The wildlife refuge system is the world’s premier system of conserving land, wildlife and plants.
Personally I have enjoyed every NWR I have visited and now if I travel to a state that has a NWR I will try to make a point of touring the new refuge. I have to say my favorites so far are Bombay Hook in Delaware and Blackwater in Maryland. Chincoteague NWR is just an awesome place and I try to visit twice a year. Seeing the wild ponies and the birding there is just excellent. Two NWR closer to home I have visited are the Patuxent NWR and Eastern Neck. Another NWR in Maryland I have passed by on a boat to Smith Island was the Martin NWR in the Chesapeake Bay. The Patuxent NWR I have been to often and their visitors center is one of the best I have ever visited. Patuxent NWR offers free field trips and I have been on one of their Owl walks. Which was a lot of fun.
More favorite NWR’s of mine are further away were the Bear Lake NWR in Idaho and the National Elk refuge in Wyoming this one also has a fantastic visitor center. Others I have visited are Ottawa NWR in Ohio and Montezuma NWR in New York .
White Face Ibis from Idaho’s Bear lake NWR
Each one has walking trails and wildlife drives and in each one I have seen a different bird or animal. I have a nice memory from each one I have visited too. While in Idaho’s Bear Lake NWR I saw my first White Faced Ibis and Yellow Headed blackbirds both lifers for me and while visiting Montezuma I had my first LIVE Skunk sighting. My favorite Blackwater memories are of the Eagles and my first sighting of the Brown Headed Nuthatch. Chincoteague NWR and Bombay Hook hold the most wonderful memories for me. I have a long list of lifers from Bombay Hook. I would have to say seeing the Black Stilts, flocks of American Avocets and seeing my first Blue Grosbeaks are some of my favorite experiences.
American Avocets seen at Bombay Hook NWR
Seeing the Chincoteague ponies is a cool experience and one I will always remember. Also, in Chincoteague to see such large counts of different Egrets, Herons, Ibis and various kinds shorebirds is just amazing.
Birding is something I really enjoy, I do not consider myself a true birder more of a backyard birder. I do keep a life list and thanks to the NWR I have visited I have added to my birding list. Even though I call myself a backyard birder during my travels I will look for new birds. The national wildlife refuges are great places to see birds.
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