A Fall Wildlife Festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 17, at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near Zimmerman.
Carrol Henderson will be the featured speaker. He will speak at 10:30 a.m. about trumpeter swans and 1:30 p.m. about sandhill cranes.
The Raptor Center will also be at the festival with hawks and owls at a meet-and-greet booth.
Guided nature walks, crafts, horse-drawn wagon rides and bird education are just a few of the other activities available during this event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival is free and family-oriented.
It will be held at the refuge, 5.5 miles west of Highway 169 on Sherburne County Road 9.
Here’s more information about some of the events.
•10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.: horse-drawn wagon rides
•10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m.: guided nature walks
10:30 a.m.: A Trumpeter Swan Success Story. Carrol Henderson first wrote a restoration plan for trumpeter swans in 1981. There are now an estimated 5,500 birds in Minnesota. Henderson will relate the challenges and stories that have unfolded during this 30-year-long recovery project.
1:30 p.m.: Sandhill Cranes in Minnesota. Sandhill cranes were one of Minnesota’s rarest birds in the 1930s, with only three dozen birds found in the Roseau Bog area. Since then, they have made a dramatic recovery across much of Minnesota. Carrol Henderson will recount the natural history, migrations and status of these birds in North America.
Henderson will also sign books from 11:45–12:30 p.m. at the refuge headquarters.
The festival will also feature a variety of booths and activities from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. including live Minnesota raptors on display, a geocaching scavenger hunt, kids’ fish casting, face painting, nature crafts, prairie seeds and teas, archery workshop, air rifle workshop and building for the birds. There also will be a silent auction, with bidding closing at 2 p.m.
A refuge birthday cake celebrating the 46th birthday of Sherburne refuge will be served at 1 p.m.
Brats and hot dogs will be for sale from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
For more information, go to www.fws.gov/midwest/sherburne/Refuge.htm or call 763-389-3323.