Updated: Nov 18, 2019
Each week I pick a birding hotspot from around the state of Wyoming, and I provide some insights on visiting the location! This week is Table Mountain Wildlife Habitat Management Area.
Hotspot Name: Table Mountain Wildlife Habitat Management Area
Location: Torrington, WY
Managing Organization: Wyoming Game & Fish
Facilities: Public Restrooms, Trails, Camping
Ebird Hotspot: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L340885
When to Bird: Spring | Summer | Fall | Winter
Number of Potential Species: 180
Notable Birds: Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Cackling Goose, Cinnamon Teal, Virginia Rail, Sora, Sandhill Crane, American Avocet, Stilt Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Wilson's Sandpiper, Franklin's Gull, Black Tern, American Bittern, White-faced Ibis, Cassin's Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Eastern Kingbird, Bank Swallow, Marsh Wren, Lark Sparrow, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Orchard Oriole
Other Wildlife: Boreal Chorus Frog, Western Tiger Salamander, Red-sided Gartersnake
Description: This WHMA was started as a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to manage 1,716 acres of Canada Goose habitat, in 1986. Though I'd be willing to wager a pair of binoculars that the number of Cackling Goose exceeds Canada Goose for some of the year. You can read my thoughts on Cackling vs Canada Goose in Wyoming here. If you're wondering how to bird this hotspot, I have some tips. First, from October 1st through Memorial Day, you must park and walk the trails/embankments (this is for protection of waterfowl). For the rest of the year, you can drive some of the trails, but I would still recommend walking. You will need a quality scope for any extensive birding at Table Mountain!
In spring and fall, Table Mountain WHMA is THE place in Wyoming to see migrating shorebirds. In summer, it's the perfect habitat for nesting marsh species. Additionally, if you want to see large numbers of Sandhill Cranes, visit this WHMA from late March through early April. You can see several thousand cranes during this time, and you might even see two to three different subspecies of Sandhill Crane. In winter, bird the surrounding area, including another hotspot called Springer WHMA. You are very likely to see many Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Cackling Goose, and the occasional Greater White-fronted Goose. Early winter is better for the latter two, while late winter is best for the former. Read more about a great goose-day at Table Mountain WHMA, here.
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