Do you feed the birds who come to your backyard? What if your backyard was over 11,000 acres and full of hungry birds!
The mission of Hagerman NWR is to provide for migratory waterfowl, so each fall crops are planted to meet the needs of thousands of geese who will winter at the Refuge. The geese will browse on the tender green shoots of wheat and the goal in planting is to have a more than ample supply so that the geese stay on the Refuge rather than visit nearby farms! Other crops such as corn and soybeans are planted for both visiting and resident wildlife.
The Refuge wetlands are managed to provide for the ducks and other waterfowl. In the spring and summer marshes are drained and native vegetation allowed to grow; then each fall the marshes are flooded, creating an ideal “soup” for the ducks.
Periodic controlled “burns” are conducted to keep unwanted vegetation such as cedars and honey locust from taking over the prairie landscape, helping to maintain a habitat for the many seed- and bug-eating birds.
The next time you shop for birdseed or a new feeder for your backyard, think about stocking over 600 acres “for the birds”.
BIRD SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS FROM NOVEMBER 17TH - 72 species seen: 1,300 snow geese, 700 Ross' geese, 125 white fronted geese, 300 pintail, 120 white pelicans, 1,200 Franklin's gull, 75 green winged teal, 70 mallard, 50 shoveler, 35 gadwall, 27 great egret, 60 meadowlark, 25 junco, and 15 bluebirds.
For more information about activities at Hagerman NWR, please see http://www.friendsofhagerman.com/