Wildlife Update: November 30, 2023

Winter Visitor Center Hours

Weekdays from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Weekends: CLOSED

The Crex Meadows area has really started to quiet down within the past couple of weeks. During the week of Thanksgiving, we had a couple of days of very cold weather and snow that drove out much of the remaining Sandhill Cranes. Also, during that week, the 9-day rifle hunting season was taking place. This can also encourage some of the remaining cranes to head south.

Although many of our resident birds leave for the winter, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to see during this season! Crex Meadows supports a variety of northern nesters during the winter, and we have had increasing numbers of those birds showing up within the past couple of weeks. Some of these species include Snow Buntings, American Tree Sparrows, Lapland Longspurs, Rough-legged Hawks, Common Redpolls, and more.

Other species that visitors should keep their eyes peeled for in the winter months are Snowy Owls, Red Crossbills, White-winged Crossbills, Pine Siskins, Pine Grosbeaks and Golden Eagles.

Winter is also a great time to go mammal tracking on Crex Meadows and other wildlife areas. Roads are maintained by the township throughout the winter, so visitors are still able to access most areas of the property! Look for tracks from some of our most elusive animals, including Grey Wolf, Bobcat, Grey Fox, Porcupine, Fisher, and more!

Bird sightings within the last week on Crex Meadows, Fish Lake, Amsterdam Sloughs, and surrounding area:

American CrowGolden EagleRed-tailed Hawk
American GoldfinchGreat Horned OwlRing-necked Pheasant
American Tree SparrowHairy WoodpeckerRough-legged Hawk
Bald EagleMourning DoveRuffed Grouse
Barred OwlNorthern CardinalSandhill Crane
Black-capped ChickadeeNorthern HarrierSharp-tailed Grouse
Blue JayNorthern ShrikeSnow Bunting
Canada GoosePileated WoodpeckerTrumpeter Swan
Common RavenPine SiskinTundra Swan
Common RedpollRed-bellied WoodpeckerWhite-breasted Nuthatch
Downy WoodpeckerRed-headed WoodpeckerWild Turkey
Wilson’s Snipe