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Information iconA moose crosses snowy Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. (Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS)

Daylight is short. The air is brisk — at least in northern states. Bundle up and venture outdoors anyhow. There’s so much to see in winter at national wildlife refuges.

Eagles fish and nest. River otters come out to play. Normally hard-to-spot animals like fox and grouse stand out clearly against the snow. Should you miss them, you can often read their movements in the snow prints they leave behind. The cycle of freezing and thawing and re-freezing of ground and water surfaces leaves strange and sometimes-wondrous ice formations.

Where it’s warmer, in the South and parts of the West, great flocks of sandhill cranes and snow geese fill wintering sites such as Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. There they wow visitors with their dawn fly-outs to feed and their fly-ins to roost at sunset.

Find out what you can see and where this winter on national wildlife refuges.

Winter on the Refuge

Discover more reasons to visit national wildlife refuges in winter.

Wildlife Spectacles at Wildlife Refuges

A Most Wonderful Time of Year

Weathering the Cold

Ice Fishing on Refuges

Winter in the Heart of Alaska

Find Your Way in Winter


Information iconRiver otters at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri. (Photo: Kenny Bahr)