Wildlife & Habitat

A pair of Sandhill Cranes stand together in a marsh.

J. Clark Salyer NWR provides important habitat for thousands of migratory birds. Over 250 bird species are found here, including waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds.  Many mammals live on the Refuge as well.

  • Butterflies

    Melissa Blue butterfly on a brightly colored yellow flower

    J.Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge is one of seven sites in North Dakota that underwent extensive butterfly research. 

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  • Mammals

    Thirteen-lined ground squirrel looking curiously at the camera

    You will find a wide variety of mammals on J. Clark Salyer NWR, including moose, deer, fox, porcupine, ground squirrels, and bats.

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  • Marsh birds

    Western Grebes floating in a wetland.

    The great blue heron, American bittern, and great egret are just three of the marsh birds you may encounter while visiting the refuge.

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  • Owls

    Snowy owl perched atop a telephone pole

    There are 9 different owl species found in North Dakota.  They are migratory birds of prey found in a variety of habitats.

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  • Raptors

    Bald Eagle 150x100

     Hawks, eagles, and falcons are raptors. Raptors are excellent predators that have strong grasping feet with sharp talons, a hooked upper beak, and superb vision.

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  • Reptiles & Amphibians

    Painted turtle sunning on a rock along the edge of the Souris River

    Frogs, snakes, salamanders, and turtles inhabit all areas of the refuge.

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  • Shorebirds

    A lesser yellowlegs wading through a wetland.

    A variety of shorebirds frequent the mud flats and shorelines of J. Clark Salyer NWR.

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  • Songbirds

    Savannah sparrow perched on a branch

    The grasslands, meadows, and marshes of J. Clark Salyer NWR provide excellent habitat for songbirds.

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  • Upland Game Birds

    Male and female pheasants feeding on a prairie trail during the winter

    Sharp-tailed grouse, partridge, and pheasant are found in the uplands of J. Clark Salyer NWR.

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  • Waterfowl

    Canada goose and goslings swimming in a wetland

    Waterfowl commonly seen nesting on or near Refuge wetlands include gadwalls, blue-winged teal, mallards, and Canada geese.

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  • Vegetation

    A sunflower in bloom at J. Clark Salyer NWR.

    Mixed grass prairie, river valley, marsh, sandhill, and woodland habitats can be found at J. Clark Salyer NWR.  An amazing assortment of vegetation can be found in each.

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