nocturnal neighbors, discover their habitat, and learn about their amazing adaptations for life at night. Please register by submitting you name, number of participants in your group, and your phone number to sarah_gray@fws.gov. Maximum group size is 6. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, and bring a flashlight.” http://www.fws.gov/tualatinriver/

Raptor Road Trip”, Saturday, February 5, 9AM-2PM, Beginning at Kruger’s Farm Market, 18330 NW Sauvie Island Road, Pdx., $10 per vehicle, cash only. “Explore Sauvie Island in search of magnificent bald eagles, hawks and falcons that spend the winter on the island. On this special day devoted to raptors, experienced naturalists and hawk experts host activities and answer your questions at four locations around the island. Enjoy guided bird viewing, meet live raptors up close and sharpen your hawk identification skills. Hot drinks and donuts are available in the morning to keep you warm while you breakfast with the birds. Begin at Kruger’s Farm Market and pick up your event map and raptor identification guide. The event fee is $10 per vehicle, cash only, and includes a Sauvie Island Wildlife Area parking permit. To reach Kruger’s, take Highway 30 to the Sauvie Island Bridge and continue straight 1.5 miles (past Howell Territorial Park) to the farm entrance on your right. Carpooling is encouraged. Spotting scopes help with raptor identification and are provided with naturalists on hand to point out the birds. Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them and dress for the weather. This event takes place rain or shine. The road trip is suitable for birders of all skill levels and families are welcome. While you don’t have to be an “early bird” and get up at the crack of dawn to see these birds of prey, you should allow approximately three hours to visit all four locations. What will you see? It all depends on what nature has in store. Frequently sighted raptors include bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels and Northern harriers. With a little luck, you might spot a rough-legged hawk, Cooper’s hawk, merlin or peregrine falcon. Beautiful snow geese, sandhill cranes and great blue herons are commonly seen at this time of year.” http://calendar.oregonmetro.gov/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=1029

Guided Nature Walks”, Saturdays, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. “Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes.” February 5: Wildlife Detectives; February 12: Drummers of the Forest; February 19: Magnificent Moss and Lovely Lichen; February 26: Winter Twig Identification.  http://www.tryonfriends.org/

Family Owl Night”, Saturday, February 5, 6:30-8:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park, $6 per child, preregistration required. “Come learn about what makes owls such successful nocturnal predators, dissect a real owl pellet and learn what it had for dinner, and join one of our nature guides on an evening hike to listen for owls.” http://www.tryonfriends.org/programs/calendar-listings/icalrepeat.detail/2011/02/05/388/-/family-owl-night.html

Spring is Coming!”, Saturday, February 12, 10AM-12PM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 112 Ave., Pdx. $8. “Whatever the groundhog says, we know spring is coming! In this month’s workshop, we will explore the winter woods looking for signs of spring and learn about the things we find, from beautiful blooming flowers to smelly fly food. Program instructors will dissect plant parts and participants will be able to look at them under magnification. Please dress for the weather (cold, rain, etc.) because we will go outside. These drop-off workshops for children age 7-12 explore a different theme each second Saturday of the month. Participants discover some of nature’s secrets through indoor and outdoor activities and take home a related craft project. Pre-registration is appreciated, but not required. New! Pay for your class online: www.leachgarden.org. We look forward to seeing you!

Open Your Eyes to Wildlife–Teacher Workshop for K-8 Educators”, Saturday, February 12th, 8:30AM-2:00PM. This is a workshop for adults, but may be of particular interest to homeschooling parents. “Join this workshop to learn about the tools and resources provided for teachers who want to bring their students to the Refuge. Registration information and details to be announced soon.” http://www.fws.gov/tualatinriver/specialevents.html

Great Backyard Bird Count”, Friday, February 18, through Monday, February 21. “The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. Participants count birds anywhere for as little or as long as they wish during the four-day period. They tally the highest number of birds of each species seen together at any one time. To report their counts, they fill out an online checklist at the website. As the count progresses, anyone with Internet access can explore what is being reported from their own towns or anywhere in the United States and Canada. They can also see how this year’s numbers compare with those from previous years. Participants may also send in photographs of the birds they see. A selection of images is posted in the online photo gallery. Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time. We need your help. Make sure the birds from your community are well represented in the count. It doesn’t matter whether you report the 5 species coming to your backyard feeder or the 75 species you see during a day’s outing to a wildlife refuge.” Lots more and details about how to participate here: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/

Creek Critters in the Cold”, Sunday, February 20, 10AM-11:30AM. $10 per child, preregistration required. Suggested for ages 4-7. Spend the morning as a stream biologist – discover how all of Tryon Creek’s critters survive in the winter. We will explore the behaviors of Crayfish, Macro-invertebrates and Cutthroat Trout as we learn how these amazing creatures manage the cold. http://www.tryonfriends.org/programs/calendar-listings/icalrepeat.detail/2011/02/20/394/-/kids-in-nature-sundays-creek-critters-in-the-cold.html

Family Fun With Worm Bins”, Saturday, February 26, 2-4PM, Tyron Creek State Park, $15. “Join the Friends of Tyron Creek for an afternoon of creepy-crawly fun at the park. Discover worms in their natural habitat and see first-hand how truly invaluable these invertebrates are to the park’s ecosystem. We’ll then warm up inside as we get to work making our own worm bins for our entire household composting needs. This is a family friendly program that will focus on engaging children throughout the whole process while concurrently providing parents with all the worm-bin information they’ll ever need.” http://www.tryonfriends.org/programs/calendar-listings/icalrepeat.detail/2011/02/26/389/-/family-fun-with-worm-bins.html

Creature Collage”, Saturday, February 26, 2PM, at the Central Library. “Children’s book author and illustrator Eric Carle creates insects and animal collages from hand-painted tissue paper. Under the supervision of artist Addie Boswell, use Eric’s technique to cut and paste your own creatures similar to those in the books “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “The Grouchy Ladybug.” You may also make a rainbow set of painted paper to take home so that you can collage all year round!”

Animal Builders”, Monday, February 28, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. Suggested for grades 1-3. Animals build many amazing structures and are some of the most accomplished architects on the planet. Let’s explore some of the things animals build and learn how and why they build the things they do. (Registration required – online or at the library.)

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