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BirdFest & Bluegrass - Home edition Enjoy the annual Friends of the Refuge festival from the comfort of your home with a collection of videos, classes, take home crafts, and virtual activities.

Welcome! Think of this web-page as your guide to today's Virtual First Saturday experience.

We hope you will enjoy today's activities and virtual events and share your experience with us and the rest of your community by interacting on Facebook and posting your photos on social media with #VirtualFirstSaturday

Virtual Events & Activities

Learn About the Refuge with a full day of engaging videos covering What Makes the Refuge Home, Bird Language, Plankhouse Tours, Ethnobotany, Crane Tours, and more! Find it all on the Ridgefield BirdFest Facebook Page.

Engage the Kids and make a tambourine, Bird Binoculars, and a Bird Feeder!

Create and Improve Your Skills with bird painting tutorials.

Enjoy the Sounds of Bluegrass and Country music with performances from Corral Creek, Rose Gerber and Sweet Relief and the duo Phoenix.

Learn About the History of Bluegrass Music with our two 10 minute videos.

Enjoy the Film Love Thy Nature by renting it for the evening. An award winning film narrated by Liam Neeson, Love Thy Nature shows how deeply we've lost touch with nature and takes viewers on a cinematic journey through the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world. Love Thy Nature shows that a renewed connection with nature is key not only to our well being, but also to solving our environmental and climate crises.

The Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is hosting a full day of virtual activities on Facebook. You do not need a Facebook account to view the content. Follow the link below to see all of the content listed above!

Bluegrass Performances & History

Phoenix

Corrall Creek Bluegrass

Rose Gerber and Sweet Relief

Bluegrass History

Bluegrass music is a genre of American roots music that developed in the 1940s in the United States Appalachian region. The genre derives its name from the band Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys. Bluegrass has roots in traditional English, Scottish and Irish ballads and dance tunes, and in traditional African-American blues and jazz. Bluegrass was further developed by musicians who played with Monroe, including 5-string banjo player Earl Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt.

Bluegrass features acoustic string instruments and emphasizes the off-beat. Notes are anticipated, in contrast to laid back blues where notes are behind the beat, which creates the higher energy characteristic of bluegrass. In bluegrass, as in some forms of jazz, one or more instruments each takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment; this is especially typified in tunes called breakdowns. This is in contrast to old-time music, in which all instruments play the melody together or one instrument carries the lead throughout while the others provide accompaniment. Breakdowns are often characterized by rapid tempos and unusual instrumental dexterity and sometimes by complex chord changes

Get to Creating!

Painting Classes

We have gathered 3 videos of bird paintings for you to check out. Try 1, 2 or all of them for a fun and creative day! Supplies are listed below each video.

  • Paper & tape
  • Watercolor paints: Lemon Yellow, Orange, Cadmium Red, Opera Pink, Cerulean Blue, Black, White
  • Brushes: Large round soft brush and detail brush
  • Canvas
  • Acrylic paints: specific colors not listed.
  • Sharpie or other black marker
  • Brushes: Large round soft brush, small round brush, and detail brush
  • 11" x 14" Canvas
  • Brushes: Wide flat, filbert, and liner
  • Small piece of cotton
  • Acrylic paints: white, veridian green, phthalo green, paynes grey, burnt sienna, deep yellow, green, magenta, and yellow ochre

BirdFest Crafts

Craft materials for the Bird Feeder and Tambourine are available in Activity Bags at Ridgefield City Hall. These bags will be put out in the afternoon on Friday, October 2nd and be available while supplies last for no-contact pick up. If you are unable to pick up an Activity bag, the supplies are listed for each craft.

BIRD FEEDER

Supplies

  • Cardboard Tube
  • Two plates
  • 18" piece of string
  • Glue/Adhesive

Optional

  • Paint and brush
  • Stickers, marker, etc for decorating

Instructions

  1. Glue the end of the tube with the slot cut in it to the center of your bottom plate (the one without the holes in it). Hot glue works well for this step because it hardens quickly (have an adult help). You can also use a craft glue. Be sure let it dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
  2. If desired paint the tube and top and bottom plate any color you would like and let it dry.
  3. To attach the top plate to the tube, take the string included in the kit and make a large knot on one end. From the inside of the top of the tube insert the other end of the string through one of the holes at the top of the tube. Now string it thru the top plate (curved side down) then again thru the other hole in the top plate and lastly thread it thru the other hole at the top of the tube from the outside. Now make another large knot on this end of the string. Both knots in the string will be on the inside of the top of the tube.
  4. If you would like, you can embellish the outside of the tube with stickers, markers, etc.
  5. To fill the bird feeder just pull up the top plate and let it dangle to the side and fill.
  6. Now you can hang it under a covered area (because it is not water proof) and wait for the birds to come enjoy it. Happy Birdwatching!

TAMBOURINE

Supplies

  • 8" embroidery hoop
  • 10" square of fabric
  • 6 bells
  • Glue/Adhesive

Optional

  • Ribbon, yarn, rickrack

Instructions:

  1. Separate the hoops by unscrewing the outer hoop. Set it aside.
  2. Take your square of fabric and center it over the inner hoop.
  3. Now take the outer hoop and place over the fabric and inner hoop.
  4. Tighten the screw and pull the excess fabric around the back of the hoop to make the fabric tight in the hoop on the front.
  5. With scissors trim off the excess fabric at the back of the hoop.
  6. Turn the hoop top side up.
  7. Space the six bells evenly around the perimeter of the hoop. Make a small pencil mark on the outside hoop where each bell will go.
  8. You can use hot glue (have an adult help), E6000 or other adhesive to glue the bells to the hoop. Hot glue sets quickly, if you use E6000 or other adhesive you’ll need to wait till the glue is set before you play the tambourine.
  9. If you have some extra ribbon, yarn or string you can tie it to the screw to embellish your tambourine.
  10. Now put on your favorite music... and play away!

BINOCULARS

Supplies

  • Two empty toilet paper tubes
  • Yarn or ribbon
  • Glue and scissors
  • Optional: tape, stickers, paint, marker, etc.

Instructions

  1. Paint your empty toilet paper tubes or cover each end with duct tape.
  2. If you painted the tubes, glue together along the length, let dry.
  3. If you used duct tape to decorate you tube, tape the two tube together with a piece of tape around the center.
  4. Cut a piece of yarn or ribbon about 20 inches long to make a hanging strap for your binoculars.
  5. Glue each end inside the tubes on each side, let dry.
  6. Now you can add decorations to your binocular with stickers, markers, etc.
  7. Use your binoculars to watch birds that come to your bird feeder!

Thank you for joining us!

#VIRTUALFIRSTSATURDAY