"Smiles. Laughter. Passion. Heart. And Dedication. This is what I see every day when I come to work and see a member of the Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge."
---Erin Holmes, Refuge Manager
And from that, an award nomination was created, and won! Thank you to the FWS Refuge staff who nominated us for this prestigious award.
The Friends of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge have been awarded the 2014 Friends Group of the Year award by the National Wildlife Refuge Association.
The award recognizes the outstanding contributions by the groups of dedicated volunteers in Friends organizations who provide essential services to the National Wildlife Refuge System. This award is presented to the Friends group whose contributions are judged to be the most outstanding of the candidate groups nominated, based on the accomplishments and attributes in the evaluation categories outlined in the full nomination report.
Read the complete nomination form and a list of accomplishments and outstanding work performed by our Friends organization.
Visit the Bird Tracker to view bird counts reported this month.
William Finley instrumental in the establishment of Oregon's National Wildlife Refuges.
In 1911, Finley began a long career in public service. He helped institute Oregon's first Fish and Game Commission and was appointed State Game Warden. Under his direction, Oregon lakes previously depleted were stocked with trout from state hatcheries in a railroad car called "The Rainbow" which was specifically developed to carry trout throughout the state. Finley resigned his post as Game Commissioner in 1930 and devoted the rest of his life to his writing and his nature films and continued to lend his support in behalf of conservation issues. After his death the wintering and resting habitat for the dusky Canada goose in Oregon's Willamette Valley was set aside as a national refuge and named the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge in his honor.
Read more about William Finley's life work at the US Fish and Wildlife website.
Migration Chronology from Pete Schmidt, Biologist
February – Duck hunting season is over, so ducks move out to eat at duck hunting clubs that grew forage to attract these birds during the season. The first migrant songbirds arrive from their southern wintering areas. Yellow-rumped warblers add a flash of color to a drab landscape.
Juvenile Bald Eagles at the Refuge
Many folks have seen a juvenile bald eagle hanging out at the refuge in recent days, and there have been questions about whether it is last year’s offspring of our eagle pair. I actually saw two juvenile eagles interacting at another unit on the refuge, so there is definitely more than one juvenile in the vicinity. One of juveniles I saw had dark coloration while the other was more mottled with white, suggesting the two individuals were born in different years. Based on these colorations, it is likely that the dark individual is a first year juvenile and the mottled individual is at least a second year juvenile.
Here are some additional facts about juvenile bald eagles you might find interesting:
• First year juvenile bald eagles are often confused with golden eagles due to similar
• Bald eagles do not exhibit classic adult coloration (white head/tail feathers) until 4-5
years of age.
• Beak and eye color changes from dark brown to yellow as juveniles mature.
• The coloration pattern of juveniles signals that they are not ready to breed.
• Juveniles have been observed building “practice” nests even though they are not
• Adults often eventually nest in locations where they spent their first few winters as
We’re hoping that at least one of these juveniles hanging around was born on the refuge, but
we’re not really sure. What do you think? Happy viewing!
Trevor Sheffels, Wildlife Biological Technician