On The Refuge...

Soft snowflakes and frost have blanketed the refuge and created a picturesque winter wonderland. Wildlife have been preparing for winters arrival by stockpiling food, growing thicker fur coats, and creating cozy homes. Refuge staff have also been preparing for winter by completing projects, getting snowshoe and cross-country ski trails (ungroomed) ready, and plowing and shoveling snow. This fall staff have removed over 57,120 pounds or 28 ½ tons of scrap metal, equipment parts, and construction debris out of the forested area behind the maintenance shop. We will continue to remove and relocate the materials within that wooded area. We will be reseeding the area in spring and hoping to restore it to a native prairie/forest opening. 

 

Additionally, there have been many projects completed this year with the help of Friends and exciting future projects in the works! The waterfowl hunt for disabled hunters was reorganized to safely happen this year. The Friends donated migratory bird hunting and conservation stamps to hunters who needed them to participate. A new interpretive sign was installed next to the eagle nest at the learning center and new environmental education materials were purchased for school groups. This spring we will have a new observation deck/dock, thanks to the Bob Clark family who funded this in memory of Judith Ann Clark. Another thank you to all of the Friends members for helping to make all of these projects happen! I hope you are all able to visit and enjoy this year’s snowy scenery at the refuge.

 

                                                                                                -Stephanie Edeler, Wildlife Refuge Specialist

Photos courtesy of Mary Graziano

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Evening grosbeaks are turning up farther south this year. These are social birds that are often found in flocks, particularly in winter. They forage in treetops for insect larvae during the summer, buds in spring, and seeds, berries, and small fruits in winter.  You may find them at your feeder as well.  Learn more about these beautiful birds here.

Photos courtesy of Don Severson.