Spectacular Birds

Tri-colored herons
Tri-colored herons
Credit: Jim Williams

To the uninitiated, birding may seem just too difficult – all that squinting through binoculars, trying to distinguish subtle marks on tiny creatures. There's an easy solution: Begin with the big birds – hard to miss for their size and often dramatic plumage. National wildlife refuges across the country offer great places to find them.

Learn More


Birding Midwest Refuges

Western meadowlark at Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, OK
Credit: J/K Hollingsworth

Add to your life list of birds or become a first-time birder at National Wildlife Refuges in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Missouri. Warblers and meadowlarks, pelicans and peregrines are all waiting for you.

Learn More

Birding Resources from National Wildlife Refuges



Snow Geese at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, DE
Snow Geese at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, DE
Credit: Jamie Richie, USFWS

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA – Basic Birding(337 KB PDF)

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, DE – Bird Guide (112 KB PDF)

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, VA – Junior Birders (350 KB PDF)






Green-winged teal
Green-winged teal
Credit: Donna Dewhurst, USFWS

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, AL – checklist(151 KB PDF)

Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge, AL – checklist (94 KB PDF)

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, NC – checklist(178 KB PDF)









Yellow-headed blackbird
Yellow-headed blackbird
Credit: David Menke, USFWS

Makoke Birding Trail including a site at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, IA (2.7 MB PDF)

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, OH – Refuge Map (580 KB PDF)







Sandhill crane
Sandhill crane
Credit: USFWS

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, TX – checklist (264 KB PDF)

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, TX – bird guide (113 KB PDF) visual bird checklist (392 KB PDF)

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, NM – checklist (225 KB PDF)

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, AZ (186 KB PDF) – checklist







Pacific Northwest

Seabirds of the Pacific Northwest – brochure

Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex – wildlife page

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, OR birding brochure (2.8 MB PDF)

Sun and Sage Loop of the Great Washington State Birding Trail (Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge)