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.
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.
Other winter visitors include Rough-legged Hawks, arctic birds of prey that overwinter on the refuge.
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.
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.
Ducks of all kinds visit or breed on the refuge, some nest on the refuge and some rest there on migration.
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.
The marshes do get colorful in the Autumn when the reeds and phragmites and other vegetation change colors.
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.
And some of the shorebirds breed and raise their young on the refuge. Thousands and thousands of them!
American White Pelicans feed on the fish in the marshes of the refuge and can be seen in large squadrons flying overhead.
There are smaller birds that make their homes at the refuge like the saucy little Marsh Wrens
And five different species of swallows that can be seen there too.
White-faced Ibis arrive in the spring to nest and raise their young.
As do the Sandhill Cranes whose trumpeting calls can be heard from far away.
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 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.
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.
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.
For a gallery of all kinds of images taken at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge click here