The last two full weeks in February have resulted in over one million snow geese at the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, along with many trumpeter swans, Canada geese, ducks, and bald eagles. The refuge is a great place for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts, as well as photographers.

Spring is an eventful time at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Snow geese are moving north to their breeding grounds in the Arctic, where they will nest on low grassy tundra plains within a few miles of water. Loess Bluffs NWR is a resting and feeding ground for these geese and other migratory birds. The last two full weeks in February have resulted in over one million snow geese at the refuge, along with many trumpeter swans, Canada geese, ducks, and bald eagles.

Visit the refuge to listen for birds, view the nesting pairs of bald eagles, nature photography, wildlife observation, or hike through the loess hills. From February 29 through May 2, the visitor center will be open six days a week. Monday through Friday hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The ten mile auto tour and hiking trails are open seven days a week from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset.

Construction has begun on the U.S. Highway 159 bridge over Interstate 29 at exit 79. This may alter travel to the refuge. Alternative directions to the refuge headquarters building and main auto tour entrance are: Take exit 84 to Mound City off of Interstate 29, the nearest exit to the north of exit 79. If coming from the south, turn right on Highway 118. If coming from the north, turn left on Highway 118. At the stop sign by McDonald’s, turn right onto Highway 59 (Main Street). Continue on Main Street straight through town and past the Dollar General. This road will turn into Highway E. Continue on E for approximately five miles. At the stop sign, take a right onto Highway 159. The headquarters building will be a half mile ahead on the left hand side.

The other option is to enter through the Mallard Marsh entrance on the north side of the refuge. Take exit 84 off of Interstate 29 and head southwest on Highway 118. Travel 1.5 miles and the entrance will be on the left hand side.

Connect with the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/loessbluffsnwr/. Check out the website at www.fws.gov/refuge/loess_bluffs/ for refuge updates. For more information, please contact 660-442-3187.