Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge
Mountain-Prairie Region
Mammal List

Bird List (770 KB PDF)

Amphibian and Reptile List

Grassland Songbird Study

diving ducks

Bowdoin NWR has an abundance of wildlife.  The wetlands support an extensive variety of waterfowl and shorebirds.  The islands in Lake Bowdoin house colonies of American white pelicans, California gulls, ring-billed gulls, double-crested cormorants, and great blue herons.  Surrounding wetlands teem with Franklin's gulls, white-faced ibis, black-crowned night herons and eared grebes.  The descending whinny of sora rails and the hollow croaking of American bitterns can be heard throughout the wetlands on summer evenings.

Muskrats are common refuge wetland dwellers during years with favorable water conditions; as can be seen by the many houses of mounded mud and vegetation that dot the marshes.  Canada geese and some ducks often nest on these mounds.

Sharp-tailed grouse, which can be seen on their leks (dancing grounds) at daybreak in early spring, breed and nest on the refuge.


Songsters of the prairie uplands include Baird's sparrow, Sprague's pipit, grasshopper sparrow, savannah sparrow, chestnut-collared longspur, and Montana's State bird, the western meadowlark.


Noteable Wildlife seen on Bowdoin NWR during the fall season.

September: Unusually cooler weather brought in migrant raptors, sparrows, warblers, and shorebirds early in the month. Large numbers of waterfowl also began concentrating on the larger water units early on but unseasonably warm days during the middle part of the month lead to most waterfowl moving off refuge. Several large waves of American coots moved in and replaced waterfowl numbers. During the last week of September the first Sandhill Cranes began to move on to the refuge.

October: Small numbers of Tundra Swans were seen on the refuge October 1st just in time for the waterfowl season opener. Early waterfowl hunters have been successful and upland game hunters have been gearing up for the pheasant season opener. Migrant birds are still passing through the refuge and large numbers of Dark-eyed Juncos can be seen near wooded areas.


Last updated: March 7, 2011