Squaw Creen National Wildlife Refuge


We are very fortunate to have a national wildlife refuge only about 100 miles north of us. We love to visit this center and drive around the lake looking at all the birds and other animals. The refuge was established in 1935 as a resting, feeding, and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. When we were there last, there were over 60 bald eagles (some nesting pairs remain year-round now), trumpeter swans, ducks, Canada geese and over 1 million snow geese. Yes, you read that right - there were 1.2 million snow geese at the refuge. The refuge is a major stopover point for the snow geese on their annual migration.

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The entrance to the 10-mile driving route around the lake. A blue heron who was not very cooperative at allowing his picture to be taken. He seemed to delight in moving just as I'd snap the picture.
Finally a couple of good shots of the herons. Lots and lots of ducks of every kind.
When they take off, they move fast!
The number of snow geese is almost mind-numbing in scope. There are so many on the water, you can't even see the water. Once in a while they get startled and all take flight at the same time. The sound of that many wings flapping is indescribable.
What can one say about seeing bald eagles in the wild? We felt honored to have seen these beautiful, majestic birds. Without a good zoom lens, photos of them is difficult. They are rather wary about people approaching.
We saw wild turkeys walking beside the road, totally oblivious to the gawkers in the cars driving by. I have no idea what this guy is, but he wasn't taking his eyes off of us for a second. I'd never considered vultures to be a beautiful bird until I saw this one in flight. The entrance to the visitors' center across the street from the refuge. There is lots of information available there. The visitors' center. They have many example of birds and wildlife on display in the center and rangers and staff to answer questions. All over northwestern Missouri, these strange creatures are appearing. There are several windmill farms in the area.