Category Archives: Get Outdoors

Erica_TworogDube

What To Do This Weekend: May 26-28

Go on a wildflower walk, take a beach ramble, look for birds, learn about horseshoe crabs, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Allens Pond © Erica Tworog Dube

Cape Cod

Go In Search of Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds at Wellfleet Bay to learn about the connection between the two and the sanctuary’s research on horseshoe crab populations. (adults, registration required)

More on Cape Cod and Islands

South of Boston

Look for Ospreys, Kestrels, Tree Swallows, Purple Martins, and Bobolinks and find out how to match bird songs to species during Phenology at Daniel Webster in Marshfield. (adults, registration required)

Learn about Wetlands at Oak Knoll in Attleboro. Begin indoors with a presentation, then head out with a teacher naturalist for a guided tour through marsh, stream, swamp, pond and vernal pool habitats. (adults and children ages 5+, registration required)

Go on a Memorial Day Beach Ramble at Allens Pond in Westport and South Dartmouth and explore the flora and fauna along our Beach Loop Trail. (all ages, registration required)

More in South of Boston

Greater Boston

Enjoy Saturday Morning Birding at Blue Hills in Milton. With its variety of habitats and number of nesting species, the Blue Hills is one of the best places in Greater Boston. (adults, registration required)

Join Habitat on a 6.5-mile morning Western Greenway Hike through Belmont, Lexington and Waltham to explore forest, meadow, and wetlands. (adults, registration required)

Spend part of your Saturday morning at the Museum of American Bird Art in Canton having fun, exploring and discovering nature, listening to engaging stories, and creating art during their weekly Nature and Art Discovery Program. (families, registration required)

Drop in at Stony Brook in Norfolk for Recyclemania to make a treasure out of some “trash.” You’ll be amazed at the art you can make with a little creativity and a lot of things you might throw away. (children)

Look for Breeding Birds of Upper Mill Brook Conservation Land in Wayland with Drumlin Farm. You could see Wood Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Great Blue Herons, kingfishers, rails, warblers, and more. (adults, registration required)

Experience the wonders of spring on a guided Spring Walk around Boston Nature Center.  Observe spring flowers in bloom, listen to the birds, and watch for animals tracks in the fresh mud. (adults and children ages 4+, registration required)

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North Shore

It’s Turtle Time at Ipswich River in Topsfield. Visit areas where turtles like to nest and bask, look at and touch real turtle shells, and with a little luck we’ll see if we can summon our resident snapping turtle, Godzilla. (families, registration required)

Search out avian activity in the Newburyport/Plum Island area, one of the best year-round birding locations in the country, as part of Saturday Morning Birding. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

More on the North Shore

Central Massachusetts

Hunt for the Ephemeral Woodland Wildflowers at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton including trout lily, fringed polygala, and lady slipper. (adults and teens, registration required)

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Connecticut River Valley

Take a  Bird Walk at Graves Farm in Williamsburg to sharpen your bird identification skills. See and learn about the many birds that pass through our area at this time. (adults, registration required)

Sharpen your bird identification skills during the spring migration season during Early Morning Birding at Laughing Brook in Hampden. See and learn about the many birds that pass through our area at this time.

More in the Connecticut River Valley

Berkshires

Listen and look for Waterfowl and Warblers as well as, flycatchers, and other birds around the beaver ponds and woodland trails of Myrin Preserve in Great Barrington. This trip involves easy walking on relatively level trails. (adults, registration required)

Take a leisurely Wildflower Walk at Cold Brook in Otis to search for early blooming flowers. We’ll learn to use guidebooks and apps to look up plants we discover along the way. (adults, registration required)

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Pink Lady's Slipper

What To Do This Weekend: May 19-20

Become a citizen scientist, go for a long hike, take part in outdoor yoga, search for birds, look for wildflowers, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Pink Lady’s Slipper

Cape Cod and Islands

Learn how to become a citizen scientist during Wellfleet Bay’s Box Turtle Tracking program. An indoor presentation will be followed by an active excursion to track box turtles. (adults and children ages 12+, registration required)

Walk the beach on Martha’s Vineyard with a Felix Neck shorebird biologist to Track Shorebirds: record field data, search for birds and nests, and identify bird and mammal tracks in the sand. (all ages)

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South of Boston

Join Mass Audubon and the South Shore Bird Club for the 33rd Walk for Wildlife at Daniel Webster in Marshfield. Whether you’re interested in birds, bugs, plants, or just being outdoors, we’ll have fun for all ages at this free day of discovery.

Enjoy a Long Scenic Hike at Allens Pond in South Dartmouth. This 2-mile hike over uneven terrain will open up the senses to the wonders of the sanctuary. (adults, registration required)

Conduct your very own hands on science experiment during Family Science Sunday at Oak Knoll in Attleboro. Each month will feature a different topic and a different drop in activity kit. (families, registration required)

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Greater Boston

Go Saturday Morning Birding at Blue Hills in Milton. With its variety of habitats and number of nesting species, the Blue Hills is one of the best places in Greater Boston. (adults, registration required)

Spend part of your Saturday morning at the Museum of American Bird Art in Canton having fun, exploring and discovering nature, listening to engaging stories, and creating art during their weekly Nature and Art Discovery Program. (families, registration required)

During What’s the Buzz? Native Bees of Massachusetts at Broadmoor in Natick get to know the natural history and efforts to help these amazing creatures. After a short indoor program, take part in an outdoor bee walk. (adults, registration required)

Explore Moose Hill in Sharon in a new way during Forest Bathing, a guided, slow-paced therapeutic combination of leisurely walking, sitting, and observation. Unplug, slow down, and de-stress through a series of gentle sensory-opening invitations that welcome us to deepen our connection with nature. (adults, registration required)

Take part in Wild Edibles at Boston Nature Center to learn about the edible parts of the plants and how to safely harvest and eat them. (adults and children ages 10+, registration required)

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North Shore

During Spring Birding on Plum Island, learn how to identify migrant and resident birds by using field marks, habitat, and behavior. Great for all levels, especially beginners. (adults, registration required)

Drop in to the Bio-blitz Free-for-All at Joppa Flats in Newburypot to discover the great biodiversity of animals, plants, and insects in our gardens, salt marshes, and backyards.

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Central Massachusetts

Take part in Outdoor Yoga at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton to connect with your breath, body, mind, and nature. This class is appropriate for all levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners. (adults, registration required)

Go one a Family Vernal Pool Exploration at Lincoln Woods in Leominster and discover the life cycle wonders of the frogs, turtles, and salamanders that inhabit them. (families, registration required)

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Connecticut River Valley

Go Early Morning Birding at Graves Farm in Williamsburg to sharpen your bird identification skills. See and learn about the many birds that pass through our area at this time. (adults, registration required)

Enjoy a spring walk looking for the beautiful Wildflowers at Laughing Brook in Hampden. We hope to see wild oats, trillium, fringed polygala, lady’s slippers, and more! (adults and children ages 4+, registration required)

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Berkshires

Search for meadow and woodland wildflowers and other signs of spring on a Spring Wildflower Walk at Pleasant Valley in Lenox. Take a leisurely walk using guidebooks and apps to look up plants we discover along the way. (adults, registration required)

More in the Berkshires

What To Do This Weekend: May 12-13

Take part in Bird-a-thon, celebrate Mother’s Day, get foraging tips, look for wildflowers, learn how to identify warblers, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Bobolink

Bobolink

Greater Boston

Kickoff Bird-a-thon at Boston Nature. Learn about the event and go on a walk around the sanctuary looking for birds. (registration required)

Spend part of your Saturday morning at the Museum of American Bird Art in Canton having fun, exploring and discovering nature, listening to engaging stories, and creating art during their weekly Nature and Art Discovery Program. (families, registration required)

Head to Drumlin Farm in Lincoln for a Foraging Walk and Cooking Demo. Identify, harvest, and prepare edible plants found in everyday landscapes. And learn ecological, medicinal, and nutritional benefits of specific wild plants (different characters for each season). (adults, registration required)

Celebrate Mother’s Day at Moose Hill in Sharon. Begin with an hour-long guided walk searching for signs of spring. Then return for a hearty pancake breakfast. (registration required)

Meet up with the Wildwood Bird-a-thon team at either Great Meadows in Concord or Broadmoor in Natick to explore different habitats including woodlands, open meadows, and the edges of ponds and streams. (families)

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South of Boston

Participate in a Backyard Bird-a-thon at Oak Knoll in Attleboro to learn what types of birds you can attract to your backyard and what types of food will be best for them. Each person registered will build a bird box to take home! (registration required)

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Cape Cod and the Islands

Experience the best of morning bird activity at Wellfleet Bay with a naturalist-guided Early Bird Walk. From pine woodlands and freshwater pond to salt marsh and beach, the trails’ diverse natural communities offer a tremendous range of possible bird sightings.

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Central Massachusetts

Go on an early-morning bird walk (7:30-9:00 am) followed by a delicious pancake breakfast and a chance to share what you’ve seen at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton, all part of their Bird-a-thon Bird Walk and Breakfast. (all ages, registration required)

Learn all about Ephemeral Flowers over the course of two Sundays at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester. (adults, registration required)

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Connecticut River Valley

Enjoy a Mother’s Day Paddle exploring the Arcadia marsh by canoe. Search for signs of spring as you leisurely paddle through the marsh and alongside the riparian forest at the water’s edge. (registration required)

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Berkshires

Search for meadow and woodland wildflowers and other signs of spring on a Spring Wildflower Walk at Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield. Take a leisurely walk using guidebooks and apps to look up plants we discover along the way. (adults, registration required)

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North Shore

Learn to Identify Warblers by sight, sound, habits, and the habitats they prefer at Ipswich River in Topsfield. The sanctuary’s freshwater marshes, ponds, river edges, fields, and deciduous and evergreen woods provide food and shelter for 15 to 20 species of warblers at this time of year. (adults, registration required)

Take part in Bird-a-thon Madness with Joppa Flats. We’ll count as many bird species as we can from 8 am to 6 pm traveling throughout Essex County, moving quickly but always making sure that everyone can see the birds. All ability levels are welcome. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Goat at Habitat

What To Do This Weekend: May 5-6

Attend a spring festival, look for birds, count herring, interact with goats, look up at the stars by a campfire, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Goat at Habitat

Connecticut River Valley

Enjoy the third annual Valley Bird Festival at Arcadia. Expect bird walks, games, activities, and information for all ages. Tom Ricardi will present a live birds of prey presentation at 11:00 and 1:00.

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Central Massachusetts

Sunday is Pierpont Meadow Community Day in Dudley. Go on a guided walk, meet live animals with Creature Teachers, go on a scavenger hunt, and more.

Enjoy a morning Spring Bird Walk at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. Look for spring migrants as well as breeding species, and practice identification based on sight and sound. (adults, registration required)

Search for Pileated Woodpeckers at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester. Learn about the habits and behaviors of this impressive bird, listen for its characteristically loud call, and look for its distinctive feeding signs. (adults, registration required)

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North Shore

Head to Ipswich River to meet and hear from Mary Holland, author of Naturally Curious. Her presentation includes images and information about amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects, spiders, and plants. (adults, registration required)

Search out avian activity in the Newburyport/Plum Island area, one of the best year-round birding locations in the country, as part of Saturday Morning Birding. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

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Greater Boston

Celebrate spring at Habitat in Belmont with our annual Herb Sale and Goat Gala. Get staples for your garden and interact with and learn about our friendly herd of Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

Explore the beauty of spring bird songs with naturalist-led birding explorations and a homemade breakfast as part of Birds & Breakfast at Broadmoor in Natick. (registration required)

Does your child love photography, technology, and nature? Over the course of three Saturdays, kids will build a real working digital camera as part of Build a Digital Camera and Learn the Art of Nature Photography at the Museum of American Bird Art. Along the way, they’ll learn about the science, engineering, and technology behind the camera lens. (children ages 9-16, registration required)

Take a Early Morning Bird Stroll at Stony Brook in Norfolk to look for migrating spring birds. (adults, registration required)

Join Drumlin Farm for an exciting morning of Birding at Mount Auburn Cemetery, a state listed Important Bird Area, in Cambridge. (adults, registration required)

Observe the changes that occur as day shifts to night from the top of Chickatawbut Hill in Milton as part of Spring Star Gazing and Campfires. With some luck, we may catch sight of some early Eta Aquarid meteors while enjoying toasted marshmallows. (adults and children ages 6+, registration required)

Go on a free Spring Bird Walk at Boston Nature Center to observe resident birds and spring migrants in a unique urban habitat that is a favorite stomping ground for many bird species. (adults and children ages 10+, registration required)

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South of Boston

Head to Tidmarsh in Plymouth for a 1.5-mile guided Herring Hike and help monitor the return of river herring to our sanctuary’s waters as a citizen scientist. Discover why these master migrators are a vital part of coastal ecosystems in Massachusetts and throughout the Atlantic Coast.

Enjoy a Family Nature Hike at Oak Knoll in Attleboro to learn about local flora and fauna including backyard birds. (registration required)

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Cape Cod and Islands

Every May and June, volunteers for Felix Neck in Edgartown survey horseshoe crabs. Want to get in on the action? Attend the Horseshoe Crab Survey Training to join in. (All ages, registration required)

See live birds up-close and observe the bird banding process at Bird Research in Action! Wellfleet Bay’s bird banding station is a unique opportunity to see how scientists conduct bird research up close. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Spring Migration is Finally Here

On the evening of Tuesday, May 1, a wave of migratory birds arrived in Massachusetts. While some early-migrating species have been trickling in since April, Wednesday, May 2, marks the beginning of the season for our most colorful migrants. Scarlet Tanagers, Yellow Warblers, melodious Wood Thrushes, and a host of other species have finally arrived after waiting out winter in the tropics. 

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are one of dozens of showy migratory species. Photo © Will Freedberg

Understanding Migration

Most migratory songbirds fly north under the cover of darkness, out of sight of daytime predators like falcons and hawks. Sometimes, it’s possible to hear them in quiet, open spaces: a faint “chip” noise is the telltale sign of a warbler flying overhead. Most nights, you might just hear one ever few minutes, but on nights with heavy migration, it’s possible to hear a flight call every second.

These birds prefer to migrate on nights with southwest winds, which speed them on their journey north. In fact, Tuesday’s southwest winds combined with recent bird reports from New York were the key tip-offs that migrants would arrive today.

These birds journey north over several nights, with most stopping to feed along the way and flying with a southwest wind at their backs. In fact, after staying put during last week’s steady northerly winds, this first push of birds flew into Massachusetts as soon as the winds shifted southwest.

Read the Radar

The scale of bird migration is astounding. So huge, in fact, that you can watch it unfold across entire regions on radar. Doppler radar, normally used to detect weather patterns like thunderstorms, regularly picks up “clouds” of migrating birds, allowing scientists to study migration patterns on a continental scale. To learn how to predict bird migration with radar, check out our introduction to the topic and specific instructions on how to read radar signals.

Canada Warbler. Photo © Will Freedberg

Tips For Watching Warblers

One of the joys of spring migration is that surprising birds can show up just about anywhere. While migratory species rely on undisturbed forests and shrublands to breed, many also pass through urban and suburban parks on their way north. Any grove of trees, whether in the Boston Public Garden or a suburban backyard, is a great place to check for warblers, orioles, grosbeaks, and other goodies.

Look for these colorful visitors in the highest parts of trees, but also around dense cover like thickets. But the real key is waking up early. Most migrants are active just after dawn, and turn quiet by mid-morning.

Good luck! If you see anything good out there, let us know on our Facebook page.

What To Do This Weekend: Apr 28-29

Volunteer, go birding, look for salamanders, learn how to green your garden, attend a sheep festival, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

American Robin

American Robin

Statewide

Saturday marks Mass Audubon’s annual Statewide Volunteer Day. There’s still space on several sanctuaries. Online registration closes at noon on Friday. (registration required)

North Shore

Go on a Salamander Meander at Ipswich River in Topsfield to search the sanctuary’s wetlands and woodlands for salamanders and other amphibians on the move. (families, registration required)

Search out avian activity in the Newburyport/Plum Island area, one of the best year-round birding locations in the country, as part of Saturday Morning Birding. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

More on the North Shore

Greater Boston

Go Saturday Morning Birding at Blue Hills in Milton. With its variety of habitats and number of nesting species, the Blue Hills is one of the best places in Greater Boston. (adults, registration required)

Discover the fantastic creatures that inhabit Broadmoor’s vernal pool in Natick as part of Frogs, Pollywogs & Fairies. Using hands-on activities, explore and learn what hides under the water and lives around this seasonal pool. (families, registration required)

Join Boston Nature Center for a Bioblitz to identify as many plant and animal species as we can as part of the City Nature Challenge. Learn about how scientists sample and use field guides to identify our targets. (adults and children ages 5+, registration required)

Take a Early Morning Stroll at Stony Brook in Norfolk to look for migrating spring birds. (adults, registration required)

Explore Moose Hill in Sharon in a new way during Forest Bathing, a guided, slow-paced therapeutic combination of leisurely walking, sitting, and observation. Unplug, slow down, and de-stress through a series of gentle sensory-opening invitations that welcome us to deepen our connection with nature. (adults, registration required)

More in Greater Boston

South of Boston

Conduct your very own hands on science experiment during Family Science Sunday at Oak Knoll in Attleboro. Each month will feature a different topic and a different drop in activity kit. (families, registration required)

Sign up for one or both of the Greening Your Garden programs at North River in Marshfield and learn how to conserve water with drip irrigation and how to extend the season. (adults, registration required)

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Cape Cod

Experience the best of morning bird activity with a Wellfleet Bay naturalist on an Early Morning Bird Walk along Goose Pond Trail. This is a great introduction to the birds of Cape Cod and appropriate for birders of all levels. (adults, registration required)

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Central Massachusetts

Head to Wachusett Meadow in Princeton for a Sheep and Wool Festival. Find out how sheep are sheared and how those fleeces eventually become warm hats and mittens. Local vendors,  crafters, activities for kids, and more will make this a fun day for everyone.

Visit Waterways You Never Knew with Broad Meadow Brook. Tour Worcester tributaries and ponds that form the Blackstone River Watershed to learn how these hidden “blue spaces” shaped Worcester’s history and continue to influence the City’s green infrastructure. (adults, registration required)

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Connecticut River Valley

Look for Wildflowers and Birds at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Geologic upheavals created the twin rocky knolls, known as cobbles, which are home to over 800 species of plants. Located on the Connecticut border, we may see black vultures, known to nest in Connecticut. (adults, registration required)

Bring binoculars and the kids to Arcadia in Easthampton and Northampton for some Family Bird Fun. (families, registration required)

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What To Do This Weekend: April 21-22

Go on bird walks, count herring, learn about pollinators, volunteer, go on a hayride, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Berkshires

Help Pleasant Valley care for their beautiful native gardens, trails/boardwalks, and education spaces during a Volunteer Day. Tools, gloves, and refreshments will be provided. (adults and children ages 10+, registration required)

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Connecticut River Valley

During the All About Gardening for Pollinators presentation at Arcadia in Easthampton and Northampton, get ideas and tools for transforming your garden to to help pollinators thrive despite the environmental threats most species are facing. (adults, registration required)

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Central Massachusetts

Celebrate Earth Day at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton with a 4-mile moderately paced hike in the woods. (families, registration required)

Find out how to identify spring birds as part of Wachusett’s Intro to Birdwatching, Learn what physical and behavioral characteristics to watch for, and how to use habitat, songs, and calls as aids in field identification. After the classroom session, go outside to practice your new skills. (adults, registration required)

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North Shore

Search out avian activity in the Newburyport/Plum Island area, one of the best year-round birding locations in the country, as part of Saturday Morning Birding. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

Find out how millennia of glacial advances and retreats created special landforms and topography at Ipswich River in Topsfield as part of Ice Age Geologic History. Discover the many fascinating animals that once roamed this land, examine fossils, and hike to key locations to observe distinctive glacial landforms. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Greater Boston

Discover the fantastic creatures that inhabit Broadmoor’s vernal pool in Natick as part of Frogs, Pollywogs & Fairies. Using hands-on activities, explore and learn what hides under the water and lives around this seasonal pool. (families, registration required)

Birders and non-birders of all ages and skill levels are invited to a Morning Bird Walk at Habitat in Belmont. Look for signs of migrating spring species, mating behaviors and nest building. (all ages)

Young nature explorers can build and take home an animal that you made out of LEGO and  explore outside to learn about the amazing wildlife that lives in your neighborhood as part of  Nature and Art STEAM Lab: LEGO Critter Creations at the Museum of American Bird Art in Canton. This month’s theme: Pollinators. (families with children ages 7-10, registration required)

During Spring Tree Identification at Boston Nature Center, take a closer look at the forest around us and focus on basic tree ID. We will also discuss how climate change is impacting and changing the forest compositions in Massachusetts. (adults, registration required)

Head to Stony Brook in Norfolk for a free Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration. Join a naturalist for a guided tour on the renovated boardwalk, learn tree planting and pruning tips, and take part in children’s nature games and crafts, music and more.

More in Greater Boston

South of Boston

Go on a 1.5 mile guided Herring Hike at Tidmarsh in Plymouth to help monitor the return of river herring to our sanctuary’s waters. Discover why these master migrators are a vital part of coastal ecosystems in Massachusetts and throughout the Atlantic Coast. (all ages, registration required)

Go on an Earth Day Hayride at Daniel Webster in Marshfield. Start with a hot drink and pastry and then head out to look for signs of spring. (all ages, registration required)

More in South of Boston

Cape Cod

See live birds up-close and observe the bird banding process at Bird Research in Action! Wellfleet Bay’s bird banding station is a unique opportunity to see how scientists conduct bird research up close. (adults and children ages 8+, registration required)

More on Cape Cod and Islands

Ruby-throated hummingbird © Sarah Keates

What to Do This Weekend: April 14–15

Look for early spring edible herbs, learn about attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard, take an astronomy night hike, build a bat box, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Ruby-throated hummingbird © Sarah Keates

Ruby-throated hummingbird © Sarah Keates

Greater Boston

Spend part of your Saturday morning at the Museum of American Bird Art having fun, exploring and discovering nature, listening to engaging stories, and creating art during their weekly Nature and Art Discovery Program. (families, registration required)

Take a deep dive into habitats and ecological communities on a Naturalist Walk at Drumlin Farm, where you’ll explore the sanctuary observing, learning, and looking for amphibians, reptiles, mammals, flowering plants, trees, insects, birds, and more. (adults)

Can turtles really leave their shells like they do in the cartoons? Are snakes really slimy? What is the difference between a lizard and a snake? Find out for yourself as you meet baby turtles and snakes up close at Wild About Reptiles at Broadmoor in Natick. (families, registration required)

Search for elusive woodcocks at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, and hopefully catch a spectacular showing of the aerial acrobatics of their spring mating display. Learn about these odd-looking and oddly behaving birds on an evening Woodcock Walk. (adults and children 8+, registration required)

Join community herbalist Su Cousineau at Boston Nature Center for a walk through the Boston Food Forest to find and learn about Early Spring Herbs: Roots ‘n’ Shoots. (adults, registration required)

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North Shore

Immerse yourself in the majesty of the night sky during The Wonder and the Wow: Astronomy and Night Hike at Rough Meadows in Rowley. (adults, registration required)

Learn about Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds to Your Landscape at Ipswich River. You’ll walk away with all the information you need to design your own pollinator garden and fill it with native plants that butterflies and hummingbirds can’t resist. (adults, registration required)

Learn the ins and outs of Spring Hawk Watching at Joppa Flats in Newburyport, then put your skills to the test on a field trip to Plum Island, one of the most significant spring hawk watching sites on the east coast. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Central Massachusetts

Learn to recognize and appreciate various Shrubs & Buds and explore how they fit into the local biodiversity as part of the first of two workshops in Broad Meadow Brook’s seasonal Essential Nature Series. Register for both of the April classes or sign up for the entire season of classes for a discount.

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Connecticut River Valley

Enjoy a reading by authors Corinne Demas and Artemis Roehrig of their new children’s book, Do Doodlebugs DOODLE? This fun-filled book will have the entire family laughing and appreciating the amazing world of insects.  (families, registration required)

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Berkshires

Bats are important but declining predators of flying insects (e.g. mosquitoes) that you definitely want in your neighborhood. Attend a Bat Box Building Workshop at Pleasant Valley in Lenox to make your own bat box and learn about bats in the area. (adults and children 5+)

More in the Berkshires

Cape Cod and the Islands

Experience the best of morning bird activity at Wellfleet Bay with a naturalist-guided Early Bird Walk. From pine woodlands and freshwater pond to salt marsh and beach, the trails’ diverse natural communities offer a tremendous range of possible bird sightings.

More on Cape Cod and the Islands

What To Do This Weekend: April 7-8

Look for amphibians, draw owls, de-stress on a nature walk, learn digital photography, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Blue-spotted Salamander © Rosemary Mosco

Greater Boston

During Drawing Owls from Life at the Museum of American Bird Art, discover more about these amazing creatures while you learn to draw owls with pencil and paper. Explore methods for developing your owl sketch, as well as techniques for capturing depth, volume, and texture. (adults, registration required)

Drop in to Drumlin Farm in Lincoln to meet live birds, watch a bird banding demonstration, get an up-close look at feathers and eggs, and create a unique bird craft during All About Birds day. (all ages)

Uncover Vernal Pool Mysteries at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton. Learn about the history and biology of Massachusetts’ vernal pools inside then go on a short, guided hike to a vernal pool located on the side of Great Blue Hill. (families, registration required)

As part of Amphibians After Dark, tour the lantern-lit trails at Stony Brook in Norfolk and encounter costumed characters waiting to teach you about amphibians through their stories and songs. (all ages, registration required)

Discover Moose Hill in Sharon in a new way during Forest Bathing, a guided, slow-paced therapeutic combination of leisurely walking, sitting, and observation. Unplug, slow down, and de-stress through a series of gentle sensory-opening invitations that welcome us to deepen our connection with nature. (adults, registration required)

Watch and listen for Wacky Woodcocks at Broadmoor in Natick as they rocket up 300 feet, then call loudly as they zigzag during their dive back towards earth. (adults, registration required)

Create Your Own Worm Bin at the Boston Nature Center. Make a soil recipe, investigate life inside a compost pile, and make a tea for plants in the garden. (adults, registration required)

More in Greater Boston

North Shore

Go Early Spring Birding at Ipswich River in Topsfield. Look for late-winter visitors such as Pine Siskins, American Tree Sparrows, and perhaps a Saw-whet Owl, along with early-spring arrivals including blackbirds, phoebes, bluebirds, Wood Ducks, and more. (adults, registration required)

Sign up for Ducks-R-Us with Joppa Flats to spend the day looking for, you guessed it, ducks. Bird the Plum Island estuary, the Merrimack River, Cherry Hill Reservoir, and many sites on Cape Ann in hopes of finding harlequin ducks, Barrow’s goldeneyes, three species of scoter, and more. (adults, registration required)

More on the North Shore

Central Massachusetts

Go on a Saturday Morning Bird Walk at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester to discover the immense variety of birdlife that exists at this large urban sanctuary! Learn the basics of birding and bird identification as we take an easy-to-moderate walk along the trails. (adults, registration required)

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Connecticut River Valley

Search for Awesome Amphibians at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Northampton and Easthampton. Dip nets into the vernal pool to learn about the creatures you find. (families, registration required)

Get an Intro to Digital Photography at Laughing Brook in Hampden. Topics include< best practices for capturing an image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. (adults, registration required)

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South of Boston

As part of Timberdoodles and Tapas, start the evening by sharing a variety of delicacies at the North River in Marshfield. Then witness the courtship display of the male American Woodcock as he dives, whistling, from the sky to impress potential mates. (adults, registration required)

Learn about nature by using your senses during Sensory Exploration at Oak Knoll in Attleboro. Expect hands on exploration of artifacts, animal encounters, and other activities for individuals of all ages and abilities. (registration required)

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Wood Frog

What To Do This Weekend: Mar 31-Apr 1

Visit a vernal pool, watch woodcocks at dusk, explore the outdoors under a full moon, take a calming nature walk, and more at a wildlife sanctuary this weekend.

Wood Frog at Museum of American Bird Art

Greater Boston

Looking for new binoculars? Head to the Mass Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln for the Optics Sale. Mass Audubon members enjoy discounts starting at 15% on all optics (binoculars, scopes, and tripods) plus additional promotional rebates.

Celebrate nature through art, songs, puppets, stories, and nature play at the Museum of American Bird Art in Canton, as part of Spring Nature and Art Discovery. (families, registration required)

Watch and listen as woodcocks rocket up 300 feet, then call loudly as they zigzag during their dive back towards earth during programs at Broadmoor for adults in Natick and Blue Hills Trailside Museum (ages 8+) in Milton. (registration required)

During Twice in a Blue Moon at Moose Hill in Sharon, go on a night walk to call fow owls, search the skies for constellations, listen for nighttime sounds, and experience the full moon. (adults and children ages 6+, registration required)

On a guided Spring Nature Walk around the Boston Nature Center, observe the beauty of flowers in bloom, listen to the birds as they start returning from their winter grounds, and watch for animals tracks in the fresh mud.

Find out how millennia of glacial advances and retreats created the landforms and topography of New England as past of Stories in Stone at Stony Brook in Norfolk.  (adults, registration required)

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South of Boston

Head to Allens Pond in South Dartmouth and Westport for a Coastal Waterbird Work Day. Help erect fencing that is used to symbolically fence off areas the Piping Plover and the American Oystercatcher nest. (adults and children ages 12+, registration required)

Enjoy a guided Family Nature Hike at Oak Knoll in Attleboro to check out their vernal pool and what else nature has in store. (families, registration required)

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Cape Cod and Islands

Go on a Full Moon Owl Prowl at Felix Neck on Martha’s Vineyard to look for, listen to, and learn about these nocturnal birds.

Want to help the island Osprey population? Sign up to volunteer and attend the Osprey Monitoring Training Program at Felix Neck. Volunteers will then be assigned a nest for the duration of the monitoring season, which runs from late April through September. (adults, registration required)

Watch two short films examining conflicts between business and bird conservation in Wellfleet as part of the Sea Change Film Series. After the films there will be a panel discussion focusing on the human dimensions of wildlife management. (adults, registration required)

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Central Massachusetts

Learn to connect with the natural world in a healing, calming, grounding, and replenishing way through a Shinrin-Yoku “Forest Breathing” Guided Sanctuary Walk at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. Slow down and breathe in the “medicine” of nature. (adults, registration required)

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Connecticut River Valley

Celebrate Big Night at Arcadia in Easthampton and Northampton. Go on a 45-minute magical forest trail where participants will meet costumed characters from vernal pools, the only places where animals such as spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and fairy shrimp can breed. (families, registration required)

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North Shore

Search out avian activity in the Newburyport/Plum Island area, one of the best year-round birding locations in the country, as part of Saturday Morning Birding. Beginners and birders of all levels are welcome. (adults)

Ipswich River’s Teen Conservation Club kicks off its spring session in Topsfield. Go on interesting hikes, explore natural history topics, and take part in real data-collection in this exciting club for teens.

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