Kids will learn about the winged creatures that inhabit the sanctuary at this vacation week program. Spring is in full swing and all our flying friends are in a frenzy. If it has wings, we'll find it, and learn about the different ways creatures use their wings. Using binoculars, nets, and bug boxes, we'll take an up-close look at birds, dragonflies, butterflies, and other insects that make their homes at the sanctuary.
Each year on the first warm rainy night of spring, wood frogs and mole salamanders begin a mass migration to vernal pools where they breed. If you happen to be out on one of these evenings, the experience can be spectacular. Tonight, a part of the sanctuary will be transformed into a Big Night scene. Participants will take a one-hour guided walk along the Vernal Pool Trail, where they will meet some interesting characters who will share some facts and stories about themselves, vernal pools, and this special time of year.
Come for an exciting visit to the Joppa Flats Bird Banding Station on the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. See Mass Audubon scientists capture, measure, weigh, examine, and release migrant songbirds. Learn about migration, habitat use, and scientific research at a real field station. The station operates only during the height of migration in spring (April and May) and fall (September and October).
Kids will get their hands dirty and dig into the science of soil at this April vacation session. Meet the critters of the sanctuary that call dirt home. Worms, millipedes, sow bugs, weasels, and voles are a few soil creatures that we will hope to see. Find out what it takes to make a garden grow, before preparing and planting your own take-home garden.
Kids explore the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary during April Vacation Week! Spring is a time when many baby animals are born. Join IRWS to learn about the plant-eating mammals that make their home at the sanctuary. We hope to catch glimpses of them, and certainly we'll see signs that they are living here. Participate in a mammal obstacle course. Build a beaver and muskrat lodge as a group, and track deer and other mammals in the fields and forests of the sanctuary.
Wetlands are wonderful places full of fascinating animals and plants. Together we will discover the wetland habitats of the sanctuary. We'll hike to Hassocky Meadow and search for ducks, turtles, snakes, and more. We will continue our explorations at a real vernal pool and look for breeding salamanders, wood frogs, and their egg masses.
Celebrate spring by building a bluebird house with your child. We’ll supply all the materials and instruction to build a nest box for bluebirds and tree swallows. These wonderful nest boxes also attract chickadees, tufted titmice, house wrens, and woodpeckers. A short slide presentation will introduce families to the natural history and behavior of birds in Massachusetts, and we’ll discuss where and how to place your nest box. Dress for the weather because we will take a short walk to look and listen for bluebirds.
Spend some weekend time with others who are interested in science and wildlife, and get in touch with your "inner scientist!" You'll get a chance to meet live creatures, design something "green," or explore a new field in science. Winter is prime time to see harbor seals from the beach! Join us as we head over to Salisbury Beach State Reservation to watch these charismatic creatures through our scopes and binoculars.
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary hosts a Springtime Stargazing Party! Hidden amongst the brighter stars of the night sky are the celestial jewels that one can only see with the assistance of a telescope and, to some extent, a good pair of binoculars. These are the deep-sky objects, which include variable stars, binary stars, star clusters, gaseous nebulae, galaxies, and more. In the indoor portion of this evening's program, we will review some of the many deep-sky objects of the spring constellations. Afterward, weather permitting, we'll step outside to view a small sampling of them using a large reflector telescope.
Owls are just beginning to nest at this time of year, and we're going out to Rough Meadows to find them! On our walk, we'll learn about the superpowers that owls use to survive the winter and raise their young. With some luck, we might stumble upon tracks, scat, or burrows -- evidence of other nocturnal animals.
Friday, April 19
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