U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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National Wildlife Refuge

Muleshoe NWR plays host to wintering sanhill cranes between October and February.  An all-time peak of 250,000 cranes was witnessed at the refuge in 1981.
P.O. Box 549
Muleshoe, TX   79347
E-mail: fw2_rw_muleshoe@fws.gov
Phone Number: 806-946-3341
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Wintering sandhill cranes provide an outstanding attraction at Muleshoe NWR.
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  Wildlife and Habitat

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The cranes roost on the refuge lakes at night, as well as on other large saline lakes in the area. At sunrise, they fly to surrounding agricultural land where they search harvested fields for watste grain and invertebrates and graze in the grasslands and wheat fields.

In addition to wintering sandhill cranes, waterfowl are present when sufficient water is available. Migrating waterfowl begin to arrive during August and reach peak numbers by the end of December. During spring and fall migrations, small flocks of snow geese visit the refuge for a short time. A few Canada geese winter here when water is present.

Pintail, green-winged teal, American wigeon, and mallard are the most abundant duck species that frequent the refuge. Ruddy duck, blue-winged teal, canvasback, redhead, lesser scaup, reing-necked duck, and bufflehead occur in lesser numbers. The northern shoveler usually arrives late in March and remains until June.

The largest variety of birds is seen during spring and fall migrations. This is especially true of songbirds, shorebirds, and herons. Mourning dove, scaled quail, common nighthawk, horned lark, curve-billed thrasher, lark sparrow, loggerhead shrike, and northern mockingbird are prominent nesting birds.

You should watch for some of the mammals that are common to the area. Prairie dogs are abundant in the draws northeast of the refuge headquarters and may also be seen from the observation turnout located along the tour raod near the headquarters. Prairie rattlesnakes also use the prairie dog dens and are common throughout the refuge.

Although primarily night animals, coyotes, bobcats, badgers, and skunks may sometimes be seen in daylight. Cottontail and jackrabbits are more easily spotted as well as an occasional porcupine.

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