Blog posts and photos about Refuges, wildlife and nature-related issues.

USFWS Announces Creation of the Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge

Nation’s Newest Wildlife Refuge Represents Coordinated Response to Conserving Key Shrubland Habitat in the Northeast WASHINGTON – Following an extensive public process, and with overwhelming public support, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized the creation of Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge, dedicated to conserving and managing shrubland and young forests for wildlife in New England and eastern New York. The approval of the refuge marks a key step, enabling the Service to now work with willing and interested landowners to acquire land. The nation’s newest wildlife refuge joins the largest network of lands in the nation dedicated to [...]

By | October 30th, 2016|Blog, National Wildlife Refuges, Press Releases|0 Comments

National Wildlife Refuge Week 2016

National Wildlife Refuge Week, celebrated each year during the second full week of October, is a great time to visit a national wildlife refuge near you! This year National Wildlife Refuge Week is happening from Sunday October 9th through Saturday, October 15th. Most of the events on the refuges will be on Saturday, October 15th: Patuxent NWR is conducting a Wildlife Festival from 10am until 3pm where you can discover groundbreaking research conducted at Patuxent! Activities include live animal displays, children’s crafts, tram tours, research exhibits, and behind-the-scenes tours of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center to see endangered whooping cranes [...]

By | October 13th, 2016|Blog, National Wildlife Refuges|0 Comments

Lassen Volcanic National Park Centennial

The National Park Service - Protecting Our Public Lands for a Century As the fifteenth national park established by Congress in 1916, Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the oldest national parks in the United States and is celebrating its 100 year anniversary! The park covers 165 square miles or about 106,000 acres, located in Lassen, Shasta, Plumas and Tehama counties on the southern edge of the Cascade Range in northern California. Nearly 79,000 acres in the park are designated as wilderness areas. Click here for an interactive map of the park. The campaign to establish Lassen Volcanic National Park was [...]

By | August 22nd, 2016|Blog, Conservation, Wildlife Areas|0 Comments

A Gathering of Species at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

As I always do on the way home, following a short visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, I take in at least one of the National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) found in the Sacramento Valley. I usually stop at the two refuges that have easily accessed auto tour routes, the Sacramento NWR and Colusa NWR. California is blessed with 51 NWRs and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), second only to North Dakota with 77. You can check your state's refuges here, listed by state. One species I can always count on at Colusa NWR is the Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), which boasts a [...]

By | November 15th, 2015|Blog, National Wildlife Refuges|0 Comments

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Revisited

I spent New Years Day at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge and what a glorious day it was! I had reserved photo blind #1 which is located near the refuge's south side of the auto loop. The morning began at sunrise with large groups of Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) flying in all around the blind. Click on photos for full sized images. The other goose most commonly seen this time of year at the refuge is the Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens), which is the most abundant goose found in the refuge complex during the winter months. Traveling with the Snow Goose is the [...]

By | January 19th, 2015|Blog, National Wildlife Refuges|0 Comments

Wildlife Conservation Pass Celebrates World Shorebirds Day

Healthy populations of shorebirds mean healthy wetlands, something that thousands of human lives depend on. Action on a global scale needs to be organized to encourage people to be connected with shorebirds, their spectacular life and their habitats. This is what World Shorebirds Day is all about. Over 20% of our National Wildlife Refuges exist along coastal waters, from Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge to Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge in Florida; from Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas coast to Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Nisqually National [...]

By | September 6th, 2014|Blog, Conservation|0 Comments

Modoc National Wildlife Refuge Auto Loop and Wigeon Pond Part 2

Knowing that Modoc National Wildlife Refuge is a breeding ground for Greater Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) I wanted to get back up there to observe the adult's behavior with their colts. I could hear a pair calling in the distance from the photo blind but in the tall grass they didn't appear to be parenting any colts. So, after leaving the photo blind, I headed out on the auto tour route hoping to find some of the youngsters. Click on photos for full sized images. As mentioned in the previous Modoc NWR post (part 1) this refuge has installed several nest [...]

By | August 2nd, 2014|Blog, National Wildlife Refuges|1 Comment

Klamath Bird Observatory’s Inaugural Mountain Bird Festival a Big Success

What a great time I had at the inaugural Mountain Bird Festival in Ashland. I saw three life birds during the two day event, a Cassin's Vireo, Vesper Sparrow and the Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) shown above. This owl was nesting in an artificial platform provided by a local landowner who allowed us to observe the nesting owl. Click on photos for full sized images. Another treat a few of us were able to observe was two Great Gray Owls hunting in an open meadow on Keno Access Road along the east side of Howard Prairie Lake, at the [...]

By | July 20th, 2014|Blog, Conservation|0 Comments

Modoc National Wildlife Refuge Photo Blind, Auto Loop and Wigeon Pond Part 1

The photo above, taken from the refuge access road, shows the Lower and Upper Duck Ponds at Modoc National Wildlife Refuge with the Warner Mountains in the background. The photo blind can be seen in the middle right of the photo. The blind is probably eight feet wide and ten long with a six foot ceiling. It has viewing ports that open on the three sides facing the lower pond and a sliding back door which faces the upper pond. It also comes equipped with a rolling swivel chair (bring your own photographic equipment). I photographed several species on this visit [...]

By | June 18th, 2014|Blog, National Wildlife Refuges|3 Comments