Seasons of Wildlife

Gaggle of Canada geese on refuge

Enjoy a virtual tour of the Seasons of Stillwater below.

  • Spring

    duck nest 150

    Spring migration and nesting begins at Stillwater NWR from late February through June. Peak numbers of shorebirds can be seen mid-April to May. If you find young wildlife, please leave them alone! The parents are usually close and waiting for you to leave before they return; as hard as it may be, sometimes the best policy is to 'let nature take its course' on the refuge. Besides, it is illegal to move, transport or pickup refuge wildlife outside of a legal hunt season.

  • Summer

    summer sunset150

    Summer arrives with hot and dry conditions, making life difficult for refuge wildlife and plants. Animals are most active during the early morning and post sunset times. Wetland soils hang on to every bit of moisture they can, plants send roots deep to groundwater. Windstorms are common, shifting sands and soils in a never ending desert-scape.

  • Fall


    Fall brings the annual migration of waterfowl on this eastern edge of the Pacific Flyway. Hunters are soon to follow as this is one of the more popular recreational activities at Stillwater refuge. The sanctuary portion of the refuge South of Division Rd offers great viewing opportunities with walk paths and observation areas for wintering wildlife.

  • Winter

    Stillwater winter range150

    The Stillwater mountain range receives an annual dusting of snow which frames the refuge and heralds the arrival of wintering raptors, Tundra swans and the return of ducks and geese from California as they begin their migration north. Temperatures can dip below zero in this high desert habitat, freezing ponds solid and making for some tundra-like views.