Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge

This 2,700-acre refuge is located 25 miles south of Missoula and is composed of a series of ponds and sloughs as well as an extensive riparian area along the Bitterroot River. At either Florence or Stevensville, take the highway east of the river to the refuge entrance.

More than 225 species have been recorded on the refuge, including 98 species of confirmed nesters. This refuge is an important stop for migrating waterfowl. March and April witness the full contingent of grebes, ducks, geese, and swans, including the occasional Eurasian Wigeon and Ross’s Goose. Soras and Virginia Rails, and occasionally American Bitterns, are heard in the marsh areas. Marsh Wrens are common in the cattails. Bald Eagle and Ospreys can be seen from the road that winds through the refuge. In riparian areas, look for Great Horned Owls and Pileated Woodpeckers.

In summer, especially when cloudy, look high over the ponds for Black Swifts.

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