Monday, January 11, 2016

Save the Date!

Spring Wings Festival 2016 will take place Friday, May 20 - Saturday, May 21.
Stay tuned for detailed information and tours.
We're looking forward to a great year!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

One-of-a-kind Canvasback Tule Duck Shirts for Sale!

Check out our the custom artwork of the historic Canvasback duck decoy on our 100% cotton, pre-shrunk shirt! Scroll to the right of this page to purchase your own for just $20 and free shipping.

The following is a brief history on the Tule duck:

"The Canvasback duck decoy made from tules is an icon of the Lahontan Valley wetlands in Nevada. These decoys date back over 3000 years to the time of the early Paiute people who thrived in the Stillwater marsh. They developed a method of constructing lifelike duck decoys from tightly woven marsh plants, painted them with mineral dyes and sometimes wrapped feathers on the form.  Small groups of these were floated in the marsh ponds to 'decoy' other waterfowl into landing within range of the hunters' arrow. A well-preserved group of these decoys was discovered in a cave near Lovelock, NV in the 1920's, and are on display at the Smithsonian Institution.  Today, a handful of Paiute tribal members continue to create these decoys as fine art for sale, using traditional methods passed down through the generations."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Spring Wings Festival 2015 Summary

Thanks to all who came out for our 18th annual Spring Wings Festival on May 16!  It was a great day of good weather, birding, activities and presentations.  We estimate just under 300 visitors took part in some way, and judging by evaluations, all enjoyed themselves and learned something new!

Many thanks go to: the planning team, the awesome volunteers who setup, drove, spoke, guided, educated, created, served or cleaned and packed; and the public who attended.  Even though this year was scaled back to one day, it was jam-packed with an excellent variety of exhibits, talks, tours and educational activities.

We hope to expand next year and get back to the multi-day format and offer more tours and off-site programs in the Lahontan Valley wetlands.  Your support is much appreciated and feedback helps us become a better event for the public. Drop us an email or give us a call at 775/423-5128 ext. 224.

Pacific Flyway Decoy Association member Bob Solari, center, instructs Spring Wings workshop attendees
(and sisters!) Carolyn Coleman and Cate Scott on creating a Greater Yellowlegs carving

Master Falconer Marie Gaspari-Crawford with her Gyrfalcon 'Casper', center, discusses
the history of Falconry with Spring Wings Festival attendees.

Beekeeper Jane Anderson presented an entertaining program on backyard beekeeping
to a full house at Spring Wings Festival 2015.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Another Dry Year - How Will it Affect the Birds?

Greetings Fellow Outdoor Enthusiasts!

Now that we are moving from winter (that never really was!) into spring/summer, 2015 isn't shaping up to be a wet one, for the 4th consecutive year.  Already, residents and avid birders are noticing birds and bird behavior that are either rare, uncommon or more assertive due to limited resources available.  These could be signs of stress in our migratory bird populations and patterns for the Lahontan Valley wetlands.

While Mother Nature was able to throw down some moisture in the valley and snow in the Sierra, it most likely will be a case of too little too late, and certainly will not be enough to change the drought conditions in our area for the summer.

While a continued drought doesn't bode well for quality bird habitat or viewing opportunities, the Friends of Stillwater are exploring options for creating a worthwhile 'community service project' that may benefit wildlife in which participants help restore or improve a local habitat. 

As always, we strive to provide a quality educational outdoor experience and introduce people to the wonders of wildlife and birds, even if Nature has other plans this year!

Thank you for your support in our efforts!

The Friends of Stillwater NWR Board of Directors
updated May 22, 2015