There are more than 560 refuges in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System. Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge, located in Arvada and comprising only 72.2 acres, is the smallest urban unit in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
More than 120 species of birds nest, hunt and feed within the refuge. Visitors might see black-crowned night herons, snowy egrets, Bullock’s oriole, red-winged blackbirds and barn swallows in the wetlands and wooded areas. Northern harriers, American kestrels and red-tailed hawks cruise the warm thermals above the open meadows as they hunt for mice, voles and other small mammals. And a variety of ducks, including mallards with newborn ducklings, swim along the canals and in the ponds. The refuge provides a stopping point for many birds during the spring and fall migrations.
Let's check out Two Ponds for some birding before heading over to Arvada Beer Company (http://www.arvadabeer.com/). Arvada Beer Company always has 8-14 handcrafted beers on tap. They don't serve food, but 11 restaurants do deliver and you can bring in your own food for lunch.
Meeting time: 10 am
Meeting location: Two Ponds NWR parking lot(http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Two_Ponds/map.html)
Directions to Two Ponds: On West 80th Ave in Arvada between Wadsworth and Kipling. From downtown Denver, take I-25 north to Hwy 36 west. Exit at Federal Blvd and head north to West 80th Ave. Refuge parking is located on 80th between Wadsworth and Kipling.