More often seen than heard, owls are amazing birds. 🦉 The eastern screech owl has some of the best camouflage – even the sharpest eye might not see it in the trees. It tends to roost in a hollow or in dense foliage near the trunk, and its colors range from gray to reddish brown. Its call is a long quivering whistle, so keep your ears open even if you can’t spot this owl. This one was photographed at New York and New Jersey’s Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to grassland birds, migrating waterfowl and wintering raptors. Photo courtesy of Herb Houghton.
Pelican Islands National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt. While it was created to protect the habitat of migratory and resident birds, the refuge’s land and waters are also home to other interesting animals, including the North American river otter. Able to live in both fresh and saltwater, the river otter is a clever, adorable and sometimes dangerous animal. Is this one angling for a belly rub (which you should never do) or thinking about its next meal? Photo by Keenan Adams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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).
Let’s keep the fun of National Wildlife Refuge Week going with this awesome elk at Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana. During the fall rut, bull elk bellow out a series of grunts and whistles called a bugle. It’s a call to combat. In the mating season, challengers bugle to dominant elks, announcing a duel for the right to mate. This is just one of the many terrific sight and sounds you’ll find when you explore the outdoors. Photo by Somesh Nagthan (www.sharetheexperience.org).
It’s National Wildlife Refuge Week! From Patuxent Research Refuge on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (seen here) on an Alaska island, refuges are the perfect places for people to connect to the outdoors and appreciate wildlife. Clever and cute, these foxes are just an example of some of the amazing things you might see when you visit a refuge. See more: https://on.doi.gov/2P6CcZw Photo by Josh Blouin (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Just because you live in a city doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors. Urban wildlife refuges provide an easy escape to nature for millions of Americans every year. Within view of Denver’s skyscrapers, visitors to Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge can see bison, bald eagles, snow geese and sunsets. It’s just one of many resources for city dwellers. Find more: www.fws.gov/urban/wildlifeRefuges.php Sunset photo by Dave Showalter, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Tomorrow is National Hunting and Fishing Day. Held every year since 1972, National Hunting and Fishing Day celebrates outdoor sports, and how hunters and anglers contribute to conservation. Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned sportsman or woman, your public lands are some of the best places to wet a line or bag the big one. Just ask the people at Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi, a very popular place for outdoor sports. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Located along the northeast coast of Massachusetts, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge provides feeding, resting and nesting habitat for a wide variety of migratory birds. The refuge includes more than 4,700 acres of diverse habitats – from sandy beaches and dunes to cranberry bogs, maritime forests and freshwater marshes. The most abundant habitat on the refuge is salt marsh, one of the most productive ecosystems in nature. It’s a great place to see your favorite birds as the fall migrations begin. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The violet light of sunset reflects on the water at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland, while this great blue heron concentrates on its next meal. Great blue herons live year-round in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and spend most of their waking time fishing. Growing up to 4 feet tall with a wingspan of more than 6 feet, they are graceful birds flying through the air or wading in the water. Where is your favorite place to watch great blue herons and other birds? Photo by Kaila Ferrufino (www.sharetheexperience.org).