Western Tanager

A western tanager perches along the Riverfront Trail in The Dalles, one of many species migrating into and through the region as they move to their breeding grounds. Migratory birds will take center stage at The Dalles Dam visitor center Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the 26th Annual Migratory Bird Day with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center.

Migratory birds will take center stage at The Dalles Dam visitor center Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the 26th Annual Migratory Bird Day with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center.

This annual commemoration highlights the spectacular journeys that migratory birds take each year as they travel between nesting and non-breeding sites around the world.

Corps park rangers will host a free, family-friendly, accessible event at the Center. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own scopes, binoculars, GPS units and cameras.

A live bird presentation will begin at 10 a.m. with a  raptor handler from The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center on site to talk about bird conservation.

Self-guided activities will be ongoing until 3 p.m., including a high-tech Scavenger Hunt. Learn about bird conservation and why birds are important to local ecosystems with your own GPS unit or one borrowed from the Center (ID required).

Bird Bingo will explore the variety of bird life in our backyard.

Crafts for kids will be on the theme of protecting birds, raising awareness with “be the solution to plastic pollution.” Since plastic was introduced in the 1950s, an estimated 8.3 billion metric tons have been created. Only about 9 percent of plastic materials are recycled, leaving more than 6.3 billion metric tons of plastics in landfills or polluting the environment. Plastics harm birds in marine environments, as well as other habitats. As use of plastics grows, so does the amount of plastic pollution that invades most ecosystems around the globe. It’s been estimated that 80 percent of sea and shorebirds have consumed foam, pellets, thread, and other items. In addition, small bits of plastic, known as microplastics, pose a hazard to birds and smaller organisms throughout the food chain due to the toxins they concentrate in the environment.

The Dalles Dam Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday, between May 1 and Memorial Day weekend. After Memorial Day, the Center begins daily operations, seven days a week, through Labor Day weekend. Labor Day through the end of September, weekend-only operations resume. There are no entrance fees for the visitor center.

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