Birding in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge

Updated: Apr 19

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, north of Green River is likely deserving of multiple hotspots, instead of a single hotspot. This refuge is a gem in southwestern Wyoming!

Wilson's Snipe in Wyoming
A Wilson's Snipe stands above a marsh in Wyoming

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

Fees: No


Ebird Hotspot: Overall -

HQ trail to headgate -

Hamp Wetland -

Hawley Wetland -

Refuge HQ -

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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