Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge
Mountain-Prairie Region

Migration Update June 1, 2009

Spring is beginning to slowly fade into summer. Weather patterns have set up to bring a cold front through the area about once a week. Daytime temperatures reach into the 80's and after passage of the cold front drop into the 60's. Although surrounding areas to the north and the south have received signigicant precipitation in the last few weeks, little additional precipitation has fallen at the refuge. A chance of rain is forecast for the entire week. Cool season plants, such as Canada bluejoint, Canada wildrye, and several sedge species, have had ideal growing conditions and have grown abundantly in the wet meadows. Many of the refuges wetlands are being allowed to slowly draw down. This facilitates the germination and growth of desireable wetland food plants, such as smartweed, burreed, wild rice, and arrowhead.

This is a busy time of year for Refuge staff. Numerous biological surveys are being conducted. Habitat management activities include maintaining fence and water tanks to facilitate grazing management, spraying Canada thistle, leafy spurge, and reed canary grass, planting native grass and forb seed, and managing water levels.

Most of the Canada geese have now hatched and you can spot numerous broods of varying ages around the tour loop. Some of the first duck broods have now hatched, with many hens incubating eggs. Duck broods are much more difficult to spot, as they generally stay near heavy cover and are active very early in the morning or late in the evening. The bald eagle eaglets continue to grow, and the adults bring a meal to them four or five times a day. Staff have observed the adults bringing coots, green winged teal, cottontail rabbits, and a muskrat to the nest. The male adult bald eagle was observed attempting to catch an adult Canada goose. He ended up in the water, but was eventually able to free himself and fly away. The white-tailed deer does are all heavy with fawns, and the first are expected to be born in the next few days. Many of the grassland nesting birds are actively nesting. Male bobolinks can be spotted perched on the tallest piece of vegetation they can find and defending a small area around this perch from other male bobolinks. Nesting activity will continue well into the summer as birds that have lost earlier nests to predators and weather continue to renest. American white pelicans are actively foraging in the refuges wetlands and surrounding wetlands. They will feed and then return to the south nesting island to feed the young that have recently hatched.

Mornings and evenings will be the best times to view wildlife, as most wildlife is less active during the heat of the day.

Thinking of making a trip to Lacreek NWR?  Check out the latest weather forecast for the Lacreek area at    

Migration Updates:

April 30, 2009
April 28, 2009
April 14, 2009
April 7, 2009
March 26, 2009
March 2, 2009
February 2, 2009
January 7, 2009
December 18, 2008
December 10, 2008
November 12, 2008
October 31, 2008
October 14, 2008
September 25, 2008
August 4, 2008
June 12, 2008
May 13, 2008
April 21, 2008
March 27, 2008

Last updated: November 2, 2012