Tundra Swan Migration

Featured Image: The gate at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Visitor Center. The refuge is known for being a migration visiting point for tundra swans.

This is the season for tundra swan migration, and the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is one of the places that thousands of swans stop on their route.  Unfortunately, it is also duck hunting season, so our trip to the Refuge was disappointing in terms of tundra swan viewing: although the hunters are not allowed to access the areas that the swans utilize, the sheer volume of traffic and the amount of shooting disturbed them and we only saw about twenty.

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Additional metal sculptures along the fence at the Refuge Visitor Center.

It was a chilly day, starting out with rain and even a bit of snow, but aside from the physical discomfort, this weather is nearly ideal for bird watching.

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Cliff swallow nests at the beginning of the Refuge’s auto tour loop.

Although the count of tundra swans was disappointing, we saw twenty-four other species of birds, including pheasant, goldfinches, green-winged and blue-winged teal, ruddy ducks, a western grebe, pintail ducks, common goldeneye ducks, and over 50 pied-billed grebes in family groups.

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