It’s a great time to flock to Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. An hour’s drive north of California’s state capital, the refuge provides critical habitat to migrating waterfowl. Duck and geese numbers peak in November and December with huge groups filling the sky. It’s an amazing experience, and another great reason to #OptOutside. Photo of snow geese by Steve McDonald, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This time of year, Florida beaches call to people and animals alike. At St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, migratory birds are finding their winter homes in forests and wetlands. Waterfowl populations reach their peak between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The refuge’s 43 miles of gulf coastline are perfect for birdwatching and gorgeous sunsets. Photo by Neil Hostnick (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Happy National Bison Day!
We’re celebrating our national mammal with this pic of a bison and its baby at Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Public lands managed by Interior support 17 bison herds – or approximately 10,000 bison – in 12 states, including Alaska.
Check out more interesting facts about bison: http://on.doi.gov/1Oc7VXg
Photo courtesy of Rich Keen, DPRA.
November is Manatee Awareness Month! These gentle giants – nicknamed “sea cows” for their diet of seagrass and other aquatic plants – can reach lengths of over 14 feet and weigh more than 3,000 pounds. Early explorers once mistook manatees, which have large, spoon-shaped tails, for young women – fueling legends of mermaids. Find out more fun manatee facts: https://www.doi.gov/blog/6-facts-about-manatees. Photo at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in Florida by Michel Gilbert, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service SUP holder.
Surrounded by farmland and development, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana is critical habitat for the diverse wildlife that call the area home. The grasslands, forests and wetlands of the refuge support animals from otters and deer to a wide variety of birds. Fall is a great time to see waterfowl or catch a sunrise over one of the refuge’s lakes. Photo by D. Stanley, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota is celebrated both for its wildlife and the extraordinary visitor experiences. The refuge’s diverse habitats are dynamic, ranging from grasslands and forests to a variety of wetlands and watersheds. The refuge is also important to migratory birds. By the middle of October, Sherburne hosts thousands of sandhill cranes as they roost at night in refuge wetlands during fall migration. Dawn is the best time to see them. Sunrise photo by Pamela Robideau (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Twenty miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and not far from the historic battlefields of Lexington and Concord, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge features 3,800 acres of wetlands and forests – perfect habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Over 200 species of birds have been sighted here, and white-tailed deer, beaver, fisher, otter, muskrats, red fox, weasels and various small mammals all find a home in the refuge. Photo by Deb Della Piana (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Fall colors are popping up at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. This eastern Maine wildlife refuge is the perfect place to take in autumn’s bright reds, oranges and yellows. Where is your favorite place for fall colors? Photos by Keith Ramos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Located just northeast of Denver, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,000-acre expanse of prairie, wetland and woodland habitat. The land has a unique story – it has survived the test of time and transitioned from farmland to war-time manufacturing site to wildlife sanctuary today. It may be one of the finest conservation success stories in history and a place where wildlife thrives. Photo by Jennifer Howell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Waterfall-draped mountains encircle Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i. The winding Hanalei River feeds wetlands that are home to five endangered water birds: the koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck), the ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot), the ‘alae‘ula (Hawaiian moorhen), the ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt), and the nēnē (Hawaiian goose). Photo by J. Waipa, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.