Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is hosting its Eagle Festival the weekends of March 5 and 6, and March 12 and 13, 2022. This year’s festival will be different than past festivals. With the continuing need for social distancing, this year’s activities will require pre-registration, with some in-person programs taking place on the refuge, and some virtual programs taking place on Facebook (@BlackwaterNWR) and Zoom. The Wildlife Drive will be free-of-charge both weekends to encourage folks to get outdoors and visit the refuge.
A guided bird walk or birding tour will kick off each morning of the festival in search of ducks, geese, swans, songbirds, and of course, bald eagles! Kids ages 8 and up can sign up for youth archery, where they will become familiar with the equipment and its safe use before taking aim and shooting at targets. Kids of all ages can dissect an owl pellet and discover what owls eat by examining skeletal remains found in the owl pellet. If you’re a late sleeper, consider signing up for a guided 5-mile bicycle tour of Wildlife Drive with refuge staff. Pre-registration is required for all programs at https://bit.ly/blackwatereaglefestival.
Follow the refuge on Facebook @BlackwaterNWR for eagle identification tips and a roundup of some of the best hotspots to see eagles on the refuge.
Refuge volunteer Ron Ketter will present the virtual program “Waterfowl and Marsh Birds along Wildlife Drive” on Sunday, March 6, 2022, at 7pm. Register at Eventbrite at https://bit.ly/blackwatereaglefestival to receive the Zoom link for this program, hosted by the Friends of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
Looking to get some fresh air? Bring the young ones out to the refuge to hike the Woods Trail and read the picture book The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward. This StoryWalk® will be installed along the Woods Trail beginning March 5 through the end of the month. Learn about the importance of a tree and the animals that can be found there, while getting physical activity outdoors with the family!
Stop by the Blackwater NWR Visitor Center to view the winning artwork from the 2022 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest, as well as the winners of the Friends of Blackwater’s Refuge Photo Contest. Visitors will also be able to make a wildlife button to take home. Visitor Center hours are 10am to 4pm Tuesday through Sunday. Pets are not permitted outside of vehicles on the refuge, so please leave pets at home.
To protect the health of those who live, work, and visit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service public lands and facilities, face masks are currently required inside all federal buildings. They are also required outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Questions? Contact the Visitor Center at 410-228-2677 during normal business hours.