Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge
Mountain-Prairie Region

Migration Update November 2, 2009

We had an early taste of winter last week with colder temperatures and 4 inches of wet snow. Area roads were extremely muddy after the snow melted. They have begun to dry out and this weeks forecast calls for wind and warmer temperatures, which will really help to dry the roads.

More waterfowl are moving onto the Refuge. Many are staying in the shawlowly flooded portions of Pools 7, 8, 9, and 10 and have all the food they need in burreed, barnyard grass, beggarstick, and other wetland plant seeds. They do not fly on most days unless an eagle or other predator disturbs them, so can be difficult to see. You can hear the chorus of waterfowl coming from these marshes on calm mornings and evenings. Many trumpeter swans have shown up as well (110 counted on 11/1/09), and there are quite a few cygnets in the bunch. Swans can be seen in Pool 7 on the auto tour loop just south of headquarters. There are still many sandhill cranes in the area and those can be seen in Pool 9 and flying out to feed in adjacent cropfields. The Canada geese numbers are slowly growing as well. Colder weather will freeze up much of the food resources on the Refuge and Canada geese, mallards, pintails, and other species will be forced to begin feeding in surrounding cropfields.

A waterfowl count was conducted today:

Trumpeter Swans – 110
Canada Geese – 765
Mallards – 3067
Gadwalls – 406
American Wigeon – 445
Green-winged Teal – 744
Northern Shovelers – 20
Redheads – 30
Canvasbacks – 139
Lesser Scaup - 35
Ring-necked Ducks – 30
Hooded Mergansers – 20
Waterfowl Total – 5827

Hunting seasons are underway at the Refuge. Archery deer and pheasant and sharp-tailed grouse seasons are currently open. The next muzzleload deer season will run November 25th to December 1st. The archery deer season will be closed during the muzzleload season.

November is one of the best months to see wildlife on Lacreek NWR. Come out and visit and let us know what you see! Check with Refuge headquarters at (605)685-6508 Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 3:30 PM MST for current road conditions. Enjoy your visit!

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

Previous Migration Updates:

October 14, 2009
September 29, 2009
August 24, 2009
July 10, 2009
June 1, 2009
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

Last updated: November 2, 2012