As backyard birds head south for the winter, let's give them a proper send-off with a fun, free family event that features bird banding demonstrations, interactive games about bird migration, and lots of table-top science. Younger children will enjoy our crafts and games, while older children can get involved in physics and engineering fun! Preregistration is not required. children must be accompanied by an adult. Family presentations will be offered at half-past each hour.
Come enjoy an early evening excursion at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield! During the autumn months, thousands of migratory waterfowl fly directly over the sanctuary as they travel from their summer breeding grounds in the north to their winter homes in the south. Each night, hundreds of ducks drop into Bunker Meadows to rest and refuel for their journey. We will hike down to Bunker Meadows and climb the observation tower to observe the magnificent spectacle of ducks coming in to roost. Learn to identify different species, use counters to keep track of numbers, hear the sounds of ducks settling in for the night, and listen for the call of a great horned owl across the marsh. This is an evening not to be missed.
Come for an exciting family visit to the Joppa Flats Bird Banding Station on the Parker river National Wildlife Refuge. See Mass Audubon scientists capture, evaluate, and release migrant songbirds while you learn about migration and habitat use. Don't miss this chance - the station operates only during the height of migration in spring (April and May) and fall (September and October).
See live raptors up close. In this much-anticipated program, Bethani Garland, a wildlife biologist and rehabilitator from On the Wing, will present audiences with five different raptors (birds of prey). You will observe the birds and learn their different calls, the best locations to sight hawks, falcons, and owls, and understand how different body shapes affect how raptors hunt their prey in the air.
Explore the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary after hours and join us for a night of camping under the stars. Have an early dinner at home and then come with your family, your tent, and a dessert to share. Join us as we explore the habitats of the elusive owls.
Morning is a busy time for the birds so bring a beverage or breakfast snack, your binoculars and sit at a picnic table to watch their morning activity in the field. The park interpreter will explain birding behavior and other basics, then take you on a short walk to see them nesting.
Lisa Hutchings Teacher-Naturalist from Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats Education Center and the crew of Newburyport Harbor Tours Inc.'s Yankee Clipper invite you and your family for an exciting exploration of the lower Merrimack River ecosystem. We'll practice hands-on science, use interactive propgs, and look for seabirds, seals, and waterfowl on every trip. Enjoy cruising and learning about this vital part of the area's natural history.
Join park staff from the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for a full day of FREE family fun that's focused on outdoor activity! Try a range of fun, healthy outdoor activities including surf fishing on the refuge beach, kayaking in a refuge pond, archery target shooting, and photographing live birds of prey, Complete a birding scavenger hunt. Learn about monarch butterflies! See tide pool critters up close and personal! Lots of nature-based craft activities for younger (and older!) kids.
Local Native American tribes call the June full moon the Strawberry Moon because it heralds the time of year to pick wild strawberries. Spend an evening walking in the warm air, listen to the dusk bird songs turn to choruses of spring peepers, and try to catch a glimpse of our resident wildlife as spring ripens into summer. We'll enjoy some strawberries and chocolate as a sweet treat to end the night.