Birding in Wyoming: Grey Reef Reservoir

Updated: Apr 1

Every hotspot highlight is a randomly selected birding hotspot from around the state of Wyoming. This hotspot highlight is focused on Grey Reef Reservoir, south of Casper. This reservoir can be a haven for wintering ducks.

Ring-necked Duck

Please note, while some locations have over 200 species documented, I do not include all 200 species in the notable species. I try to include birds in the notable section IF they have a high relative occurrence during the prime months to bird the location. And sometimes, I lob in a species simply because it is an interesting observation.

Hotspot Name: Grey Reef Reservoir

Location: Casper, WY

Managing Organization: Natrona County & Bureau of Reclamation

Facilities: Public Restrooms, Camping, Boat Ramp, Fishing

Fees: n/a


eBird Hotspot:

When to Bird: Spring, Fall, Winter

Number of Potential Species: 125+

Notable Birds: Trumpeter Swan, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Western Grebe, White-throated Swift, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Common Loon, Osprey, Say’s Phoebe, Cliff Swallow, Rock Wren, Mountain Bluebird, Song Sparrow, Yellow-breasted Chat

Description: Grey Reef Reservoir can be an interesting birding location. The site is managed for fishing tourism, however, migrating waterfowl benefit greatly due to the sites year-round open water. In winter, this site can attract a variety of interesting species that may be “lost” during their annual movements. This has led to the frequent finding of species like the scoters, Long-tailed Duck, and Glaucous-winged Gull. My recommendation for this site is during migration(s) and winter, though summer can still provide some great birds. In winter, the rafts of diving ducks can be vast. During February, flocks of over 500 Ring-necked Duck can be found! There is a dirt pullout on the road above the reservoir, and you can follow the road down to the boat ramp and restrooms. From the ramp access area, you can walk across the dam and view the reservoir from a lower perspective. You will want a scope for maximum bird viewing at this site. In the junipers above the reservoir, listen for Rock Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Say’s Phoebe. Keep your eyes on the skies if you happen to visit in summer, as White-throated Swift can be found in huge flocks.

Looking for more great hotspots to go birding in Wyoming? Join our site here, so you can be notified when "Birding in Wyoming & Yellowstone National Park" is released this spring.

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