Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography. That's not surprising, considering the popularity of the digital camera and the increasing photographic abilities of cell phone.
Nearly 12 million people visit outdoor areas each year to photograph wildlife, and national wildlife refuges naturally are at the top of the list. Refuges provide enhanced opportunities to photograph wildlife in natural habitats by providing wildlife observation blinds, brochures, interpreters, viewing areas, and tour routes. Wildlife photography is a high-priority activity in the refuge system.
The best time of year to photograph wildlife is throughout the spring and summer months. These time periods provide opportunities to photograph both resident and migratory species. Winter wildlife most likely to be observed include pileated woodpeckers, whitetail deer, and chickadees. Spring and summer bring numerous migrants including a variety of waterfowl species, great blue herons, eagles and osprey, a variety of migrant songbirds are also present. Fall colors usher in returning concentrations of waterfowl as well as northern breeding songbirds as they move toward southern wintering areas.