Wildlife Watching Tips

Buck in grain / Rob Larranaga, USFWS

Follow the tips below for the best wildlife watching experience on the refuge, or wherever you may be.

  • Dawn and dusk are the best times to see wildlife.
  • In warmer seasons, little is moving on hot summer afternoons or on windy days.
  • Observe from the sidelines. Leave “abandoned” 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 or lead to the animal's premature death. 
  • For a closer look, bring binoculars.
  • 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, 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.