Calling all birders: Free bird, wildflower walks at Silver Falls

May 2015 Posted in Community
For the $5 cost of materials park visitors can work with Audubon  Society volunteers to build a bird house to take home

For the $5 cost of materials park visitors can work with Audubon Society volunteers to build a bird house to take home

With the early spring weather, the birds and wildflowers are ready for the 37 annual Mother’s Day Birding and Wildflower Festival at Silver Falls State Park. The Festival will run Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the South Falls Historic District.

Visitors can choose from variety of guided wildflower walks, ranging from a ½-mile walk to a more intensive two-mile, two-hour “Walk through the Mist Zone.” No pets are allowed on these walks.

Birders can enjoy the opportunity to tag along with a professional. Stephen Shunk, owner of Paradise Birding & Tour Co., will be leading the bird tours. Highlights include a daily family walk, two popular early bird walks, a serene afternoon birding walk, and a 7 p.m. evening presentation at the New Ranch. Guided tours and presentations are free.

Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center will host a Raptor Meet-and-Greet in the historic CCC Combination Building daily each afternoon along with their other rehabilitated animals. Look for demonstrations of free-flying raptors each afternoon, hosted by Fly Wild in the meadow next to the Nature Store.

Native wildflowers of the area will be on display in the South Falls Lodge daily. Native plants will be for sale on the Lodge porch—local experts will be happy to provide recommendations. Plant sales will run until 4 p.m. each day.

Families can enjoy walks, lessons, and crafts on a wide range of nature topics. Visitors can create Mother’s Day springtime crafts or, for the $5 cost of materials assemble a bird-nesting box with the Salem Audubon Society on the front porch of the lodge.

Free sketching classes will be offer by professional illustrator Christine Elder. There will be one class each day on sketching birds and another on sketching wildflowers.

Each day ends with a free live raptor presentation “Feathered Hunters, Flying Mothers:  Oregon’s Birds of Prey,” by Susan LaFontaine of the Santiam branch of the Oregon Raptor Center.

A day-use parking permit is required to park; visitors can purchase a one-day permit for $5 or an annual permit for $30.

Mother’s Day Birding
& Wildflower Festival

Silver Falls State Park
South Falls Historic District
Hwy 214 S, 16 miles from Silverton
Saturday and Sunday
May 9 – 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m
Event schedule:
www.SilverFallsStatePark or
503- 874-0201

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