Birding on Refuges
There are more than 700 species of birds on National Wildlife Refuges. More than 200 refuges were created specifically to protect, manage and restore habitat for migratory birds.
You may find birding guides or checklists on individual refuge Web sites. The U.S. Geological Survey also keeps birding checklists for some refuges. A guide provides pictures and descriptions of birds; a checklist provides more detailed information, including the best time of year to see individual species.
In 2014, five national wildlife refuges earned places on a USA Today “10 best” list for bird-watching. Here's the story.
Find Your Refuge
As its name suggests, the black oystercatcher has a particular taste for shellfish, and settles its nest along rocky shorelines. While it eats mainly mollusks, it hardly ever eats actual oysters, instead opting for mussels and limpets. READ MORE >>
Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, MT
Only about 40 miles from Yellowstone National Park, Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge may well be one of the only places in the world where the calls of beautiful trumpeter swans ring out almost all year long. MORE Here >>
It may look like your average seagull, but don’t expect the common tern to steal your snacks at the beach. READ MORE >>
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, WI
An active player in the recovery efforts of numerous endangered animals and habitats since its establishment in 1939, central Wisconsin’s Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is home to rare and iconic species like the whooping crane. READ MORE >>
Named for its full, melodic tone, the piping plover is unique to North America, and despite widespread habitat loss, can be found on stretches of sandy beach all across the Atlantic coast. READ MORE >>
Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, OR
With more than 372 acres of designated wilderness and habitats ranging from rough rocky coasts to dense coniferous forests, Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge Refuge counts up to 1.2 million seabirds nesting on the refuge each breeding season. READ MORE >>