Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Pollinator Meadow

Feed A Bee Pollinator Meadow - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Plans are progress-ing to implement a Pollinator Meadow with funds garnered through the Bayer Feed A Bee grant. Within the past few weeks FOW volunteers and USFWS biologists we have begun the process of preparing the sites that will be used for the meadow. The Visitor’s Center medians, which are currently covered primarily with Bermuda…

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Beautiful Buntings

Juvenile Indigo Painted Bunting - Bill Shreve Photographer

Our beautiful and abundant Painted Buntings are just an amazing treat for anyone who sees one for the first time or the hundredth time! They are truly one of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge’s treasures. Did you know that there are other Buntings present but seldom seen? There are! The rarely seen Indigo Bunting and…

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Keeping Our Trails Terrific

2019 Trail Maintenance Volunteers, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge - Photo by Emelie Stahler

In October of 2018, the FOW received a $17,000 grant from the Union Pacific Railway for trails and bridges. This was due to the efforts of Jim Calaway, grant writer. At the same time the refuge manager retired leaving an acting manager, and a new head of Visitor Services was added to the staff. Because…

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WMWR New Staff Members

Bison Herd. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of Larry Smith.

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has several new arrivals! This time of year, we usually talk about all the new young of the year including bison calves, elk calves, and all the fledgling birds. But the Wichita Mountains has some other new additions – on the staff rather than in the wild. The maintenance division…

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Invasive plants, trail maintenance and tour volunteers

Friends of the Wichitas Vounteers 2019 - Randy Jones Photography

Invasive Plant Control Controlling the invasive plant common mullein in the refuge is a big challenge. A big thank you goes to volunteer Richard Bell who has taken on this project and worked tirelessly to make a big dent in the mullein population. At least 15 volunteers have helped Richard and 24,969 plants had been…

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Springtime in the Wichita Mountains

Photo by Bill Shreve

Spring is the perfect time to get outdoors. The animals are active and visible. The wildflowers are starting to bloom. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold. The number of people visiting the refuge are not overwhelming, yet. So, this is the ideal time to break out of those winter doldrums and enjoy…

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Interpretive Tours to begin in March

Jed Tower. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of Larry Smith.

March is not only the month that officially ushers in spring, it is also the month that the Public Interpretive Tours begin on the Wichita Mountains NWR. The first tours, the Historical Sites Tours, will be offered on two Saturdays this year – March 2nd & 9th at 1:30 pm. A complete schedule of all…

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Update: Government Shutdown

Government Shutdown: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

The Federal government shutdown is still in progress, but the US Fish & Wildlife Service has expanded operating guidelines for 38 National Wildlife Refuges starting Monday, January 14.  The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (WMWR) is one of those 38 refuges.  The expanded guidelines for the WMWR are: Normal activities are permissible during daylight hours. All…

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Oklahoma Eagle Spotting

Oklahoma Bald Eagle Watching Guide

Oklahoma’s January weather is dicey at best. So it’s no wonder that the “In Search of Eagles” tour was the least well attended, and most often cancelled tour FOW assist with. The fact that Oklahoma’s wintering Bald and Golden Eagles prefer to fish in large lakes with tall trees on the shorelines like those of…

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Winter on the Refuge is a Great Time to Visit

Photo of otters on an icy lake at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Winter is a very nice time of year to visit the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is quieter with considerably fewer people. The deciduous trees have lost most of their leaves, which makes spotting large animals much easier. “Winter is my favorite time for visiting the refuge. There are hardly any two-legged animals running…

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