Updated: 7 days ago
Each week I pick random birding hotspots from around the state of Wyoming, and I provide you some insights on visiting the location! This week is Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, north of Green River. Seedskadee is likely deserving of multiple hotspots, instead of a single hotspot. To accommodate for this, I will include multiple eBird links to the best locations within the refuge. Make sure to use the links to find the optimal time of year for each species.
Hotspot Name: Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
Location: Green River, WY
Managing Organization: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Facilities: Public Restrooms, Trails, Visitor and Education Center
Ebird Hotspot: Overall - https://ebird.org/hotspot/L166456
HQ trail to headgate - https://ebird.org/hotspot/L2438457
Hamp Wetland - https://ebird.org/hotspot/L1188124
Hawley Wetland - https://ebird.org/hotspot/L1188132
Refuge HQ - https://ebird.org/hotspot/L2266445
When to Bird: Spring | Summer | Fall | Winter
Number of Potential Species: 200+
Notable Birds: Trumpeter Swan, Cinnamon Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Sage-grouse, Eared Grebe, Western Grebe, Clark's Grebe, Rufous Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, Virginia Rail, Sora, Sandhill Crane, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson's Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, American White Pelican, White-faced Ibis, Golden Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Bank Swallow, Marsh Wren, Mountain Bluebird, Sage Thrasher, Brewer's Sparrow, Sagebrush Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler
Other Wildlife: Boreal Chorus Frog, Great Basin Spadefoot, Western Tiger Salamander, Greater Short-horned Lizard, American Beaver, American Badger, Northern River Otter, Moose, and Pronghorn (of course, Pronghorn could be listed for almost every location...)
Description: First, let's address the name. Seedskadee? I know what you're thinking, "What the heck does that mean?" Well, here's a limited history lesson:
Native Crow Indians referred to the Green River as "sisk-a-dee-agie" or "river of the prairie chicken (sage-grouse)." Fur traders later altered the name to "Seedskadee." - USFWS
According to USFWS, Seedskadee NWR is managed as part of the Seedskadee and Cokeville Meadows NWR Complex. A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, managed from a central office location. Note that while Seedskadee is near Green River, Cokeville Meadows NWR is near Kemmerer (and the Utah border). Refuges can be grouped into a "complex" structure because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs. Seedskadee NWR is one of the BEST wetlands in the state for birding. It has a very unique habitat structure, having a wetland/riparian corridor surrounded by sagebrush ecosystem. This creates a unique blend of avifauna (and other flora and fauna). Visiting the refuge is ideal spring - fall, but winter birding can be amazing here as well. A visit is a must, if you want to experience one of the most unique birding hotspots in Wyoming.
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