Seasons of Wildlife

Black bear in tree

A black bear peers out from the branches of an oak tree.

  • Spring

    Ring-neck Duck Chicks

    Spring is a busy time at the refuge. Wildlife, dormant for the winter, begins to wake. Black bears rouse and their cubs, which were born over the winter, venture out of the den for the first time. The lively, little chipmunks began their never ending search for food. Virtually frogcicles during the winter, wood frogs and spring peepers thaw and begin their mating songs. Old friends, like Canada geese, common loons, and trumpeter swans return from their wintering grounds to raise their families, filling the air with their calls. Visitors at this time may be lucky enough to see the mating dance of the sandhill cranes or sharp-tailed grouse. Late May is a great time for birders to enjoy spotting warblers and listen for the calls of rails.

  • Summer

    White-tailed Deer

    Beware of the biting insects (black flies, deer flies, mosquitoes, etc.) and ticks which emerge this time of year. Despite the insects, spring and summer are the best times to view many species of wildlife and their young. Imagine early June when snapping turtles nest along the roadsides. If you are brave enough to endure the bugs, you can take a trip to the bogs and search for rare orchids in bloom. Or, watch the drama on the refuge pools from the comfort of your vehicle on the wildlife drive. See ospreys fishing in the ponds, waterfowl defending their territory, otters playing, or beavers busy building dams. The scene at Seney changes by the minute; you never know what excitement lies around the next bend.

  • Fall


    As the weather begins to turn colder, animals begin their preparations for winter. Migratory birds begin their long journey to their wintering grounds, fat from the bounty the northland has to offer. The birds aren't the only animals preparing for a long journey. The last generations of monarch butterflies have a long voyage ahead. These amazing insects fly from points as far north as Canada, all the way to Mexico where they will winter before starting their journey north again. Although that generation will never see its place of birth again, their descendants somehow find their way back to their ancestral home. The fall colors at Seney are breathtaking whether viewed by car, bike, foot, or canoe.

  • Winter

    Juvenile Bald Eagle and Otters

    Don’t let the cold weather and snow cover fool you. There is still a lot of action on the Refuge. While the animals are harder to see, signs they were here can be found everywhere. Coyote and wolves leave tracks, otters run and slide across the snow, mice, like little miners, build elaborate tunnels under the snow, and squirrels can be seen scrounging for scraps on the forest floor. Although the visitor center is closed, the cross-country ski trails are open and normally groomed once a week. Snowshoeing is popular as well, but please refrain from walking on the cross-country ski trails.