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Information iconA sea turtle hatchling at Georgia’s Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo: Becky Skiba/USFWS)

The sun is high. The day is long. You can feel the heat build hour by hour. But if you think nature is dormant at national wildlife refuges because animals are stuck in the summer doldrums, think again.

On land, in the air and in the water, life is astir on refuges. You just need to know where to look. Sea turtles are nesting. Tule elk are bugling. Dragonflies are staging crazy aerial displays. Osprey chicks are hatching. Salmon are swimming upstream in a rush to spawn. Monarch butterflies are fueling up before it’s time to migrate. Here’s just a taste of what you can see and where this summer on national wildlife refuges.

Summer on Refuges

Natural phenomena aren’t the only reasons to look at national wildlife refuges in summer.

Visiting a Park? Try a Wildlife Refuge, Too
The Refuges of Interstate 5
The Beach, Wildlife and You
The Refuges of Interstate 95
Glorious Summer
Summer Camps on Refuges
Lighthouses of the Refuge System

Information iconA wood duck and her brood at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan. (Photo: Jim Hudgins/USFWS)