Hey all you birders out there! Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s high time to start putting your travel plans into action. If you’re looking to take your bird watching sights to new heights this summer, you may want to look into visiting a bird sanctuary. We’ve rounded up 5 popular bird sanctuaries and wild refuges across the USA. Check them out for inspiration on where to travel this summer for wild bird sightings.
1. Norman Bird Sanctuary in Rhode Island
Located in Middletown, Rhode Island, Norman Bird Sanctuary is a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary and environmental education center dedicated to preserving and protecting wild birds. The sanctuary was established in 1949 by Mabel Norman Cerio with the goal of developing a place where birds and bird life could be observed, studied, taught, and appreciated by nature lovers and the general public. This 501(c) 3 nonprofit now spans over 325 acres across various habitats including ponds/streams, woodlands, and fields. Norman Bird Sanctuary is known for having a diverse set of birds that can be found in each habitat, including Blue Jays, the Downy Woodpecker, the Black-capped Chickadee, the Red-winged Blackbird, the American Goldfinch, and many others.
2. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah
The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Brigham City, UT is home to some of the most precious waterbirds and wildlife in the marshes at the mouth of the Bear River. Visitors can expect to see a diverse set of 250 bird species along the 12-mile auto tour route. Most common are bald eagles, spoonbills, condors, and puffins. The refuge is designed to be a safe place for the birds to nest, rest, feed, and breed.
3. Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas
Established in 1946 in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is known for providing a safe habitat for migratory birds. Open 365 days a year, the refuge offers five feeding stations and plenty of bird-watching opportunities. At 417, Laguna has more documented bird species sighted than any other refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
4. Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Ohio
Also part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Oak Harbor, Ohio was established in 1961 to protect a network of wetlands, grasslands, and forests in which migratory birds and threatened and endangered species. The refuge is part of a large complex that reaches over 8,000 acres and is a stop along the Lake Erie Birding Trail. From April to November, birders may find songbirds and upland birds near the Visitor Center Trails, the Estuary Trail, Woodies Roost, and Grimm Prairie.
5. Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary in New York
Known as a birder’s paradise in the Finger Lakes, the Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary in Ithaca, New York is home to the world-famous Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This 230-acre bird sanctuary has over 4 miles of walking trails upon which visitors can view wildlife on their own or take a guided bird tour led by experts from Cornell. Over 236 bird species have been observed at Sapsucker Woods, the Northern Flicker and the Rose-breasted Grosbeak among some of the most recent. To get an idea of what birds you may expect to see while visiting, visit ebird’s list.
Don’t have time to travel cross-country this summer? You can still learn a lot about wild birds. Play our Wingspan Bird Collection Board Game! Perfect for researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors, this game will help you discover and attract the best birds to your aviary.
Whether you’re on the road or staying close to home, it’s always important to feed the birds. Find wild bird feed and wild bird seed mixes when you shop with us at Valley Farms ®