Wildlife Update: September 9, 2023

Fall Visitor Center Hours

Weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Weekends 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

We are finally into September, and signs of fall are in the air! After the hot and dry summer, temperatures are finally cooling down to highs in the 70’s, and a few days in the 60’s. The area is still experiencing extremely dry conditions, and visitors will likely notice this while driving around the properties. Many flowages have little to no water in them at this time.

Fall migration has started, with new species being sighted each week.

Some warblers have come through already, and many are still in the area. There are also a variety of different shorebirds hanging out in the mudflats, including Least Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Plover, and more. Dikes 1, 4, & 5, and Refuge Extension Flowages are great places to look for shorebirds.

Sandhill Crane viewing season isn’t quite upon us yet, but many of our local birds are beginning to group together in preparation for migration season. We will start to see more migrants coming in at the end of this month, and then heavily throughout October.

Trumpeter Swans are also plentiful on the properties this time of year, with numbers close to 100 in some areas!

Other highlights from this week include: Great Egret (large numbers!), American Black Duck, Baird’s Sandpiper, Northern Shoveler, Palm Warbler and Semipalmated Sandpiper.

PLEASE NOTE: There are now several hunting seasons open, including waterfowl and black bear (with dogs). Please stay aware while out on the properties in the coming months (especially while hiking).

Mammals seen in the area within the last week:

13-Lined Ground SquirrelGrey WolfRed Squirrel
BeaverMuskratRiver Otter
Black BearRaccoonWhite-tailed Deer & fawns
Grey SquirrelRed Fox

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

American KestrelGray CatbirdRed-headed Woodpecker
American RobinGreat Blue HeronRed-tailed Hawk
Baird’s SandpiperGreat EgretRed-winged Blackbird
Bald EagleGreater YellowlegsRing-necked Duck
Baltimore OrioleGreen HeronRing-necked Pheasant
Bank SwallowGreen-winged TealRuby-throated Hummingbird
Barn SwallowHairy WoodpeckerRuffed Grouse
Belted KingfisherHooded MerganserSandhill Crane
Black-capped ChickadeeKilldeerSavannah Sparrow
Blue JayLeast FlycatcherSedge Wren
Blue-winged TealLeast SandpiperSemipalmated Plover
Brown ThrasherLincoln’s SparrowSemipalmated Sandpiper
Canada GooseMallardSong Sparrow
Cedar WaxwingMarsh WrenSwamp Sparrow
Chipping SparrowMourning DoveTree Swallow
Common GrackleNorthern FlickerTrumpeter Swan
Common LoonNorthern HarrierTurkey Vulture
Common NighthawkNorthern ShovelerWhite-throated Sparrow
Common RavenOlive-sided FlycatcherWild Turkey
Common YellowthroatOspreyWilson’s Snipe
Downy WoodpeckerPalm WarblerWood Duck
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Did you see something that is not on our list (on the back of this page)? Feel free to give us a call to report it!