On May 18th, 2022 the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge celebrated their 57th year! Valley Farms® would like to extend a hearty congratulations to the Ridgefield NWR for reaching this birthday and thank them for creating a natural environment for exploring and birdwatching. Learn more about the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and put it on your list of places to visit this summer.
What is the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge?
Established on May 18th in 1965, the Ridgefield NWF is located in Vancouver, Washington right between the Columbia River and the town of Ridgefield. The Refuge was originally created to preserve the habitat of the Canada Goose, but has since grown to restore and conserve Oregon White Oak woodlands, pastures, and wetland habitats for a wide range of species including deer and wild birds.
2021 Bird Photo Contest1st Place Winner Fred Kerr, Four Tree Swallow Chicks being fed
Birding at the Ridgefield NWR
The Ridgefield NWR is known for being a place where both experienced and novice birders can connect with wildlife. The Friends of the Ridgefield NWR’s website offers an extensive birding list that was recently updated in 2021 to reflect species sightings by season, week, year, and a searchable archive by date range. The list also indicates each species’ abundance to suggest the likelihood of birders spotting them. There were 258 species reported in 2021. Among some of the most common seen throughout multiple season were the Black-capped Chickadee, the Song Sparrow, the European Starling, the Bewick’s Wren, the California Scrub-Jay, the Steller’s Jay, Anna’s Hummingbird, the House Finch, the American Goldfinch, and the American Robin.
Chickadees in particular are curious and friendly little birds that you may have the pleasure of spotting here. Food for chickadees often includes sunflower hearts bird seed, which you can get in the chickadee food mix right from Valley Farms®!
Black-Capped Chickadee feeding on black oil sunflower seeds
Towhee at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
Visiting the Refuge
The Refuge is accessible via car or by foot. The Auto Tour Route is the River ‘S’ Unit and the walking route is the Kiwa Trail. Visitors are advised to keep seasonal closures in mind as they relate to wintering waterfowl in the wetlands. Maps of the refuge and the various routes can be found on the Friends of the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge website for additional reference.
Painted turtles at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
2020 Refuge Photo Contest Landscape 1st Place Winner Gary Grossman- River S' Auto Tour at sunrise with geese flying overhead.
Visitors may purchase a Ridgefield NWR specific pass for $15.00 at the Refuge office to get access to the Refuge for an entire year. They may also purchase other types of passes for access to federal grounds, including the Ridgefield NWR. 80% of the funds collected are used for recreation expenses including public safety, facilities enhancement, trail/road maintenance, and restoration for wildlife.
Join Valley Farms® as we congratulate the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge on their 57th Anniversary and look ahead to the future for many more. Thank you for your love and support of wildlife from all of us at Valley Farms®.