As winter releases its icy grip on the prairies, small temporary wetlands warm up and become ice free first, providing important food resources for thousands of migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, and other water birds. The waterfowl migration begins with enormous flocks of snow geese followed by several species of ducks including common goldeneyes, mergansers, and lesser scaup. Canada geese, mallards, gadwalls, and blue-winged teal begin arriving in early April through mid-May. Shorebirds such as godwits, sandpipers, and plovers show up in May along with pelicans, herons, and egrets.
Bald eagles and great horned owls are the earliest nesters starting in March. Canada geese begin nesting in April, and sometimes have to remain on their nest as late spring snow storms cover them while they protect their eggs. White-tailed deer give birth to their fawns in late spring and can be seen following the does as they practice using their long skinny legs.