Visiting Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming can be such a delight: walking the paths, listening to the birds and keeping your eyes open for whatever might appear around the next bend in the trail. It could be a sandhill crane dance party, elk splashing across streams or maybe even a supremely confident badger with wits as sharp as its claws. National Wildlife Refuges are full of inspiration. Photo by Tom Koerner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
National Wildlife Refuge Week is a great time to remind everyone that refuges are some of the best places for birdwatching. One of the most thrilling birds to spot is the bald eagle. A majestic symbol of our nation, bald eagles are found in every state except Hawaii. Males and females work together to build large nests, and you’ll often see them hunting over open fields and water. This one just left its perch at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. Photo by Curtis Gibbens (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge in Florida is a haven for great white herons, migratory birds and other fascinating wildlife. The refuge consists of almost 200,000 acres of open water and scattered islands, and is known in the Keys as the “backcountry.” The refuge provides critical nesting, feeding and resting areas for hundreds of species of birds and sea turtles. The beaches, mangroves and sparkling blue water are favorites for the visitors who explore this beautiful and fragile place. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Don’t call it a bunny. This is a black-tailed jackrabbit at Hopper Mountain and Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuges in California. Common across the western U.S., they’re known for their short black tails, powerful back legs and really long ears. This one does not look amused at your April Fools prank. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This is so cute! With grasslands, forests, tidal salt marshes and freshwater ponds, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware provides excellent habitat for a terrific variety of animals. Some live here year round while others stop by as they make their way along the Atlantic Flyway. This time of year, visitors can see eagles, hawks, ducks, geese and litters of cute baby foxes. Photo of two red fox kits taken last week by Jennifer Cross, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Did you know that there are five national wildlife refuges in Rhode Island? Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge features rocky shorelines, sandy beaches and a large salt marsh that provide habitat to amazing birds like the piping plover. In the winter, visitors can walk or cross-country ski on the refuge trails and enjoy sunrises and sunsets over the water. Photo by Chris Hunter (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Delicate frost clings to a solitary tree at J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota. These little details are easy to miss when visitors are busy bird watching, hiking or ice fishing. Extending from the Canadian border for 45 miles, it’s the largest wildlife refuge in the state and one of the nation’s premier birding locations. Photo by Colette Guariglia, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wooo! This bald eagle at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois is cheering on America in the Winter Olympics. You can easily spot the massive nests of eagles in the bare trees during winter at the refuge. They also make their presence known with daring dives, wide wing spans and screaming calls. We’re glad they’re on our team. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Along the lower reaches of the Columbia River in Washington, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge preserves unique habitat for wintering birds and other fascinating wildlife. Quiet and attentive visitors may be treated to the sight of a long tailed weasel running across a trail or a group of river otters playing in the water. Look out over distant fields and you might see a coyote hunting for rodents or a white tailed deer grazing watchfully. The refuge is a place where people can share a bond with nature, and each other, by passing on outdoor traditions to new generations. Sunset photo by Donna Torres (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Does this look like your normal morning meeting? It seems like these Steller sea lions at the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex have a lot to talk about. Maybe they’re discussing the quality of the fish they’re hunting or the immense size (11 feet long and 2,500 pounds) of the largest males. Each one seems to have an opinion. Which Steller sea lion are you? Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.