Birds of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – Celebrating National Wildlife Refuge Week

Wintry view of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the Promontory MountainsWintry view of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the Promontory Mountains

This is National Wildlife Refuge Week and in celebration I wanted to do a pictorial essay that includes some of my images of the Birds of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.  Plus I’ve added a few landscape images which show the beauty of the marshes on the refuge and I hope the serenity I find at the refuge shows in them.

Bald Eagle landing on Bear River Christmas day 2012Bald Eagle landing on Bear River Christmas day 2012

During the winter look for Bald Eagles in flight overhead, perched on the ice or trees on the road out to the auto tour route. Also look for them on or near the Bear River.

Rough-legged Hawk male giving me an over the shoulder lookRough-legged Hawk male giving me an over the shoulder look

Other winter visitors include Rough-legged Hawks, arctic birds of prey that overwinter on the refuge.

Northern Harrier bringing nesting material to the nestNorthern Harrier bringing nesting material to the nest

Northern Harriers can be seen at the refuge year round but if you watch them carefully in the spring you might just find one building a nest.

Western Grebe back-brooding large chickWestern Grebe back-brooding large chick

There are grebes aplenty at the refuge and I’ve seen Eared, Horned Pied, Western and Clark’s Grebes floating on the waters of the refuge.

Hen Redhead on the Bear RiverHen Redhead on the Bear River

Ducks of all kinds visit or breed on the refuge, some nest on the refuge and some rest there on migration.

Tundra Swans in flight on a March morningTundra Swans in flight on a March morning

During the winter Tundra Swans arrive by the thousands and their calls echo over the marshes and they can easily be seen from the auto tour route at the refuge.

Colorful Autumn view of Bear River Migratory Bird RefugeColorful Autumn view of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

The marshes do get colorful in the Autumn when the reeds and phragmites and other vegetation change colors.

Juvenile Black-necked Stilt foraging in the Bear RiverJuvenile Black-necked Stilt foraging in the Bear River

Shorebirds by the hundreds of thousands feed in the marshlands of the refuge. Some of them use this important area of the flyway to rest and fuel up for their long migrations.

American Avocet adult in low lightAmerican Avocet adult in low light

And some of the shorebirds breed and raise their young on the refuge. Thousands and thousands of them!

American White Pelican at Bear River Bird RefugeAmerican White Pelican at Bear River Bird Refuge

American White Pelicans feed on the fish in the marshes of the refuge and can be seen in large squadrons flying overhead.

Marsh Wren searching for nesting materialMarsh Wren searching for nesting material

There are smaller birds that make their homes at the refuge like the saucy little Marsh Wrens

A flock of Tree Swallows at Bear River NWRA flock of Tree Swallows at Bear River NWR

And five different species of swallows that can be seen there too.

An adult White-faced Ibis feedingAn adult White-faced Ibis feeding

White-faced Ibis arrive in the spring to nest and raise their young.

A Sandhill Crane right after the sunriseSandhill Crane

As do the Sandhill Cranes whose trumpeting calls can be heard from far away.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron landing in the Bear RiverJuvenile Black-crowned Night Heron landing in the Bear River

Where even the more elusive Black-crowned Night Herons can be seen in flight, feeding or fueding with other wading birds that call the refuge home.

Virginia Rail and its reflectionVirginia Rail and its reflection

Virginia Rails and Sora call in the spring and raise their young. There are hard to find but a delight when they come out into the open.

Barn Owl in flight head onBarn Owl in flight head on

And I mustn’t forget the owls that can be seen at the refuge which include Barn Owls, Short-eared Owls, Great Horned Owls, Burrowing Owls and if you are really lucky a Long-eared Owl might show up too.

Summer view of Bear River Migratory Bird RefugeSummer view of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

I couldn’t cover all of the birds in a single post because there are more than 270 species of birds have been found at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and every month of the year is a great time to visit.

I love Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and every visit there feel right at home.

Are you going to visit a National Wildlife Refuge this week to celebrate? Find one and go!

Life is good and our National Wildlife Refuges makes it even better.

Mia

For a gallery of all kinds of images taken at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge click here

22 Comments

  1. Larry Muench October 10, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Great post Mia. Wonderful photos of one of my favorite places!

  2. Pepe Forte October 10, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Mia…you continue to amaze and never disappoint. What great shots! Thanks for bringing so much of life closer to us.

  3. Utahbooklover October 9, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Wonderful post and images. I think my favorite is the beautiful American Avocet.

  4. April Olson October 9, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Beautiful photos thank you for posting. I spent the day at Antelope Island. I saw many, many song birds, and the causeway was spectacular with wildlife. Antelope, chukar and a couple of burrowing owls by the visitor center The Island is greening up beautifully! The ground cover is coming in and blooming. Many of the bushes that burned are coming up from the roots. The rabbit brush and sage are not growing so far but we will see what spring brings.

  5. Vicki Rogerson October 9, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is on my “hope to see” list thanks to you, and your images. I know I will love it.

  6. Linda Chowns October 9, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! I love the elusive Virginia Rail photo. Thank you for sharing your work with us.

  7. Kathie Brown October 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    What wonderful images, Mia! It has been waaaaaaaay too long since I have been there. I am yearning to go back!

  8. Elephant's Child October 9, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Megathanks.
    This is beyond beautiful, and looking at your images I can feel stress ebbing away. To be replaced with awe and wonder.

  9. Carol Fern Culhane October 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

    What a fine gift for today!
    Hooray for our National Wildlife Refuges!
    Thank you for assembling this photo essay, it’s a treasure!

  10. Patty Chadwick October 9, 2016 at 9:57 am

    PS The white pelican reminds me of Bernis Sanders…

    • Patty Chadwick October 9, 2016 at 9:58 am

      I wonder if he’d be willing to run…..

  11. Patty Chadwick October 9, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Love the picture of the muley lying in the grass, too…a besutiful, serene image…

  12. Bob mcpherson October 9, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Gorgeous images, Mia. Please take a bow for your wonderful work.

  13. Marie Read October 9, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Wonderful photos from a wonderful place! Thanks!

  14. Patty Chadwick October 9, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Thank you!!!

  15. Roger Burnard October 9, 2016 at 7:28 am

    What a really great series of images Mia.. You have indeed seen a wealth of
    critters, and have done a masterful job of getting beautiful photos of each of
    them. Is that your vehicle in the last photo? ;-)))

    • Mia McPherson October 9, 2016 at 8:28 am

      Thanks Roger! And yes, the Jeep is mine and her name is Star 🙂

  16. Liz Cormack October 9, 2016 at 7:10 am

    What beautiful scenery & wide variety of birds. Thank you for this.

Comments are closed.