ducks

Mallard ducks paddle in a pool of Johnson Creek west of Riverside.

OLYMPIA – Waterbirds will be the topic of an online, interactive event Saturday, Feb. 20.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is hosting the event at 10 a.m. to highlight waterbirds, the spectacle of spring migration, and to visit – virtually - some of the hidden gem locations across Washington for waterfowl viewing and hunting.

“As part of the Pacific Flyway, we are incredibly well located for those who want to enjoy the migration of waterfowl coming through the state,” said Kyle Spragens, event host and the department’s waterfowl section manager. “At this event we’re going to virtually take participants to three different sites to show people how they can experience waterbirds and waterfowl, plus the wetland habitat conservation partnerships that help make it possible.

“We’ve had to curtail visiting with people at in-person events this last year due to COVID-19, so we’re excited to try this as one way to still engage our residents in ways to explore the state’s fish and wildlife.”

The department, Audubon, Ducks Unlimited and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service are teaming up to take participants to virtual stops at several world-class birding locations:

-Participants will hear about bird watching tips, species diversity and more from an expert birding guide from Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society in Sequim.

-At McNary National Wildlife Refuge, near the Tri-Cities, presenters from the refuge and department will discuss the national wildlife refuge system, and conservation work to provide habitat for waterbirds, snow geese and other wildlife.

-In the Spokane area, partners from Ducks Unlimited and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will discuss the critical contributions of hunters to conservation of waterbirds, partnerships at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, and the stories of spring bird migrations in eastern Washington.

The public will be invited to ask questions as time allows.

Pre-registration is not required. Participants should visit: zoom.us/j/95133923218 at approximately 9:55 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, to take part.

A recording of the event will be available on YouTube within a few days following the event.

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