Family Nature Walks!

100_6362Bring the whole family to explore Magnuson Park with our nature educators! Join us as we watch and listen for songbirds, frogs, dragonflies, beaver, and other wildlife in the Magnuson Wetlands Complex, Historic District, and the Promontory Point Forest.  Each month brings exciting changes to the park plants and animals, and there always seem to be a few surprises in store!

 

We keep a pace that is comfortable for children, and we provide binoculars and other exploration supplies for all children and adults.  We have many daytime and nighttime walks to choose from in 2017, and all ages are welcome!

Walk Leaders: Magnuson Nature Educators Emily Bishton and/or Nicole Caudana, and Magnuson Nature Docents

Fee:  $3/individual (children ages 2 and under are free)

NEW! Online SPARC registration is now available for all our nature walks!
You can register in advance online at SPARC, or call Magnuson Community Center at 206-684-7026Drop-ins are welcome if we have not yet reached our maximum of 25 attendees, but pre-registration ensures that your family will definitely have a spot.

 

2017 Schedule:100_9900

  • FAMILY WETLAND WALK: TREE FROG TIME!  Saturday March 18th from 10 am – 11:30 am

As Seen On Badge(1)Celebrate spring by exploring the beautiful Magnuson Wetlands Complex to enjoy a ‘wee bit o’ the green’: our native Tree Frogs!  March is when they are most active, hopping up out of the ponds to sing as loud as they can to attract a mate. This is also a great time to see the first leaves popping out on the wetland plants, the first flowers blooming, and to get a good look at the winter resident waterfowl before their spring migration! We’ll do a variety of hands-on activities that are sure to delight attendees of all ages. Binoculars and other supplies provided for all, or bring your own.

Start Location: Park in lot #E-5 (off 65th), and follow the signs to meet at the Central Wetlands Complex entry trail in the NE corner of the parking lot.

Come explore the Wetlands to see Diving Beetles, Dragonflies, and other fascinating wildlife!

Diving Beetles, Dragonfly nymphs, and other fascinating wildlife will be in the ponds too!


  • NIGHTTIME NATURE WALK: THE SPRING SYMPHONY!  Saturday April 8th from 7:30 pm – 9 pm 

Our first Nighttime Nature Walk of the year will be filled with extra fun! Springtime brings all kinds of new life in the Magnuson Wetlands, especially from the thousands of Pacific Chorus Frogs whose eggs have now grown into tadpoles. The nighttime symphony of adult frogs that are still busy singing away throughout the park, led by their “Chorus Masters”, is one of the loudest in the Puget Sound area! The annual population explosion of Diving Beetles and other aquatic insects has also begun, and “whoo” knows what else we’ll hear and see! This fun and educational walk will feature exploration of pond water samples, a frog-calling contest, using a night-vision scope, and other hands-on activities that are sure to delight attendees of all ages. Binoculars and other supplies provided for all, or bring your own. Please bring a small flashlight.

Start Location: Park in lot #E-1 or #E-2 (off 65th and Lakeshore Drive), and follow the signs to meet at the entry sidewalk right next to the Boat Launch.

Violet-green Swallow & Cliff Swallow, photo by Dennis Paulson

Violet-green Swallow & Cliff Swallow, photo by Dennis Paulson

 


  • FAMILY WETLAND WALK: INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY BIRD DAY!  Saturday May 13th from 10 am – 11:30 am

Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day by exploring the beautiful Magnuson Wetlands Complex with our nature educators! The month of May brings the arrival of migrating songbirds as well as resident Mallards and Flickers building nests in the surrounding trees and shrubs. This fun and educational walk will feature simple bird identification skills, learning about bird nests and nestling behavior, pond water sampling, and other hands-on activities that are sure to delight attendees of all ages. Binoculars and other supplies provided for all, or bring your own.

Start Location: Park in lot #E-5 (off 65th), and follow the signs to meet at the Central Wetlands Complex entry trail in the NE corner of the parking lot.

 

Owlets "branching" to strengthen their wings

Owlets “branching” to strengthen their wings. Photo by Archive.org.

  • NIGHTTIME NATURE WALK: OWLS AND OWLETS!  Saturday May 27th from 8:30 pm – 10 pm AND ON Saturday June 10th from 8:30 pm – 10 pm

The hours just before and after sunset are when Magnuson’s resident Barn Owls are most active around their nest boxes and in the sky above. Spring nesting season is a great time to learn about and discover how many owlets have been born, “whoo” is up and about in the tree branches, and more! This fun and educational walk will feature owl pellet dissection, a scavenger hunt, owl identification skills, using a night-vision scope, and other hands-on activities that are sure to delight attendees of all ages. Binoculars and other supplies provided for all, or bring your own. Please bring a small flashlight.

Start Location: Magnuson Community Center, 7110 62nd Ave NE. Park in the lot just south of the building or on the street, and meet in front of the main entry.

 

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Shadow Darner dragonfly photo by Dennis Paulson

  • FAMILY WETLAND WALK: DRAGONFLIES, THE TIGERS OF THE SKY  Saturday July 8th from 10 am – 11:30 am

Magnuson Park is home to 23 species of Dragonflies and Damselflies, the most in the Puget Sound area! Summer is a great time to spot their nymphs in the wetland ponds, adults zooming through the sky, and newly-emerging adults on the cattails. It’s also a great time for songbird and raptor spotting throughout the wetlands. This fun and educational walk will feature Dragonfly Bingo identification game, pond water sampling, the Dragonfly Hunt game, and other hands-on activities that are sure to delight attendees of all ages. Binoculars and other supplies provided for all, or bring your own.

Start Location: Park in lot #E-5 (off 65th), and follow the signs to meet at the Central Wetlands Complex entry trail in the NE corner of the parking lot.

 

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The Beaver lodge is getting bigger every month! Photo by Anne Seager

  • NIGHTTIME NATURE WALK: BATS AND BEAVERS AND MORE, OH MY!  Saturday August 12th from 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm AND ON Saturday August 26th from 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

A warm summer evening is the best time to observe Magnuson’s bat population as they forage back and forth over the wetland ponds. It’s also an excellent time to get a glimpse of the resident Beavers as they tend their lodge and dams, and stock their underwater “kitchen”! And “whoo” knows what else we’ll see! This fun and educational walk will feature beaver sign bingo, using a bat detector, and other hands-on activities that are sure to delight attendees of all ages. Binoculars and other supplies provided for all, or bring your own. Please bring a small flashlight.

Start Location: East Wetlands Complex. Park in lot #E-1 or #E-2 (off 65th and Lakeshore Drive), and follow the signs to meet at the entry sidewalk right next to the Boat Launch.

The American Goldfinch, our state bird. Photo by Lizzie Ferguson

  • NEW! FAMILY FOREST WALK: BIRDS OF PROMONTORY POINT Saturday September 9th from 10 am – 11:30 am

Magnuson Park is home to around 200 bird species, and the forest and meadow areas at Promontory Point are the “birdiest” part of the park! We’ll keep our eyes and ears out for raptors, woodpeckers, songbirds, and more, as we walk up and down the wood chip trails and stairs to the highest point in the park. This fun and educational walk will feature Habitat Bingo, simple bird identification skills, and other hands-on activities that are sure to delight attendees of all ages. Binoculars and other supplies provided for all, or bring your own.

Start Location: Promontory Point. Park in lot #E-1 or #E-2 (off 65th and Lakeshore Drive), and follow the signs to meet at the red-roofed Environmental Education Pavilion off the little road on the west end of lot #E-1.

 

 

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Mallards are dabbling ducks!

Common Goldeneye, a winter resident and excellent diver. Photo by Dennis Paulson

The Common Goldeneye is an excellent diver! Photo by Dennis Paulson

  • FAMILY WETLAND WALK: DUCK DABBLERS AND DIVERS! Date and time TBA

Magnuson’s Wetland Complex is home to many species of ducks, and they each have their own ways of finding food!  Dabbling ducks are the ones you see paddling like mad with their feet to keep their head down under the water and their tail in the air while feeding, but diving ducks can swim underwater to the bottom of the ponds to find their favorite “snack food”.  Some divers are not actually even ducks, and don’t have webbed feet!  We’ll keep our ears and eyes open for all the resident and migratory waterfowl species that keep the wetland ponds a lively and entertaining place, while we walk the wetland trails.  We’ll even explore pond water samples to see what these birds are finding to eat there!  This fun and educational walk will also feature , simple bird identification skills and other hands-on activities that are sure to delight attendees of all ages. Binoculars and other supplies provided for all, or bring your own.

Start Location: East Wetlands Complex. Park in lot #E-1 or #E-2 (off 65th and Lakeshore Drive), and follow the signs to meet at the entry sidewalk right next to the Boat Launch.

 

Owlets "branching" to strengthen their wings

  • NIGHTTIME NATURE WALK: WHOO GOES THERE?

All Ages

Date and time TBA

Magnuson Park is a year-round home to several nocturnal creatures, including a busy family of Beavers and several pairs of Barn Owls. “Nighttime is the right time” for them: Beavers look for tender saplings to cut down and eat, or use to keep their lodge and dams strong and secure, and Barn Owls hunt the open areas in the wetlands and grasslands for their favorite prey. We’ll keep our eyes and ears out for these amazing creatures and more, as we walk the trails through the eastern wetlands, grasslands, and along the lakeshore. This fun and educational walk will feature Beaver Bingo, Owl Adaptations game, and other hands-on activities that are sure to delight attendees of all ages. Binoculars and other supplies provided for all, or bring your own.

Start Location: East Wetlands Complex. Park in lot #E-1 or #E-2 (off 65th and Lakeshore Drive), and follow the signs to meet at the entry sidewalk right next to the Boat Launch.

 

 

Important Note:  We practice the American Birding Association’s code of ethics on all our nature walks.  We also request that you do not bring dogs on any of our guided walks unless they are certified service dogs, because they naturally cause a significant reduction in the amount of birds and other wildlife seen throughout the walk.  Thanks for your understanding!