Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday Workdays - It's not all birds!

Our typical Wednesday morning starts out with us leaving the RV at 6:30 a.m. The night before we get the keys to the biology refuge truck and start loading all our stuff (log book, camera, binoculars, scope, snacks, etc).

Our Wednesday is spent counting waterfowl on the refuge. We drive about 50 miles during the day and we’re out from 8 to 10 hours.

We have a magic key that gets us into all parts of the refuge.

We need to be set up on Highway 106 by about 6:45 a.m. The Sandhill Cranes, White-Fronted Geese, and Snow Geese come up out of the refuge and fly across the highway. We have counted up to 2500 total Geese and Cranes. This is always our first stop of the day.

Snow Geese - Blue morph

We have a map of the refuge sectioned off into units. We have certain units that we count waterfowl in and, except for our first stop to count cranes, every week we change our route so that we are not always counting in the same unit at the same time of day.

We have a list of 28 species of waterfowl that we are looking for.


Red-breasted Merganser

Northern Shoveler

Northern Pintails

Mottled Duck



Blue-winged Teal

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

American Wigeon

More about our Wednesday’s next time - It’s not all birds!


  1. Never did get to see the Sandhill cranes while we were there and now I know why! They get up too early too! Headed to another school in Mandeville tomorrow to give my Endangered Species schpeel. So far all kids have been awesome! Staff here are great too!

  2. I'm so glad you are enjoying yourself! It sounds like a great outreach program.