Winter Programs to Flourish at Rice Creek Field Station

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

OSWEGO — Popular programs at SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station will continue through the winter, including Winter Bird Study, Rice Creek Rambles and Rice Creek Story Hour.

The public may visit the field station off Thompson Road south of the main SUNY Oswego campus nearly every Friday or Saturday to view and participate, from an indoor viewing area, in the annual survey of birds at Rice Creek feeders.

Naturalists will lead themed Rice Creek Rambles at 11 a.m. one Saturday each month, January through March:

* Jan. 15, “Catch Me If You Can.” How do animals move quickly through and over the snow pack? Learn about specialized animal adaptations, and try some.

* Feb. 12, “Who Is Still Here?” Explore the trails for living things that winter over at Rice Creek.

* March 12: “I Can Follow You.” Decode the various tracks made by the wildlife of Rice Creek. Tracks tell the story of the animals people often don’t see day to day. Their tracks tell where they have been and what they have been doing.

Those planning on attending should call 216-6877 the morning of the hike to check trail conditions. Since program size is limited, the field station is not able to accommodate groups. An adult must accompany children.

Rice Creek Story Hour also will take place one Saturday a month during the winter, at 1 p.m. The programs are designed for elementary school-age children, though all are welcome:

* Jan. 29, “Snowflake Bentley.” Viewing every snowflake as a wonder, as a child Wilson Bentley drew every snowflake he could capture. One day his parents gave him a fabulous gift that would change his life and enrich the lives of many others. Jacqueline Briggs Martin wrote the book about winter’s unique crystals.

* Feb. 26, “Rainbow Crow.” As snowfall deepened in the woods, threatening all who lived there, who would ask the Great Sky Spirit for help? Find out during the reading of Nancy Van Lann’s book about Native American totems.

* March 26, “Winter’s Tale.” Visitors can chase away the winter blues and turn thoughts to spring with a game of CAMP. This nature game covers topics that range from the migratory habits of birds to safety rules while ice fishing. With four levels of difficulty, anyone above age 4 can play.