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19th annual Birdfest in Ridgefield kicks off this Friday

Ridgefield to celebrate annual Birdfest this weekend with bluegrass performances and events in the wildlife refuge  

RIDGEFIELD — One hundred years ago, Congress created the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to protect bird species across the country. Now, it is the “Year of the Bird,” and the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge are hosting their 19th annual Birdfest to celebrate the anniversary and local culture.

A Great Horned Owl stares unblinking at observers at last years Birdfest in Ridgefield. Many different kinds of rare birds will be visible at the event this weekend. Photo by Mike Schultz
A Great Horned Owl stares unblinking at observers at last years Birdfest in Ridgefield. Many different kinds of rare birds will be visible at the event this weekend. Photo by Mike Schultz

Beginning this Friday evening, and going through the weekend, Birdfest and Bluegrass will present local music, food, nature walks, the history of local Native Americans, kayaking, and of course many special species of birds.

With close to 20 major sponsors, this year’s event is filled with new events nearly every hour. The first night will kick off with bird-themed beverages at Sportsmans Steakhouse and Saloon, followed by a couple guided night-hikes through the wildlife refuge.

Most events require registration, but many are free. The average registration fee is around $15, with an online portal set up to register.

Spectators watch as Chinook Tribal Vice Chairman, Sam Robinson, plays the drum prior to the traditional salmon bake at the 2017 Birdfest. Photo by Mike Schultz
Spectators watch as Chinook Tribal Vice Chairman, Sam Robinson, plays the drum prior to the traditional salmon bake at the 2017 Birdfest. Photo by Mike Schultz

Events will take place in three main locations across Ridgefield: downtown off Pioneer Street, the Carty Unit and Cathlapotle Plankhouse inside the refuge and the River S’ by the Kiwi Trail.

Downtown, visitors will be met with live music as well as crafts and hands on activities for kids. Presentations on local birds and a bird photo contest will also be featured around downtown businesses.

Down at the Refuge Carty Unit and Cathlapotle Plankhouse, night hikes, geology walks, salmon bakes, and presentations on the Life of the Cathlapotle people will happen. All ages are welcome, and there is no fee for the salmon bake, which is on Sunday.

The interior of the Cathlapotle Plankhouse, near the entrance to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, during Birdfest 2017. Photo by Mike Schultz
The interior of the Cathlapotle Plankhouse, near the entrance to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, during Birdfest 2017. Photo by Mike Schultz

At the Kiwi Trail by the River S’, bird photography classes and tours will be available, along with a bird language workshop. Participants will even have the opportunity to see birds through high-end spotting scopes, provided by the Vancouver Audubon Society.

For more information on Birdfest, to register for events or to volunteer for the weekend, visit the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge’s web page, or see the event details on their Facebook page.

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About The Author

Jacob Granneman

Jacob Granneman is a filmmaker and writer from Clark County. He is a recent graduate of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College, where he studied media production. He has produced documentary stories all over the Pacific Northwest and in Argentina. His passions range from loving people, to cinematography, to going on adventures in the most beautiful place on earth, i.e. his backyard. He lives with his wife in Vancouver, WA.

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