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Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge celebration planned for Oct. 5

IRRIGON, ORE. - Every year, the country sets aside a week to celebrate its wildlife heritage and a refuge system unequalled anywhere in the world.

National Wildlife Refuge Week will be celebrated at the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Wildlife biologists will show how birds are banded to aid in their protection.

Discover the wonders of pond life with magnifying glasses or float the refuge by kayak. These and other activities will begin at the Hunter Check Station on Paterson Ferry Road. The event is free and open to the public.

A guided bird walk through the McCormack Slough will depart at 8 a.m. on Oct. 5. Children’s activities will start at 9 a.m. that day with songbird banding and a game to teach about the marvels of migration.

At 10 a.m., the Discover Pond Life program will begin for those eager to see what critters lurk in the pond. Throughout the morning, wildlife viewing will take place at the refuge’s Callow Overlook, which is a good opportunity for those just starting out in bird watching. Many birds are migrating through the area at this time of year.

There will be a special presentation on the bats of the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist Jenny Barnett. The presentation will be at the refuge’s headquarters at 11 a.m.

The canoe/kayak tour participants will meet at 9 a.m. at the Hunter Check Station. Participants need to bring their own canoe or kayak, personal floatation device, and RSVP to Jaynee Levy, visitor services specialist at jaynee_levy@fws.gov by Friday, Oct. 4.

The Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge is located at 72650 Riverview Ln. near Irrigon, Ore. For more information, visit www.friendsofmcrwr.org/events.shtml or call 509-546-8300.

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