A smartphone snapping a photo of a bright yellow flower in a grassy field

Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges is wildlife photography. You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started. A small camera or smartphone phone will do just fine for most visitors. Several apps have been developed in recent years in an effort to help people identify the plants and wildlife they see. Refuge staff participates in iNaturalist and eBird.

The network of roads and other facilities along the pools affords photographers of all skill levels excellent opportunities to photograph wildlife. Many beginners focus their lens on the charismatic trumpeter swan or common loon. More seasoned photographers often venture beyond the auto tour route to capture images of plants, insects and landscapes bathed in a wide spectrum of light conditions.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge hosts an annual photo contest. Winners receive public recognition, a certificate, prizes from the nature store and bragging rights. The refuge showcases many photos entered in the contest on the website, brochures and other publications.