Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Canvasback Tule Duck Shirts Available!

Check out our the custom artwork of the historic Canvasback duck decoy on our 100% cotton, pre-shrunk shirt! Scroll to the right of the page to purchase your own for just $20 and free shipping.

The following is a brief history on the Tule duck:

"The Canvasback duck decoy made from tules is an icon of the Lahontan Valley wetlands in Nevada. These decoys date back over 3000 years to the time of the early Paiute people who thrived in the Stillwater marsh. They developed a method of constructing lifelike duck decoys from tightly woven marsh plants, painted them with mineral dyes and sometimes wrapped feathers on the form.  Small groups of these were floated in the marsh ponds to 'decoy' other waterfowl into landing within range of the hunters' arrow. A well-preserved group of these decoys was discovered in a cave near Lovelock, NV in the 1920's, and are on display at the Smithsonian Institution.  Today, a handful of Paiute tribal members continue to create these decoys as fine art for sale, using traditional methods passed down through the generations."

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spring Wings Tours--LAST CALL!

If you are interested in a FREE Birding Hot Spots Tour, let us know by sending an email to This tour will have limited seats which will go to those who first sign up. The tours will each have two vans and will take place on Saturday, May 16, from 7:30am - 9:30 am and again from 3 - 5pm. Please visit for more information.

UPDATE as of 5/14/15:

The morning tour has 4 seats left and the afternoon tour has 14; the Decoy Carving class (10:30-3:30 for $20) has 4 seats. Friday, May 15 is your last day to sign up before checking for availability on site at the Churchill County Fairgrounds, Saturday, May 16 before the tours and the course begin.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Updates to the Decoy Carving Class

The Decoy Carving price is down to $20/person. There are 10 slots still available. It will run from 10:30 am - 3:30 pm on Saturday, May 16 with a special presentation on the history of American decoy carving prior to the class. The presentation is open to the public. Participants must be 14 years or older. For more information or to sign up, visit and scroll down to the right-hand side of the page to add to your PayPal shopping cart.

UPDATE as of 5/8/15: 8 slots available

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spring Wings 2015 Update

Click on the following link for more information about this year's festival:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Another Spring Wings Tour Offered!

If you are interested in a FREE Birding Hot Spots Tour, let us know by sending an email to This tour will have limited seats which will go to those who first sign up. The tours will each have two vans and will take place on Saturday, May 16, from 7:30am - 9:30am and again from 3 - 5pm.
The tours will depart from the Churchill County Fairgrounds at 325 Sheckler Rd. in Fallon.
We hope to offer a Wood Duck Tour as well, but given current drought conditions, it's difficult to offer many birding tours this year. 
Keep checking back at for any changes!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring Wings Festival - May 16, 2015

As previously announced, Spring Wings 2015 will take place on Saturday, May 16 at the Churchill County Fairgrounds in Fallon, NV. The event will include free talks, exhibits, hands-on fun for the whole family and a few, free Hot Spot tours around local wetlands and bird areas in town. 
There will also be a Decoy Carving Seminar on Saturday. There will be 12 slots available to purchase at $35 each. The decoy this year will be a Greater Yellowlegs--a common and attractive shorebird found in the Stillwater marsh. If you'd like to reserve your spot(s), click on the link to the right of the page and add the quantity you'd like to purchase to your PayPal cart. Once you pay, your seats will be reserved and we'll send you a confirmation.
Amazing Birds of Prey will be a free, feature presentation featuring the knowledgeable speaker, Marie Gaspari-Crawford. There will be other presentations, too with a special one on owls. Stay tuned for the final lineup!
There is also space available for a limited amount of vendors. The reservation fee is $20/table for the day (from 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.). If you're interested, contact us at or call Susan 775-423-5128 ext. 224. We will be able to provide additional information. In the meantime, please make sure your city/county permits are current.
We also have Tule duck shirts available for purchase. We have about a dozen of each size (adult S-XL) for $20 each and XXL for $22. Free USPS shipping is included in the price. The shirts feature custom artwork depicting the iconic Canvasback duck tule decoy used historically by the Paiute people for centuries in the Stillwater marsh. They were designed specifically for the Friends of Stillwater NWR Group. Choose your size and quantity on Pay through PayPal and be sure to have your correct mailing address (and name) and we'll ship shortly thereafter.

Stay posted as other tours will likely become available. We're hoping to offer some tours for free this year, but seats will be limited due to van space. Visit for more information.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Great new link for beginners to bird watching

We just added a new site under Birder Links tab: Thanks for the share from a fellow birder and her family!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Recent Stillwater Sightings

Wildlife and Bird Update February 28, 2015:
Stillwater NWR:

The refuge sanctuary along the Foxtail Lake driving tour route is holding the most visible bird numbers. Enter the route across from the Stillwater Pt. parking area. The one-way road is about 6 miles long, and exits onto Hunter Road.  The covered pavilion, tables, restroom, boardwalk, and viewing platforms are about 3 miles into the tour route. A viewing blind is located on the West shore of the first pond,  just beyond the pavilion; parking is on the south side of the road, and an easy 200yd walk leads to the blind.

Wildlife sightings from the public refuge tour on this date included the following:
(weather: 35F air temp, N wind, rain/sleet, overcast,  

Loggerhead Shrike
Great Blue Heron
Eared Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Clark's Grebe
Ruddy Duck
American Coot
Black-crowned Night Heron 
American White Pelicans;
Great Horned owl pair on nest north of restroom
Savannah sparrow
Marsh wren
RedWing blackbird
Northern Harrier
RedTail Hawk pair in cottonwood West of pavilion on tour route (old nest in tree)
Common Raven
American Tree Sparrow (somewhat uncommon species for this area)

Cottontail rabbit

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bird-watching Tips from the Couch

Someone shared this great article about bird-watching from home. Hope you find it useful!
Click here: Bird Watching from Your Window 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wetlands and Wings Youth Workshop News


The Spring Wetlands and Wings youth workshop and hunt application period is closed. Twenty six youth (12 girls and 14 boys) were selected to participate in the March 2015 workshop and upland bird hunt. Photos and videos of the workshop and pheasant hunt will be posted here soon after the event.

Applications for the Fall 2015 youth outdoor workshop and hunt will be available in late August. The workshop (hopefully for waterfowl) date will be determined based on available water and waterfowl hunt areas on Stillwater refuge. 

We hope to provide outdoor opportunities for youth to become involved in various habitat and wildlife projects throughout the year. Those who have applied and/or attended a Wetlands and Wings workshop will be contacted for these projects as they become available.

Look for Wetlands and Wings at local outreach events 
during Spring and Summer in Fallon, Reno, Carson City and more!