Seasons of Wildlife
During the Spring, cranes arrive to their breeding grounds and display courtship behaviors. Moose and elk return from their winter ranges to calve throughout the basin. Summer is a good time to view waterfowl broods, crane colts and white-faced ibis. Fall brings beautiful colors of the changing aspen and maples. The mating calls of elk can be heard in the crisp morning air and the occasional snow shower will remind you that winter is approaching. As the snow begins to fall in November, elk and deer begin their migration to winter ranges. Winter is a peaceful and beautiful time in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Deep snow provides the vital water resources for the following summer. Few wildlife brave the winter elements at this 6400 feet location.
Grays Lake NWR is known for an abundance of Sandhill cranes. Cranes use Grays Lake as a stopover site during their migration and a segment of the Rocky Mountain Population nests and rears colts along the edges of the marsh. Refuge staff manage habitats to provide for the life requirements of these birds. Farming, grazing and haying are cooperative agricultural uses on the refuge that enhance the habitat for cranes.