male harlequin duck floating on water
Harlequin duck, photo credit: Jim Cummings

WDFW recently hosted a virtual waterbird event promoting watchable wildlife, hunting opportunities, and wildlife conservation partnerships.

If you missed it, don’t worry, because it was recorded, and you can watch the entire event at your convenience on our YouTube channel.

The first stop of our virtual fly-over was estuarine shoreline at Three Crabs, part of WDFW’s Dungeness Wildlife Area Unit, in Sequim. Directions and more information about Three Crabs can be found at wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/wildlife-areas/dungeness-wildlife-area-unit. Our host at Three Crabs, Bob Boekelheide, is a member of the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society. Bob is active in community science projects and leads bird walks to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for birding.

Our next stop of our virtual trip was originally planned to be in Cheney at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, but cell service is limited on the refuge, so the event was live-streamed from Silver Lake (14 miles north of Turnbull). WDFW partners at Silver Lake included Tina Blewett, wildlife biologist for Ducks Unlimited and Mike Rule, wildlife biologist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. Learn more about the conservation work being done in the western U.S. by Ducks Unlimited at Ducks Unlimited Western Region Blog. To find out more about Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge you can see their brochure for photos and a map of the refuge.

Redhead (left) and tundra swans (right)

The last stop was the McNary National Wildlife Refuge in Burbank. The refuge is situated just off the Columbia River, in the Tri-Cities area. Our two guides at McNary were Jason Fidorra, WDFW district wildlife biologist, and Lamont Glass, refuge ranger with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. McNary National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex. To locate the National Wildlife Refuge near you: fws.gov/refuges/find-a-wildlife-refuge/.

Helpful links

Additional information about purchasing a duck stamp to contribute to habitat and wildlife conservation can be found at:

· Federal fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp.

· Federal Duck Stamp Program overview. Current federal duck stamps allow free entrance into any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee.

· Washington: wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/waterfowl/stamp and washingtonduckstamp.com/

2020 Washington Migratory Bird Stamp Artwork by Tim Turenne (left) 2020–2021 Federal Duck Stamp, USFWS (right)

Learn more about the conservation work being done by Ducks Unlimited:

· Migration Areas Fact Sheet

· National Fact Sheet

· Washington Fact Sheet

Explore the channeled scablands:

· Ice Age Floods Institute — information on the ice age floods that helped to create the channeled scablands

· National Geographic article on the scablands

More information about the Pacific Flyway:

· National Audubon Society

· U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Links of interest for the Sequim area:

· Dungeness River Audubon Center

· Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

· North Olympic Salmon Coalition Three Crabs Nearshore Restoration

The Great Washington State Birding Trail has seven routes for bird watching in Washington. You can preview or purchase the maps on the Audubon Washington website.

· Three Crabs is part of the Olympic Loop

· Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge is included on the Palouse to Pines Loop

· McNary National Wildlife Refuge can be found on the Sun and Sage Loop

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

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