Habitat: Large pools, marshes, grassland, brushland, aspen woodlands.
Features: Located in the Aspen Parkland of MN, this National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is 61,500 acres and was designated as a
globally important bird area in 2001. It contains over 40,000 acres of managed shallow wetlands and is a premiere spot for viewing wetland wildlife. One of the best 100 birding sites in North America. One of the best 50 wildlife observation areas in the U.S.
Best Times To Visit: April through November.
Birds To Look For: Five species of grebes; Black-crowned Night-Heron; waterfowl; rails; American Bittern; Black-billed Magpie; Yellow-headed Blackbird; Sandhill Crane; shorebirds; Short-eared Owl; Sedge Wren; LeConte’s and Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows. Rarities recorded include: Snowy and Cattle Egrets; White-winged Scoter; Golden Eagle and Willow Flycatcher.
Notes For Birding The Area: Bird checklist, general brochure and refuge map available. Stop at the office for current information. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. weekdays year-round. Closed Federal Holidays. Gift shop. Auto tour route open May-October. Two short hiking trails, one wheelchair accessible, at Headquarters. Pools in drawdown are good for shorebirds. Two hundred and ninety-nine bird species have been sighted
at the refuge. It has the largest colony of nesting Franklin’s Gulls in North America and is home to 17 nesting species of waterfowl. Moose and wolves can also commonly be seen here. There is excellent wildlife viewing from several roads in the refuge, as well as an observation tower and an interpretive center.