Migration Celebration a success
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:02 pm
Reelfoot National Wild-life Refuge celebrated its Migration Celebration re-cently in honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week.
Three hayrides, driven by refuge volunteers Bob Green, Marty Lang and Friends Group member Terry Rudolph, carried visitors throughout the refuge, interpreting various habitats and management units, as well as management techniques that are used on the refuge.
Visitors learned about moist soil units and the importance of providing natural foods for waterfowl with refuge manager Drew Wirwa. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency manager Patrick Lemons used a variety of mounted duck species to teach waterfowl identification and even demonstrated how rocket nets are used to capture wood ducks for our banding process.
Visitors enjoyed a presentation by University of Tennessee at Martin’s Dr. David Pitts called “Birds on a Stick,” where visitors were able to see and learn about many types of birds found on or near the refuge.
Reelfoot Lake State Park’s seasonal interpretive rangers Keith Paluso and Dustin Crowell allowed participants to touch a corn snake and milk snake as they discussed snakes of Tennessee but were careful to keep visitors at a safe distance as they brought out a timber rattlesnake. Last but not least, Kelley Powers, World Goose Calling Champion of Champions and owner of Final Flight Outfitters, made everyone guess different calls of ducks and geese you might hear around Reelfoot Lake as he demonstrated calls of mallard hens, wood ducks, gadwalls, snow geese, Canada geese and white-fronted geese.
A booth with native animal pelts and skulls were displayed, along with brochures and waterfowl identification guides.
Food was served by refuge volunteers Margie Green and Sharon Lang. While eating their chili, visitors listened to interpretive specialist David Haggard, who performed a live bird of prey presentation that allowed each participant an up-close and personal view of a screech owl, barred owl, barn owl, red-tailed hawk and the majestic bald eagle.
Overall, this event provided a great opportunity for people to get outside and enjoy their refuge and wildlife resources that are right here in our backyard.
For more information about Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, or information on joining Friends of West Tennessee National Wildlife Refuges, please contact Refuge Ranger Tara Dowdy at 538-2481.
Published in The Messenger 10.26.12