Updated: May 24
Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, north of Green River, is likely deserving of multiple hotspots instead of a single hotspot. It is truly a hidden gem.
This refuge is a gem in southwestern Wyoming! We go birding here as often as our schedule allows. If you are passing through on I-80 and can spare an hour or two, make a quick side trip up to Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge.
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
Directions to Seedskadee NWR
eBird hotspots for Seedskadee NWR
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
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Always carry a scope when visiting a national wildlife refuge!
See our full guide to spotting scopes!
When to visit Seedskadee NWR
Spring - Spring is a great time to visit Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. Migratory waterfowl pass through the wetland complex, and Greater Sage-Grouse will display on "pop-up" leks.
Summer - Breeding waterfowl and sagebrush obligates are found near one another due to a unique combination of habitats. Trumpeter Swans have the cutest babies, cygnets, though we prefer to call them swanlings.
Fall - Migratory waterfowl will again bunch through the wetland complex during fall migration.
Number of birds in Seedskadee NWR
Over 200 species of birds have been documented in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge.
Birds of Seedskadee NWR
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
Wildlife of Seedskadee NWR
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...)
Keep a proper field guide at hand when visiting wildlife refuges!
See our full list of recommended field guides!
Birding at Seedskadee NWR
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 for spring and fall, but winter birding can also be amazing. A visit is a must if you want to experience one of the most unique birding hotspots in Wyoming.
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