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Upcoming Events, Walks and Programs

Click on an event in the calendar to see the details on the event.

Note that most of our Monthly Meetings are recorded. Links to the recordings hosted by SudburyTV can be found on the Past Event Videos page.

Wednesday, April 1, 7:00 PM

Eyes on Conservation - Speaker Series

Gray Seal Pups on Muskeget and Monomoy Islands

Gordon Waring, Ph.D., Research Fishery Biologist at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center heads the seal research program. He will discuss his findings on capturing, tagging, sampling and releasing gray seal pups on Muskeget Island and Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Wendy Puryear, Ph. D., Research Scientist at MIT will co-lead discussion on the value this provides to understanding influenza in marine mammals.

Saturday, April 4, 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Woodcock Watch at Great Meadows NWR

The earliest signs of spring are here! Join us for a dusk viewing to see the male woodcock's aerial courtship display at 73 Weir Hill, Great Meadows NWR in Sudbury. Listen for the woodcock "peents" and see the male in full flight in display.

Contact to reserve a space.

Friday, April 10, 3:00 - 4:30 PM

Eyes on Conservation - Speaker Series

Introduction to Vernal Pools for Kids

Kids will learn about the importance of vernal pools and the organisms that call it home. After the indoors portion, we will explore a nearby vernal pool. Program open to 5 year olds and older; siblings welcome.

Program will happen even with rain! Please contact Kizette at or 978-562-3527 x 117 to RSVP.

Sunday, April 12, 3:00 - 5:00 PM

Nature Walk: A Sense of Place at Great Meadows NWR

Join naturalist Cherrie Corey for her continuing exploration of the Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge landscape. the warming sun, singing birds, and fattening buds reassure us that spring is poised to blossom, even as the snow slowly recedes. Join Cherrie to greet the flowers, water creatures, and returning birds that fill the refuge with exuberant life each spring. Dress in layers, the refuge trails are often 10º cooler than more protected areas in springtime. Rubber boots or waterproof footgear are recommended in March and April. Bring binoculars and cameras if you have them.

For each walk, a $5/person voluntary donation is requested. No pre-registration required. Meet at the information kiosk by the parking lot, Great Meadows NWR in Concord (Monsen Rd, off Rte. 62, driveway on left where road curves right). Questions? see sense-of-place-concord.blogspot, email or call 978-760-1933. Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Assabet River NWR, Musketaquid Arts and Environment Program, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Thursday, April 16, 7:00 PM

Eyes on Conservation - Speaker Series

Protecting Rare Shorebirds in Massachusetts: South Beach, Chatham - a Piping Plover Hotspot

Mass Audubon's Coastal Waterbird Program is one of the most effective entities working to protect coastal birds and barrier beaches in New England. Launched in 1987 in response to declining populations of Piping Plovers and terns in Massachusetts, the Coastal Waterbird Program’s primary objective is to protect nesting and foraging areas throughout the state. Since its first year, the program has successfully helped to recover the Massachusetts population of Piping Plovers from 135 pairs in 1986 to 700 pairs in 2012. Massachusetts is integral to the recovery of the federally threatened Atlantic Coast population of the Piping Plover, supporting roughly one-third of the breeding population. The Coastal Waterbird Program monitors and protects 180 nesting sites on the Massachusetts coastline and protects approximately 40% of the state's Piping Plovers, 50% of Massachusetts Least Terns, and 20% of Massachusetts American Oystercatchers. In addition, the program is instrumental in the protection of Roseate Terns during the months after breeding when the birds are preparing for migration. Although the primary focus of the program at its inception was the protection of the most threatened species of coastal birds, today, the Coastal Waterbird Program advocates for the protection of the entire coastal ecosystem and serves as a model for integrated coastal resource management.

Katharine C. Parsons is Director of Mass Audubon’s Coastal Waterbird Program which partners with 50 communities in the Commonwealth to protect nesting shorebirds and terns.

Wednesday, April 22, 7:00 PM

Friends Annual Meeting and Monthly Speaker Series with Shawn Carey talking about Eastern Massachusetts Hawk Watch : Conservation and Preservation of Hawks by Monitoring Migration in Massachusetts

Shawn Carey, from the Eastern Massachusetts Hawk Watch, an all-volunteer, member-based organization whose mission is to promote the study, conservation and preservation of hawks, will share information about EMHW and the monitoring of hawk migration in Massachusetts. He will also show a short video "Looking Skyward" A Passion for Hawkwatching by Shawn Carey and Jim Grady. This video examines why people watch hawks, explains some of its long, storied history, and explores some of the prime locations for viewing hawk migration (Hawk Mountain and Cape May). Video footage includes a wide range of raptors in flight as well as interviews with Pete Dunne, Bill Clark, and others.

Founded in 1976, EMHW is an all-volunteer, member-based organization whose mission is to promote the study, conservation and preservation of hawks locally and on a continental scale by monitoring migration in Massachusetts; to share data for research and conservation purposes; to promote education and awareness of the identification of hawks and the issues related to migrating hawks and to instill an appreciation for hawks in general.

Shawn P. Carey (Migration Productions) produces bird/wildlife related Multi-media Presentations that have been presented at many natural history events all over the United States. Migration Productions has been presenting programs to birding organizations, natural history events and camera clubs all over the United States. Shawn's photographs have been published in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Science magazine, Mass Audubon Sanctuary Magazine and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary just to name a few.

In 1997 he started teaching bird photography workshops (Fundamentals of Bird Photography) for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. He works full time as the Operations Manager at AVFX in Boston, MA.

The Friends of the Assabet River NWR holds its monthly speaker series on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the US Fish and Wildlife Services' Eastern Mass. Visitor Center, 680 Hudson Road, Sudbury MA 01776 (Google Map). Talks are free and open to the public.

Friday, April 23, 1:00 PM

Film: Disneynature's Bears and Kids Program

From Disneynature, the studio that brought you Earth and Chimpanzee, comes Bears - an epic story of breathtaking scale. Showcasing a year in the life of a bear family, mother Sky teaches her two impressionable cubs, Amber and Scout about life’s most important lessons (78mins).

Through discussion and a game, kids will come to better understand what bears need to survive and what limits them.

Friday, April 24, 10:30 - 11:30 AM

Refuge Fledglings Hour — Nature-themed Program Series for Kids

Join Refuge staff for Refuge Fledglings Hour, a nature-themed program series that includes crafts, stories, and games or songs that relate to a different topic each month. This month we’ll look at a day in the life of a fish.

Programs are usually held the 4th Friday of every month from 10:30am – 11:30 AM. For 2 to 5 year olds; siblings welcome. Held at the Visitor Center. Program is limited to 25 kids so registration is required; please contact Kizette at or 978-562-3527 x 117 to RSVP.

Wednesday, May 27, 7:00 PM

Friends Monthly Speaker Series with William Lynn talking about The Wisdom of the Barred Owl: Ethics and Wicked Problems in Environmental Policy

What ought we do when the protection of one species may involving the slaughter of another? This was the wicked problem facing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) when deciding whether to kill barred owls for the benefit of the northern spotted owls. Wicked problems are policy issues over which there is strong moral disagreement, making them problems that cannot be solved through science alone. Recognizing they needed ethics training and analysis, the USFWS formed the Barred Owl Stakeholder Group (BOSG).

The final environmental impact statement recommended a removal experiment, and barred owls are currently being killed in four removal zones in the Pacific northwest. This was both an ethical and scientific judgement. It was also a pathbreaking document in that it was the first time a federal agency integrated a formal ethics review into its environmental analysis, with far reaching implications for environmental policy.

Bill Lynn is Senior Fellow for Ethics and Public Policy in the Center for Urban Resilience at Loyola Marymount University, a research scientist in the Marsh Institute at Clark University, and former Director of the Masters in Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University. His research and teaching focus on ethics and public policy, with an emphasis on animals, the environment and sustainability. Standing astride the environmental humanities and social sciences, Bill uses ethics and policy analysis to explore how moral norms shape public policy. As a consultant and keynote speaker, he also provides ethics advising, training and social marketing to help citizens and organizations improve their toolbox for policy-making.

The Friends of the Assabet River NWR holds its monthly speaker series on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the US Fish and Wildlife Services' Eastern Mass. Visitor Center, 680 Hudson Road, Sudbury MA 01776 (Google Map). Talks are free and open to the public.


Outdoors This Week

The Friends posts our events to Outdoors This Week, a weekly listing of outdoor activities located west of Boston sponsored by local environmental organizations. Click here to subscribe.