Category: wildlife

King of the morning sun

Meep meep! Just like in the cartoons, roadrunners love to run and can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. They can fly for short distances but prefer to remain on the ground where they hunt for prey. Cute in a goofy kind of way, roadrunners are very fierce predators. They will eat pretty much anything they can catch, including mice, lizards, scorpions, rattlesnakes and other birds. This one at Big Bend National Park in Texas grabbed this snake snack to present to a potential mate. How romantic! Photo by Lee Jaszlics (www.sharetheexperience.org).

The American bison is our national mammal and a symbol of the Department of the Interior. Rugged and resilient, bison are surprisingly agile, able to jump fences and run up to 35 miles an hour. Recovering from near extinction, 17 bison herds can be found on public lands across the West. They are a wonder to see in the wild and we’re proud to feature them on National Bison Day. Photo of bison at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming courtesy of Travis O’Brien.

Whoo whoo’s ready for Halloween? As the sun sets and costumed candy hunters emerge, so will owls like this great horned owl @mypubliclands Marion Creek Campground in Alaska. Great horned owls are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Their excellent night vision, acute hearing and silent flight makes them practically magical. Their eyes don’t move in their sockets, but they can swivel their heads more than 180 degrees to look in any direction, making them nature’s perfect, lovable creeper. Just remember: even when you’re not watching wildlife on public lands – they’re watching you. Muhaha! Happy Owloween! Photo by Kerry Howard (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Fall weather frolic, anyone? Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colorado offers 10 miles of trails, golden fall colors and views of wildlife– such as leaping mule deer, bison, prairie dogs, migrating birds and coyotes. Chilly weather means it’s the time of year to dress warmly and take a stroll down your favorite path, listen to the rustling leaves and enjoy those fleeting moments of autumn. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

I think he likes you. Fall is the season for romance for moose at Denali National Park in Alaska. In fields the color of flames, bull moose are hunks of burning love, battling other males and aggressively courting females. They can stand more than six feet tall at the shoulder and are crowned by massive antlers, making them especially formidable during rut. Once the season passes, so does their urge to mingle. Moose tend to be solitary creatures most of the year. Photo by Hongxun Gao (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Watch out! A baby horned lizard found at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in California may be tiny and cute, but it has a secret weapon. When threatened, they intimidate attackers by squirting blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism. It’s not only confusing to predators, but it can also taste terrible. That’s just one thing you won’t be able to forget this National Reptile Awareness Day. Photo courtesy of John Martin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Suns out, tongues out!

It’s the weekend, time to go bear-zerk! With a little patience and luck, visitors to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge may see black bears like this cub in North Carolina. Alligator River has what is believed to be the highest concentration of black bear in the southeastern United States. As National Wildlife Refuge Week (October 13-19) ends, our celebration and appreciation of the lands and waters of the do not. We’ll keep sharing the wonder of these incredible places from the National Wildlife Refuge System all year long. Photo courtesy of Cass Girvin.

Have you ever been to Alaska? Officially transferred from Russia to the United States on this day in 1867, Alaska is a vast land of epic natural beauty, incredible human history and some of the best wildlife viewing on Earth. Brown bears swipe salmon from pristine rivers, huge herds of caribou roam across the tundra and cute sea otters float together off endless stretches of gorgeous coastline. Some of the best places to enjoy Alaska are on public lands, like Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges. They’re otterly fun! Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A bison roams the golden grasses at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado, one of our largest urban wildlife refuges. Only about 20 minutes from the Denver airport, take the 11-mile Wildlife Drive and keep your eyes peeled for bison, mule and white-tailed deer, hawks and waterfowl. Near the visitor center, you can learn more about the refuge’s population of endangered black-footed ferrets and the current conservation work. Whether you’re passing through Colorado or you call this place home, the refuge is yours to explore. Photo by Ian Shive, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.