Wildlife at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Washington. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Checklist “I slept but very little last night for the noise kept up during the whole of the night by the swans, geese...brant (and) ducks on a small sand island... they were immensley numerous and their noise horrid.” Capt. William Clark Lewis and Clark Journal Lower Columbia River November 5, 1805 The Pacific Flyway Welcome to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Cover photo cackling Canada geese © Jim Cruce Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, located on the lower Columbia River floodplain adjacent to Ridgefield, Washington, provides 5,150 acres of vital migration and wintering habitat for birds migrating through the region west of the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Flyway. The mild, rainy winter climate, combined with important remnant wetlands along the Columbia River, create ideal resting and feeding areas for a variety of species, including ducks, geese, swans, sandhill cranes and provides a key wintering area for the dusky subspecies of Canada goose. A variety of other wildlife also lives in the diversity of habitats found on the refuge. Birds of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge The grassland and wetland habitats of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge are best known for the spectacular concentrations of migratory waterfowl they attract during the winter. Seven subspecies of Canada geese occur here. Both trumpeter and tundra swans return every winter accompanied by their gray colored immature offspring. In late winter, shorebirds flock together in search of food hiding in the mudflats. Early spring brings the passerines and songbirds. Bald eagles nest here and are often seen causing a ruckus among ducks and other potential prey. Other nesting birds include herons, owls, some species of ducks, songbirds and sparrows. The Oaks to Wetlands Trail of the Carty Unit passes through Oregon white oak and Douglas fir forests, lush understory vegetation and by numerous wetlands and meadows. A Chinook Indian village originating in ancient times once existed here. The people hunted the elk, deer and birds that roamed the land. Lewis and Clark visited the village, camped here and described this place and its people. The Carty Unit exists today as it did then. It is not protected by flood dikes, thus water levels are dependent upon the rise and fall of the Columbia River. Expect more water during the spring snowmelt and during winter rains. Wildlife Watching Tips You will be most successful at viewing wild animals in their natural habitats if you use binoculars or a spotting scope. This equipment will help you observe wildlife from a distance and minimize disturbance. Wild animals, especially waterfowl are easily disturbed by humans and may be forced to use vital energy reserves trying to escape from their feeding and roosting areas. For this reason, be aware of special refuge seasonal regulations on public use activities during the fall and winter seasons. Wildlife watching is best shortly after sunrise and close to sunset. This will enhance your chances of seeing both nighttime and daytime active animals. Unusual Sightings? If you see any unusual sighting such as a species observed out of its normal season, in large numbers, or a new species not listed, please report your information to the refuge biologist at the address and phone number listed on the back cover of this leaflet. This information is greatly appreciated and will aid in future updates to this list. In addition it will provide the biologist with information about species occurances and populations on the refuge. Ridgefield is truly an amazing showcase of birds of the Pacific Flyway. Birding experiences vary upon the season of the year as you will see by the list that follows. We hope you will enjoy the birds and your visit! Pied-billed grebe Season Symbols Season Abundance Symbols Sp - Spring (March through May) S - Summer (June and July) F - Fall (August through November) W - Winter (December through February) N - Notes * - Birds known to nest on the refuge ✔ - Endangered or Threatened c u o r ac - Common, certain to be seen in suitable habitat Uncommon, present but not certain to be seen Occasionally seen Rare, known to be present, but not every year Accidental Birds of Ridgefield NWR Common Name N Sp S F W Loons Red-throated loon r r o Pacific loon r r Common loon r r r Grebes Pied-billed grebe * c c c Horned grebe o o Red-necked grebe r Eared grebe r Western grebe o o c r r o Pelicans American white pelican r r Cormorants Double-crested cormorant c o u u Bitterns, Herons, Egrets and Ibis American bittern * c u u o Great blue heron * c c c c Great egret * u u u u Cattle egret r r Green heron o o o r Black-crowned night-heron o o r r White-faced ibis ac ac American Vultures Turkey vulture u u u r Greater white-fronted goose u r u Emperor goose r Snow goose o o Ross goose r Canada goose * c u c Brant o o Trumpeter swan o o Tundra swan u r u Wood duck * c c u Gadwall * c u c Eurasian wigeon u u American wigeon * c r c Mallard * c c c Blue-winged teal * u u r o r u r c o o c o c u c c r Swans, Geese and Ducks Belted kingfisher Swans, Geese and Ducks, continued next page Common Name N Sp S F W Swans, Geese and Ducks, continued Cinnamon teal * c c u o Northern shoveler * c o c c Northern pintail * u u c c Green-winged teal c o c c Canvasback o o Redhead o o Ring-necked duck c o c Tufted duck ac Greater scaup o o o Lesser scaup c o c c Harlequin duck ac Surf scoter ac White-winged scoter ac Bufflehead u o c Common goldeneye u o u Barrow’s goldeneye r Hooded merganser * u o o o Common merganser * c o c Red-breasted merganser r Ruddy duck * u o o u Ospreys, Kites, Hawks and Eagles Osprey u u r r White-tailed kite ac ac Bald eagle *✔ u u u c Northern harrier * c u c c Sharp-shinned hawk o o o o Cooper’s hawk o o o o Northern goshawk r Red-shouldered hawk r o o Red-tailed hawk * c c c c Rough-legged hawk o o u Golden eagle r r r Falcons American kestrel * c c c Merlin o o Peregrine falcon r r o Prairie falcon r c o o r Gallinaceous Birds Ring-necked pheasant Ruffed grouse California quail * * * u o r o o r u o r u o r Common Name N Sp S F W o u c r u r c c u r c o Black-bellied plover Semipalmated plover o Killdeer * c o o c o Stilts and Avocets Black-necked stilt * ac American avocet ac Rails, Coots and Cranes Virginia rail * Sora * American coot * Sandhill crane o u c c Plovers c Sandpipers and Phalaropes Greater yellowlegs o u o Lesser yellowlegs o u r Solitary sandpiper r r Spotted sandpiper * o o u Long-billed curlew ac Sanderling ac ac Semipalmated sandpiper o Western sandpiper u u u r Least sandpiper u u u o Baird’s sandpiper r Pectoral sandpiper o Sharp-tailed sandpiper ac Dunlin c u Short-billed dowitcher r Long-billed dowitcher u o u o Common snipe * u o u c Wilson’s phalarope * o r o Red-necked phalarope r r r Red phalarope ac ac Gulls and Terns Bonaparte’s gull o r o Mew gull u r o Ring-billed gull c o o California gull c o u Herring gull u o Thayer’s gull c o u Glaucous-winged gull c o u Glaucous gull r Gulls and Terns, continued next page r c c c u c c r Common Name N Sp S F W r r o r o r c o u c o c o u Pigeons and Doves Rock dove * Band-tailed dove Mourning dove * Owls Barn owl * u u Western screech-owl * o o Great horned owl * u u Snowy owl Northern pygmy-owl o o Short-eared owl o u o u r o o Nightjars Common nighthawk o Swifts Vaux’s swift o u u o Hummingbirds Anna’s hummingbird r Rufous hummingbird * u r u r o Kingfishers Belted kingfisher N Sp S F W Say’s phoebe r Vermilion flycatcher ac Ash-throated flycatcher ac Western kingbird r r Eastern kingbird r Gulls and Terns, continued Caspian tern Black tern * Common Name o o u o u o o Shrikes Loggerhead shrike r Northern shrike o o o Larks Horned lark r Vireos Cassin’s vireo r Hutton’s vireo r Warbling vireo * u Red-eyed vireo * o o r u o r r o Crows, Jays and Magpies r Gray jay r Steller’s jay * c u u Western scrub-jay * c c c Black-billed magpie ac ac American crow * c c c r c c c Swallows * c u c Woodpeckers Lewis’ woodpecker r r Red-naped sapsucker ac Red-breasted sapsucker * o o o Downy woodpecker * c c c Hairy woodpecker * o o o Northern flicker * c c c Pileated woodpecker * o o o Tyrant Flycatchers Olive-sided flycatcher o o o Western wood-pewee * u c u Willow flycatcher * u u u Least flycatcher ac ac Hammond’s flycatcher o o r Dusky flycatcher ac ac Pacific-slope flycatcher * u c r u r o c o c o Purple martin Tree swallow Violet-green swallow Northern rough-winged swallow Bank swallow Cliff swallow Barn swallow * * * * * * * u c c o r u c u c c u r u c u u o u u u c r Chickadees Black-capped chickadee Chestnut-backed chickadee * * c o c o c o c o * * o u o u o u o u * c c c c r r Nuthatches Red-breasted nuthatch White-breasted nuthatch Bushtits Common bushtit Common Name N Sp S F W Common Name Creepers Brown creeper * o o o o * * * * c r u c c c u c c o o u c c u Golden-crowned kinglet c Ruby-crowned kinglet u o o c u c u Western bluebird r Swainson’s thrush * u c u Hermit thrush u o American robin * c c c Varied thrush o o o c u Spotted towhee * c c c c American tree sparrow ac Chipping sparrow o o o r Vesper sparrow r r Fox sparrow o o u Song sparrow * c c c c Lincoln’s sparrow o u u Swamp sparrow o o Savannah sparrow * c c u o White-throated sparrow r o o Harris’ sparrow ac White-crowned sparrow * u u u u Golden-crowned sparrow u u u Dark-eyed junco c o c c Lapland longspur ac Mynas European starling c Kinglets Thrushes * Pipits American pipit c c c u c u u u o Waxwings Cedar waxwing * c Warblers Orange-crowned warbler * c u o o Nashville warbler o o Yellow warbler * o u Chestnut-sided warbler ac Yellow-rumped warbler c o u u Black-throated gray warbler u r u Townsend’s warbler o o o Palm warbler ac Black-and-white warbler ac Northern waterthrush ac MacGillivray’s warbler * u r Common yellowthroat * c c u Wilson’s warbler c o o Yellow-breasted chat r r Tanagers Western tanager F W Towhees and Sparrows Wrens Bewick’s wren House wren Winter wren Marsh wren N Sp S * u u r Grosbeaks and Buntings Black-headed grosbeak * o Lazuli bunting c r o c o u c c u u u c u c u o c o Purple finch * u u u House finch * c c u Red crossbill o r r Common redpoll Pine siskin * o o o American goldfinch * c c u Evening grosbeak o u c r ac o u Blackbirds, Meadowlarks and Orioles Red-winged blackbird Western meadowlark Yellow-headed blackbird Brewer’s blackbird Brown-headed cowbird Bullock’s oriole * * * * * * c u u c c r Finches Weaver Finches House sparrow * u u u u Mammals of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge This list includes 23 species of mammals which have been verified through biological surveys to occur within Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. The remaining 16 are potential species obtained from various publications. The numerous fresh water ponds and marshes of the refuge produce a variety of emergent aquatic vegetation and are usually bordered by riparian areas. These habitats attract all species of wildlife and are especially critical to the survival of many of these mammalian species. Although their preferred habitat is present, viewing mammals is not always easy to do. Mammals have very keen senses and are usually aware of visitors long before they are seen. This gives them warning to hide or use their camoflauging. Some are only active at night. Although they may not be seen, it is not hard to spot evidence of their presence such as fresh coyote tracks in the mud or a burrow hole leading to a rabbit’s warm nest underground. Look for the signs and have patience. Mammals of Ridgefield NWR Common Name Opossums Common opossum u Shrews Dusky shrew Vagrant shrew u Moles Townsend mole Shrew-mole Bats Little brown myotis California myotis Big brown bat Hoary bat Western red bat Yuma bat Silver-haired bat Long-legged bat Western long-eared bat Rabbits Eastern cottontail Brush rabbit u Rodents Beechey ground squirrel Eastern gray squirrel Douglas squirrel Townsend’s chipmunk Mazama pocket gopher Beaver Deer mouse Creeping (Oregon) vole Townsend vole Muskrat Pacific jumping mouse Nutria u u Coyote Red fox Racoon Mink Long-tailed weasel Striped skunk River otter Mountain lion Bobcat u u u u u u u u V - (u) Verified Species Carnivores Coyote V u u u u u u u u Common Name V Amphibians & Reptiles of Ridgefield NWR Mammals, continued Ungulates Black-tailed deer Roosevelt elk Thirteen species of amphibians and reptiles have been verified within Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. u u Western painted turtles Common Name Northwestern salamander Long-toed salamander Ensatina Western redback salamander Rough-skinned newt Pacific treefrog Northern red-legged frog Bullfrog (introduced) Western painted turtle Northern alligator lizard Rubber boa Northwestern garter snake Red-spotted (common) garter snake Red-spotted garter snake Fish of Ridgefield NWR Common Name The Columbia River supplies water to all parts of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge whether it is pumped or occurs on the refuge through natural floods. In addition, there are several sloughs, creeks and Lake River that flow in and around the refuge. This list of fish includes those fish that have been verified or are known to exist in those bodies of water. Water Symbols G R C L - Gee Creek Refuge Columbia River Lake River Common Name V Water Western brook lamprey u G,C Pacific lamprey C,L White sturgeon u G,C Green sturgeon u C American shad (introduced) u C Mountain whitefish C,L Brown trout (introduced) C,L Sea-run cutthroat trout u G,C Steelhead (rainbow trout) u G,C Coho salmon u G,C Chinook salmon u G,C Sockeye salmon u C Chum salmon u C Eulachon (smelt) u G,C Carp (introduced) u G,C,R Goldfish (introduced) u G,R Chiselmouth C,L Redside shiner u G Northern pike-minnow u G,C Peamouth u G V Water Speckled dace u G Longnose dace G,R Longnose sucker u C,L Bridgelip sucker u C Largescale sucker u G,C,R Channel catfish (introduced) C,L Brown bullhead (introduced) u G,C,R Black bullhead (introduced) u G Mosquitofish (introduced) u G,R Three-spine stickleback u G,R Sandroller C,L Largemouth bass (introduced) u G,R Smallmouth bass (introduced) u C Black crappie (introduced) u G,C,R White crappie (introduced) u G,R Bluegill (introduced) u G,R Pumpkinseed (introduced) u G,C Warmouth u G Walleye (introduced) u G,C Yellow perch (introduced) u G,C,R Prickly sculpin u G Riffle sculpin u G Reticulate sculpin u G Starry flounder u C Yellow perch Chinook salmon Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 457 28908 N.W. Main Avenue Ridgefield, WA 98642 360/887 4106 http://www.fws.gov/ridgefieldrefuges Washington Relay Service Voice 1 800/833 6384 TTY 1 800/833 6388 Telebraille 1 800/833 6385 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov For refuge information 1 800/344 WILD August 2010