Wildlife Refuges

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

Hilton Head Island, SC
Visit the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, a 4,000 acre refuge adjacent to Hilton Head Island. Much of the area consists of salt marsh and tidal creeks. Migratory birds and native animals also take shelter in the numerous forests, brush land, fallow field and freshwater ponds. Wildlife commonly observed on Pinckney Island includes waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, neo-tropical migrants, white-tailed deer and American alligators, with large concentrations of white ibis, herons, and egrets.

Pair of bald eagles named Ozzie and Harriet doing what so many couples do: retire in Florida.

Pair of bald eagles named Ozzie and Harriet doing what so many couples do: retire in Florida.

 

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Seneca Falls, NY
One of the best examples of undisturbed swamp woodlands in New York or New England lies at the 10,000 acre Montezuma. Enjoy excellent observation of the migratory water fowl and other species of birds in the swamps, pools and channels. Bald eagles have also been nesting in recent years, and can be spotted along the 3.5-mile Wildlife Drive, a one-way auto tour that provides opportunities to observe and photograph the many birds.

The sky is full of migrating Snow Geese as they pass through the Central Flightway in Nebraska, USA.

The sky is full of migrating Snow Geese as they pass through the Central Flightway in Nebraska, USA.

 

Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, Forest City, MO
There are 7,440 acres of wetlands, grasslands, and forests at this flat, scenic destination, supporting dozens of species of migratory birds in the Missouri River floodplain. The most dramatic moments at the refuge occur during spring and fall migrations, when the refuge serves as a chokepoint for hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese on the Central Flyway, a bird migration route that follows the great plains of the United States and Canada. In 2001, the refuge was officially named one of America’s top 500 globally important bird areas by the National Audubon Society.

Tundra swans running on the water as they take flight over a Northern California marsh.

Tundra swans running on the water as they take flight over a Northern California marsh.

Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Fallon, Nevada
Stillwater, 60 miles east of Reno, is a nearly 80,000-acre haven for wintering ducks, geese and tundra swans. The area has been designated a site of international importance by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network because of the hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, such as long-billed dowitcher, black-necked stilt, and American avocet passing through during migration. The stunning refuge is also listed as a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy, as more than 280 species have been sighted here.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. His favorite RTX destinations are on the beach: Orange Beach, Alabama, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. .

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