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Just looking for programs and activities? You’ll find them listed here, and in the full event schedule. Programs and activities are great ways to immerse yourself in our community, learn new things, enjoy family-friendly experiences, and have fun! Come and join us!

HOW, WHEN, AND WHERE TO BIRD HARNEY COUNTY PROGRAM

Birding the vast expanse of Harney County’s 10,000+ sq. miles can be daunting! Which birds are where? and when? Dan Streiffert has been birding and photographing in Harney County for 12+ years. This presentation showcases his approach to taking advantage of particular birding ‘routes’ that cover the diverse landscape and discovers the array of birds and other wildlife available. Dan will share tips and tricks for seeing particular species at different times of the day or throughout the year. Take this opportunity to talk with a specialist face to face! CLASSROOM STYLE PRESENTATION

$10 / person, Thursday, April 11,  3 to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Harney County Chamber of Commerce, 484 N Broadway, Burns, OR 97720

‘BELTED KINGFISHER – MESSENGER OF WATERWAYS’ BOOK TALK

Join author Marina Richie, winner of the 2024 John Burroughs Medal, for stories and excerpts from her award-winning book, Halcyon Journey: In Search of the Belted Kingfisher—illustrated by Newport artist Ram Papish and published by Oregon State University Press. Richie’s narrative weaves natural history, myth, and memoir to illuminate the jay-sized bird of the headfirst dive and rattling cry. Ultimately, she reveals an inviting pathway for all seeking kinship with nature nearby. This is the first book to feature North America’s beloved Belted Kingfisher.

Marina Richie is a nature writer living in Bend, Oregon. Richie’s articles, essays, and poetry appear in literary publications, popular magazines, blogs, and in book collections. She is also the author of two children’s books: Bird Feats of Montana and Bug Feats of Montana. Her education includes an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Montana and a B.A. in Biology from the University of Oregon. Richie has worked as a journalist, writer of interpretive signs, wildlife viewing coordinator, and communications director for wildlife initiatives. She serves on the board of the Greater Hells Canyon Council and writes a bi-monthly blog of prose and poetry at www.marinarichie.com.

Free, Thursday, April 11, 6 to 7 p.m.
Location: Harney County Library – 80 W ‘D’ St., Burns, OR, 97720

WATERFOWL ID WORKSHOP

Have you ever seen birds on a pond and wondered, who’s out there? This waterfowl ID class will give you the tools you need to identify them. This class will go over waterfowl evolution, point out patterns, shapes, and behaviors to help you identify the different species here in Harney County. After the class, join us in the Waterfowl ID Tour where we will use these new skills in the field. This class is led by Melissa Petschauer, Harney Basin Ecological Coordinator for High Desert Partnership. Her career has been based in avian research with a focus on waterfowl.

$20 / person, Friday, April 12, 7 to 8:30 a.m.
Location: 1899 Foundry, 315 N Broadway, Burns, OR 97720

URBAN BIRDING DROP-IN WALK

Looking for somewhere to bird between tours? Drop-in to the Burns/Hines Natural Trail. To access this trail you can drive north on Egan Rd from the Fairgrounds. Parking will be on your left just before Pierce St. If you want access to bathrooms, you can also drive through town to High Desert Partnership and park in their parking lot. From their parking lot you can walk to the Nature Trail by walking behind High Desert Partnership to Pettibone, then following Pettibone east to the trailhead (at the intersection between Pettibone and Peter French). This trailhead follows along the golf course and a left turn will take you to a viewing platform for the Burns Sewage ponds. The trail extends about a mile past the viewing platform, past meadows, shrubs, grasses, and Russian olives. Volunteers may be out and about on the trail to help with your birding experience!

Free, Friday/Saturday/Sunday, April 12/13/14, 7:30 to 10 a.m.  |  Friday/Saturday, April 12/13, 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Burns/Hines Natural Trail

FIELD SKETCHING / JOURNALING  WORKSHOP/TOUR

Join artist Tory Schmidt for a fun and easy sketching workshop to learn about and practice with materials and techniques for working quickly in the field. You’ll enjoy simple exercises to help with drawing accuracy of real life scenes and subjects, landscapes up close and far away, story telling through art, and keeping a journal of informative observations. There is no experience necessary to participate in a field sketching workshop and all levels are welcome. Tory was raised in Harney County and has been a professional artist for nearly a decade. Tory leads painting workshops regularly for locals and visitors. Participants will travel to a local residence that has diverse habitat and often attracts Wood Ducks, Hooded Merganser, and other duck species; songbirds and diverse raptor species. CARAVAN TOUR (We lead, you drive).

$20 / person, Friday/Saturday, April 12/13, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Departs from: Harney County Fairgrounds Memorial Building – 69660 S Egan Burns, OR, 97720

ART SHOW & SALE

The Art Show and Sale offers high-quality work from local and regional artists. Located in the Harney County Fairgrounds Memorial Building throughout the weekend, festival participants have a wonderful opportunity to view and purchase original pieces of art, including wildlife paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, woodworks and much more. No admission fee!

Free, Friday, April 12: 12 to 6 p.m.  |   Saturday, April 13: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.   |   Sunday, April 14: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Harney County Fairgrounds Memorial Building – 69660 S Egan Burns, OR, 97720

BIRDING BY EAR WORKSHOP

This workshop is designed for individuals who have some experience with bird appreciation. Led by audiophile Teresa Wicks, you don’t need to be an expert at identifying birds by sight, but it could be helpful to have some of the basics of visual bird ID down to assist you with this workshop. Teresa is Portland Audubon’s Eastern Oregon Biologist based in Harney County for nearly 6 years, and has been identifying birds by ear for decades.

During this hour and a half, we’ll cover birdsong basics, including different types of bird vocalizations and what they mean, understanding components of a bird song, and we’ll cover a few of my local favorite songbirds. We will also cover apps for assisting with bird ID. Merlin can be great for bird ID but is often wrong (we’ll explain why that happens) and doesn’t necessarily provide help for learning songs on your own. We will also discuss the Larkwire app for learning bird songs.

$20 / person, Friday, April 12, 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Location: 1899 Foundry, 315 N Broadway, Burns, OR 97720

BIRD PHOTOS: COMPOSITION, LIGHT & ACTION [Workshop]

Join lensman Bill Ray for a fun and educational workshop about avian photography! Among other things, Bill has won photography awards at Pacific Northwest juried art shows and international online contests, is a regular speaker at camera and birding clubs and has been an ArtWorks Edmonds and Schack Art Center Everett Photo Instructor! What makes an engaging, beautiful bird photo different from a quick snapshot? How can you get better bird shots more often — yet ethically — with camera gear that will not break your back or your budget? Get all the answers and learn two easy photo edits to improve almost any wildlife image at this engaging class!

$20 /person,  Friday 2p to 4pm
Location: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters Conference Room – 36391 Sodhouse Ln, Princeton, OR, 97721

VERITAS SCHOOL CHOIR PERFORMANCE

 The Veritas School Choir from Newberg, Oregon, has been singing at the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival for several years (alternating years). In a casual, personal setting, the choir will perform several songs immediately prior to the Bird Trivia & Happy Hour. Come early to get a good seat and support these talented artists. Veritas School Choir has a long tradition of excellence with many State Championship titles earned in the past decade! Free!

Free, Friday, April 12, 5 to 5:30 p.m. 
Location: Figaro’s Pizza – 673 W Monroe St., Burns, OR 97720

RAPTOR ID WORKSHOP

Explore Harney County’s diurnal birds of prey with biologist Matt Hanneman. Matt is the Wildlife Program Manager for the Burns Paiute Tribe. He conducted graduate work on Red-shouldered hawks and is currently studying the American Kestrel. This workshop will focus on field marks as well as shape, size, and general behavior to develop your new skills at identifying local eagles, hawks and falcons. After this Workshop you’ll have an understanding of the seasonal changes in raptors in the Harney Basin and why April can be an exciting time for raptor watching! CLASSROOM STYLE WORKSHOP.

$20 / person, Saturday, April 13, 7 to 9:30 a.m.
Location: 1899 Foundry – 315 N Broadway, Burns, OR 97720

KIDS’ STORYWALK

StoryWalk® is a movement and literacy boosting project that places an illustrated children’s book, taken apart and displayed page by page, along a walking route in your community. The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. The Harney County Library’s StoryWalk is in the park along the west side of the library, and it features a book about the life cycle of the Monarch Butterflies! FAMILY FRIENDLY.

Free, Saturday, April 13, 9 to 10 a.m.
Location: Harney County Library, 80 W ‘D’ Street, Burns, OR 97720

KIDS’ FAIR IN THE FIELD

Fair in the Field is a fun and exciting event put on by various agencies and organizations in Harney County. We will provide hands-on activities that will offer fun insight into the bird habitat in Harney County. This event will be fun for the whole family!

Free, Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Location: Harney County Fairgrounds Sale Barn – 69660 S Egan, Burns, OR, 97720

BIRD PHOTOS: COMPOSITION, LIGHT & ACTION [Field Practice]

It’s time for Bill Ray’s field portion of “Bird Photos” – put your classroom work to the test! Bring your camera and gear and practice your techniques. Ask questions, play with different settings and angles, experiment with exposure and backgrounds, and sharpen your skills all around. You don’t want to miss this opportunity for real world, hands-on experience with a professional like Bill! Anyone is welcome to sign up for this session, but preference will be first given to those who attended the corresponding workshop. CARAVAN TOUR (We lead, you drive).

$25 / person, Saturday, April 13, 9am to 12pm
Location: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters – 36391 Sodhouse Ln, Princeton, OR, 97721

KIDS’ BIRDHOUSE BUILDING

Bring the kids and join the Harney County Lions Club for a birdhouse building workshop! All materials are pre-cut and provided by the Lions Club at no expense. Volunteers will be available to help with construction, though adults are encouraged to get hands on and help their littles. There are approximately 75-100 kits available, and they usually go quickly!

Free, Saturday, April 13, 12 to 2 p.m.
Location: Harney County Fairgrounds Sale Barn – 69660 S Egan, Burns, OR, 97720

BRUNCH WITH THE BIRDS

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is a morning must-stop for every birder in the area during spring migration. You never know what will arrive to seek shelter among the small oasis of trees that surround the remarkable CCC-era buildings. Join Teresa Wicks, Portland Audubon’s Eastern Oregon Program Manager, for a walk of the grounds followed by a catered brunch hosted by the Friends of Malheur NWR at the Crane’s Nest Nature Center Pavilion along the Marshall Pond Trail. Participants should indicate dietary restrictions.

$40 / person, Sunday, April 14, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  
Location: Malheur Refuge Headquarters Lawn, 36391 Sodhouse Ln, Princeton, OR 97721

MALHEUR STEWARDSHIP WORK PARTY

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge gives us so much and this is your chance to Give Back with the Friends of Malheur Refuge! You have enjoyed two wonderful days of tours, how about an afternoon helping our Friends Group get the grounds around Refuge headquarters spruced up? Join our Stewardship work party coordinators Alice Elshoff and Donna Owens for some weeding in our pollinator garden, planting of more native pollinator plants, along with raking and cleaning up around the Cranes Nest Nature Center and Marshall Pond Wildlife Observation Trail!

Free, Sunday, April 14, 1 to 4 p.m.
Location: Malheur Refuge Headquarters Lawn, 36391 Sodhouse Ln, Princeton, OR 97721