Enjoying Birdwatching | Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

My wife and I were able to get out for a nice trip up to one of my favorite birding spots, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We usually expect to see a lot of Osprey and Bald Eagles on our trips there, but they stayed away for the most part. We could see Osprey flying high in the sky off in the distance, but they never came close for good looks or photographs.

Great Blue Heron catching a meal.

Missed the favorites

Even though I didn’t get good looks at my favorite birds of prey there were other things to see. Immediately as we parked in the visitor center parking lot, my wife calls out to me while I am putting together my camera gear that there is a Sandhill Crane out in the marsh. This is so cool because I have only had 1 other opportunity to see a Sandhill Crane in person. Unfortunately, the Sandhill Crane flew away before I was able to get into position to get a good look at it or capture any nice photographs. It was off in the distance, but still cool to get to see one.

Red-Winged Blackbird.

Red-Winged Blackbirds as is typical at Montezuma were ever-present. There are often an assortment of songbirds to be found along the wetlands. Usually I think of warblers. While the warblers were out there I never really got a good look at any of them. There was one unexpected bird while at Montezuma. I had multiple occasions to watch and photograph Eastern Kingbirds. I don’t remember ever seeing Eastern Kingbirds at Montezuma, though it wouldn’t surprise me if they were regulars.

Eastern Kingbird perched along the wetlands.

Eastern Kingbirds

Not only have I not seen Eastern Kingbirds at Montezuma, I have not been fortunate enough to see Eastern Kingbirds anywhere when I have been out bird watching in recent years. I probably had better looks at these Eastern Kingbirds during this visit than I had during any other sightings I had had. The birds were quite content to sit perched for long periods of time for me to watch and photograph.

There are also other things to see at the wetland complex that is Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We saw a mink running down the wildlife drive. There are beautiful flowers. And there was one pond where there was quite a few frogs peaking out of the water.

Tiny frog just peaking out of the water.

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