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Wildlife refuge turns 90

Published: Saturday, May 10, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST
Caption
Tourists take pictures during last year's Migratory Bird Day at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The refuge will celebrate it's 90th birthday along with Migratory Bird Day May 17 with activities and tours at Lost Mound, 3159 Crim Drive, Savanna. Photo submitted by Pam Steinhaus.

SAVANNA – The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge will celebrate its 90th birthday in conjunction with Migratory Bird Day.

All activities will be at Lost Mound, 3159 Crim Drive. Seating is limited.

■ There will be a wagon tour of Lost Mound from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Participants will gather at the parking lot to board the wagon.

Historical and current aspects of the area will be pointed out.

■ Bracelets for Birds, by Refuge Ranger Cindy Samples, will be at 9:45 a.m.

Samples will explain songbird movements and behaviors. A certified bander will capture birds safely, process valuable data, and place a numbered band on them. Depending on the number of birds caught, participants may handle and release one back to the wild.

■ Head Start, Ornate Box Turtle Reintroduction Program by Jeramie Strickland, USFWS wildlife biologist, will start at 11 a.m.

Lost Mound Sand Prairie historically supported a robust population of ornate box turtles before decades of military activity eliminated all but a few. Strickland will discuss ways to repopulate the turtle and affects of the harsh winter.

■ Birding will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Participants will meet at 1:45 p.m. at the office parking lot. There is no cost. Seating is limited.

Registration is required for the wagon tour and afternoon birding tour.

For more information or to register for the tours, call 815-273-2732. Those attending are welcome to bring binoculars and cameras.

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