March 4, 2023
2023 Ohio Valley Birding Festival - Friday, April 28 Patoka River NWR Birding Hike 7 A.M. --Meets at Boyd Woods, Oakland City, IN. Approx. 2-3 hrs.; Sturdy shoes are recommended.
Join us for a birding walk through Boyd Woods in search of warblers and other migratory songbirds. We’ll continue the hike past Snakey Point Marsh for possible views of waterfowl and marsh birds, and end at a little-visited portion of Columbia Mine Preserve to look for grassland sparrows. Directions: East on SR 64 out of Oakland City 1 mile from SR 357 (Main) to CR 1275E (look for Refuge sign). Turn left and follow signs to Snakey Point Marsh and continue on to parking lot on left at Boyd Woods (Maxey Marsh on the right).
Additional information on the Ohio Valley Birding Festival can be found in the file below:
Mammals Program Reschedule
The Mammals Program (see 5/15/22 post below for details) has been rescheduled for Monday, June 13 at 5:30 pm CDT.
Friends of Patoka River NWR Presents All You Need to Know About Bluebirds! June 4, 2022
The Friends of Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge will sponsor a program about bluebirds on Saturday, June 4, at 9:00 AM CDT (10:00 AM Eastern). In case of inclement weather, the program will be rescheduled to June 11, same time, same place (watch for notices on Facebook or the website). Besides the life history of the bluebird, retired school teacher, Jerry Hunefeld, will include information he has learned through 45 years of maintaining a bluebird trail in southwestern Dubois County.
The hour-long program will take place on the Refuge at the Boyds Trail parking lot, just east of Snakey Point Marsh. At the conclusion of the presentation, there will be a drawing for some bluebird boxes which were constructed and donated to this event by the Friends of the Patoka River NWR.
To get to the Boyds Trail parking lot, head east on SR 64 through Oakland City. Just outside of the city, past the brown sign directing you to Snakey Point, turn left onto CR 1275E. In ½ mile, bear left onto paved CR 1300E; it will become gravel after a downhill. Continue one mile to the parking lot located on the left side of the road. There is additional parking on the right side as well.
Mammals of Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge - Postponed, New Date to be Determined
There are currently nearly 60 wild mammal species in Indiana. Join us at Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge where we’ll take a closer look at a few of those found living within Refuge boundaries. Guest speaker, Julie Loehr, will share information on current distribution and status of certain endangered or rare species, as well as information on
mammal dental forms as a means of identification. We will have mammal skins on hand to identify and touch, and also a few mammal skulls to observe and study. Take-home handouts will be available, as well as hands-on mammal track identification fun.
The program will be at the outdoor classroom next to Boyd’s Trail. It will last about an hour and a half. Insect repellant is suggested. To get to the Boyd’s Trail parking lot, head east on SR 64 through Oakland City. Just outside of the city, past the brown sign directing you to Snakey Point, turn left onto CR 1275E. In 1/2 mile, bear left onto paved 1300E; it will become gravel. Continue one mile to the parking lot located on the left side of the road.
The Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends of Patoka River NWR, Inc., would like to announce a special event at the Cane Ridge Wildlife Management Area to celebrate migratory birds on April 28. At the event, visitors will be guided to selected areas of Cane Ridge that are normally closed to the public to view the birds using the managed wetlands. Experienced birdwatchers and Refuge staff will be located at these areas to assist with bird identification and discuss bird migration, habitat management and Refuge regulations. No formal programs or presentations will be made, just a casual opportunity to view birds and visit with Refuge staff, volunteers and other birding enthusiasts. Refuge staff and volunteers will be on site from 9:00-1:00 Central Time, and participants may come by anytime during that time window, starting at the observation deck parking lot.
Cane Ridge has been designated by the National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, because of the diversity of habitat found there and its importance to migratory birds. Event participants should expect to see a variety of species of waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds.
Cane Ridge is located in Gibson County just south of Gibson Lake on County Road 1075W. From State HWY 64 heading west from Princeton Indiana, turn south onto State HWY 65, travel 1.3 miles and turn west on CR 125 S. Drive 2.25 miles on CR 125 S to CR 850W, turn left on CR 850W, then turn right on CR 150S and follow to the Observation Deck at Cane Ridge. There is limited parking at the Observation Deck area.
Contact the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 812-749-3199 for more information.
The first bird walk of the Ohio Valley Birding Festival will be at Patoka River NWR, Friday, April 22, at 7 AM at Boyd Woods. It will be approx. 2-3 hrs and sturdy shoes are recommended. Evan Speck will lead a birding walk through Boyd Woods in search of warblers and other migratory songbirds, continuing the hike past Snakey Point Marsh for possible views of waterfowl and marsh birds, and ending at a little-visited portion of Columbia Mine Preserve to look for grassland sparrows. Further OVBF information can be found at: evvaudubon.org.
Refuge Activity Update
If you've been checking for Friends activities you've probably noticed that none have been posted since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in March of 2020. At that time, out of concern for public safety, the US Fish and Wildlife Service felt it had to suspend all led public activities on the Refuge.
The good news is that this is beginning to come to an end. The refuge staff has advised that they plan to allow public activities such as led hikes, nature education, and volunteer workdays once the Indiana Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard and Map shows Gibson and Pike counties in the Blue (lowest concern) Advisory Level. As of March 14, 2022 Gibson County was shown at the Yellow Level and Pike County was shown at the Blue Level. The Friends of Patoka River NWR are beginning to make plans for activities to begin this Spring and we hope to be able to see you in person! Stay tuned for updates.
Meanwhile, Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge remains open to individuals to visit and enjoy all that it has to offer.
Peent! An Evening with Woodcocks
Saturday evening, February 29 and Saturday evening, March 7, the Refuge Friends will offer a unique birding experience for the whole family. Most outings aren’t focused on just one animal, but woodcocks are so neat they get a whole night all their own!
Just what is a “Peent?" It’s the sound made by male woodcocks while performing their courtship ritual flights. Join us at Boyd’s Trail parking lot on Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge at 7:00 Eastern p.m./6:00 p.m. Central for a brief presentation on the woodcock. Then, we’ll walk over to Maxey Marsh Trail and hope the woodcocks are in the mood to put on a show.
This event is open to all, regardless of age or experience. Yet, since this is an event in the evening that is dependent on a fairly quiet environment, parents are encouraged to stay with their children. Consider arriving early to enjoy the sunset and walk some trails.
Directions: From SR 357 (Main St.) in Oakland City, go east on SR 64 one mile to CR 1275E (look for Refuge sign). Turn left (north) on 1275E. Follow the signs to Snakey Point Marsh and continue on to the parking lot on the left at Boyd’s Trail.
Questions or directions? Look us up on Facebook @PatokaRefugeFriends or call 812-569-4009.
“Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge - A Home for Endangered Species” is the theme for the annual Refuge Appreciation Day. The event, hosted by the Friends of the Patoka River NWR and the Patoka River NWR, will be Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 9 am until 2 pm CT at Wirth Park in Oakland City, IN.
Featured morning programs are about endangered and recovered Indiana species. There will be programs on the state endangered swamp rabbit and the alligator snapping turtle. The Hardy Lake/Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center will present both endangered and recovered species of live birds. Morning programs will begin at 9:30 am CT.
Throughout the day, visitors will be able to explore over 20 booths that showcase nature, the environment, and conservation. Children’s crafts will take place in the small shelter house, and food, including breakfast and lunch provided by the Oakland City Eagles, will be available for purchase. The event and parking are free and open to the public. In case of inclement weather the event will be held indoors at the park. Come and enjoy nature at its best!
Schedule of Events on Central Time
9 am - 2 pm Booths and Children’s Crafts Building open to the public
9 - 9:10 am Presentation of Friends Award
9:10 - 9:25 am Endangered Species at PRNWR by Heath Hamilton, Assistant Refuge Manager
9:30 - 10:25 am Swamp Rabbit by Brad Westrich, INDNR
10:30 - 11:25 am Alligator Snapping Turtle by Ethan Kessler, INDNR
11:30 am - 12:45 pm Live birds, Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center by Leslie Grow, INDNR
Friends Board Meeting