10
Jul
12

Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

I drove over to Necedah Wildlife Refuge, mostly to familiarize myself with the place.  Necedah Wildlife Refuge is a very large area in central Wisconsin set aside for the preservation of natural habitat.  Established in 1939 this is not a park.  You can’t camp here.  You can’t have open fires of any kind.  What you can do here is watch.  What is there to watch?  I had just found my way into the refuge and luckily happened upon the part of the refuge with a very convenient two-story observation tower.  I looked around and decided I’d try to take some landscape pictures, so I pointed my camera at a particular part of the refuge and popped the shot below.

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When I clicked the button to take the picture I realized there was a very large bird flying in the center right of the picture.  Even though I am not an expert on birds, I immediately recognized what kind of bird I was looking at.  So I extended the zoom to see if I could get a more focused shot.

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At more than a mile away, I didn’t expect all that great of a shot, but it’s good enough to tell it was a Bald Eagle.  There were actually two of them fishing in this area and later I would encounter an adolescent Bald Eagle whose head must have just turned white.  With my eyes open, I began to realize there was an abundance of birds here; Great Blue Herons, Swans, Canadian Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and dozens of smaller birds.

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I didn’t recognize this bird right away because it flew with its neck outstretched.  I saw over a dozen Blue Herons, and it seems when they fly over water, they fly with their necks outstretched.

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In the photo above are some geese and swans.  All these shots are from at a distance of about a mile  — more than a kilometer, less than two kilometers.  Mostly out of range for my gear, and without a boat, as close as I can legally get.

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The Sandhill Cranes were everywhere inside the refuge.  Now to give you some kind of idea about the abundance of wildlife here.  All of these shots were taken within the first five minutes of arriving.

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