Please take a moment to pull open your calendars, flip ahead to October, and mark October 10-16 as National Wildlife Refuge Week 2021! This is the time of year we invite you to support our local Refuge and its programs. While this year’s celebration may still feel a bit different, we are excited to see the light beginning to shine through, as we start our journey back to ‘normal.’
2021 marks the beginning of more exciting growth projects supported by the Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. Over the years, the Friends of Hagerman have brought mobility, beauty, and educational opportunities to life for the enjoyment of our visitors to the Refuge. Projects resulting in the Butterfly Garden, the Wildlife Express electric tram, renovations to the Big Mineral Creek Recreation Area with covered picnic table areas, and the soon-to-be-built Education Pavilion are available, thanks in large part to your donations and financial support!
For the last year and a half, while much of the world locked down, HNWR continued to be watched over and maintained by volunteers and a slim, dedicated staff. The quiet of the Refuge is, at times, a sad reminder that our familiar crowds of happy school children, clubs, tours, and field classes are missing. Fortunately, the community as a whole has continued to safely visit the Refuge, relish in its peacefulness, and enjoy its abundant wildlife.
There are Several Ways to Support the Friends of Hagerman NWR in 2021:
The online auction will begin on October 1st and finish up on October 14th. Items and details will be posted on the Hagerman Facebook page. And we will conveniently pick up donated items from you at any time and store them in the Visitor Center until Auction time. More details will follow. Please contact FOH or firstname.lastname@example.org. for more details.
Thank you for your consideration, and we sincerely hope to “see” you at the Refuge soon.
President, Friends of Hagerman
Notice: Due to the Coronavirus, the Visitor Center remains closed. Refuge lands remain open to the public from sunrise to sunset daily. Restrooms are located at Goode Day Use Area, the Visitor Center, Big Mineral Day Use Area and Sandy Point Day Use Area. See Map
Heads Up: July 4th
Unfortunately, the recent rainfall in the Lake Texoma watershed has flooded Wildlife Drive and Bennett Lane past Big Mineral Day Use Area. These roads are closed to vehicles. You may park near the gate and walk or bike in, but do not block the gate and do not access Tern Road due to the nesting Least Terns. The lake is still rising and inflow is 4X outflow for now. The roads will reopen as soon as they are no longer flooded and have been repaired as needed.
REMINDER: Fireworks are not allowed on Hagerman Refuge Lands
This area is finally going to have its own Audubon Chapter! Audubon's mission is to protect birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. They conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.
The inaugural meeting of the new chapter will be July 20 from 6-8 pm at the Durant Public Library and will also be streamed live on Youtube. For more information, visit texomaaudubon.org
Saturday, July 10th at 10:00AM Online via ZOOM, Registration Required
Many species of dragonflies and damselflies occur at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. In this program, Rick will discuss the species most likely to be found at the refuge, when the species are most likely to be encountered, and where he has seen the species on the refuge.
Rick grew up in Rockport, Texas. He has a Bachelors of Science in Range and Wildlife Management from Texas A&M University in Kingsville, Texas. Rick has worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for almost 30 years, at refuges in South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma. He spent over a decade as the assistant manager at Hagerman and has been the refuge manager at Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge since 2016.
Photo by Rick Cantu
July 17, 2021, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM, Online via ZOOM
Many photographers are scared to use a wide-angle lens, or never seem to like the results. That is a shame. Sean will demonstrate how photographers can use their wide-angle lens as a storytelling tool or as an artistic instrument to help take unique images that are both intimate and sweeping. He will also share techniques to add supplemental lighting to your photographs. Sean will help you learn how you can see the world from the unique perspective that wide-angle photography provides and how supplemental lighting can improve your end results.
Sean Fitzgerald is a Dallas-based nature, conservation, and travel photographer. Sean’s work has been published in a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times, Outdoor Photographer, Nature Conservancy, Audubon, Photo District News, Backpacker, Bicycling, Texas Highways, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and many more. His fine-art prints are found in private and corporate art collections and large-scale installations across the country, including hospitals, banks, museums, and convention centers. Sean leads photo workshops for Ted Turner Reserves. His work is varied but focuses primarily on Texas and endangered ecosystems such as Texas prairies. Sean is a past president of the North American Nature Photography Association and a member of the American Society of Media Photographers. You can see more of his images at www.seanfitzgerald.com. He has taken a lead role in the efforts of photography organizations to modernize the copyright system to better protect visual artists and is also actively involved with protecting artist rights on public lands. You can see more of his images at www.seanfitzgerald.com.
By Laurie Sheppard
In Texas, Baptisias grow in remnant native habitats and often sprout up as weeds in overgrazed pastures. There are three Baptisia species whose native ranges overlap in north central Texas, and all three may be found blooming in spring at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. One characteristic of Baptisia is its ability to hybridize and at least two hybrid forms have also been identified on the refuge.
Photo by Laurie Sheppard
The Magical World of Fireflies!
Click below for instructions to make a Firefly!
Updated, Weekly Census Results
By Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, Mike Petrick and
Dr. Wayne Meyer (Pictured Right)
Each Tuesday a team of experienced birders, including Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, traverse 35 miles of refuge roads and hiking trails, documenting every bird they encounter. This Bird Census is reported to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use in research, and each week we will bring you a link to their actual bird count, and a summary of their adventures.
June 29: Bird Census Results
It was a very pleasant, mostly cloudy day for the census. Egret and Plover pads are now open. Tern pad is closed for nesting Least Terns. We did see a total of 10 Least Terns feeding. There is an abundance of herons and egrets around the pads. Red-shouldered Hawks were abundant today with a count of 12. We saw Red-Headed Woodpeckers at both Deaver pond
Did you know that you can support the Friends of Hagerman while shopping on Amazon? If you shop on Amazon using this Amazon Smile link, the Friends will receive 0.5% of eligible purchases. Simply go to smile.amazon.com and sign in with your Amazon account. Under "Your Account" select "Change your Amazon Smile Charity" and enter "Friends of Hagerman" in the charity search box. Once your results appear, select the Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge Foundation. Every time you make a purchase on Amazon Smile, and the Friends will get a donation. Thanks for helping us make Hagerman a great wildlife refuge!
Kroger: Stop by the customer service desk at Kroger and link your Kroger Card to the Friends of Hagerman: the Friends will get rewards for every dollar you spend, at no cost to you.
To Our Contributors:
Jack Chiles, Cindy Steele, Rick Cantu, Laurie Sheppard, Cathy Van Bebber
Refuge Manager: Kathy Whaley
Deputy Refuge Manager: Paul Balkenbush
Editor: Patricia Crain
Friends of Hagerman NWR Foundation
6465 Refuge Road, Sherman, TX 75092