As you drive into Tishomingo NWR toward the headquarters, dense hardwood forests line the road. Within the shelter of southern red oak, post oak, blackjack oak, hickory, pecan, mulberry, and American elm trees live white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, armadillos, opossums, and fox squirrels. Cottontails venture from forest to fields, always on the lookout for hungry hawks. From spring through early fall, leaves rustle with the activity of migratory songbirds. Warblers and vireos join year-round residents like red-headed woodpeckers.
Wildlife Watching Tips
Dawn and dusk are the best times to see wildlife.
In warmer climates, little is moving on hot summer afternoons or on windy days.
Observe from the sidelines. Leave"abondoned" young animals alone. A parent is probably close by waiting for you to leave. Don't offer snacks; your lunch could disrupt wild digestive systems.
Cars make good observation blinds. Drive slowly, stopping to scan places wildlife might hide. Use binoculars or a long lens for a closer look.
Try sitting quietly in one good location. Let wildlife get used to your presence. Many animals that have hidden will reappear once they think you are gone. Walk quietly in designated areas, being aware of sounds and smells. Often you will hear more than you will see.
Teach children quiet observation. Other wildlife watchers will appreciate your consideration.
Look for animal signs. Tracks, scat, feathers, and nests left behind often tell interesting stories.