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I think the Bird Fest was one of those things I found out about from our city’s free newspaper – my neighbors and I always joke about all the exciting news we learn when reading it every month. As soon as I heard about it, I knew it was a very Emma-friendly event and I had to go, even though I would be alone (it was a Saturday) – a little uncomfortable since there was no on-site parking and all attendees rode a shuttle together from a short distance away. Nat actually really wanted to come, so we went early with the hope of getting home before he had to leave for work… I ended up loving it so much that I called him a Lyft and he went to work while I hung around for another couple hours.

Dogs aren’t allowed at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, so I had never been. I loved the small interpretive center – and then all the activities and presentations of the festival! There was birdhouse building and duck decoy and Gyotaku fish painting (mostly for kids), archery, a fish casting challenge, and a waterfowl retrieval dog demonstration. Also, Conestoga wagon rides! My favorite part (after the wagon ride, obviously) was learning about the “monster invaders” and lamprey, and ~pond life~. I spent a long time watching tadpoles and salamanders swim around in water scooped from the pond. I left after the live bird show, but not before making a bird feeder and a seed ball and snagging a bird tote to color (my dad actually colored it beautifully during his visit a couple days later).