Wildlife Watching Tips

Gila monster / W. Radke-USFWS


  • 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.
  • For a closer look, borrow binoculars from the refuge headquarter's building and ask how best to use them.
  • 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.