Sunday, May 5, 2013

No. 181 Mount Vernon Skagit Wildlife Area

Island Unit Headquarters
21961 Wylie Road
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273


The Skagit Wildlife Area covers about 16,700 acres west of the Cascade Mountain range. Bordered on the east edge by Highway 530 between Darrington and Rockport and to west along Skagit and Padilla Bays. Most of the 16 managed wildlife sanctuaries are located throughout the Skagit River Delta Region. Tidal action and the mixing of fresh and saltwater create a rich estuarine environment including open water, tidal mudflats and marshes providing safe and sustainable wildlife habitat for   birds of prey, hawks, eagles, marine birds, shorebirds, songbirds, upland birds, wading birds, waterfowl, deer and other smaller mammals.
Washington's DFW has contracts with regional farmers to plant barley and corn to enhance food  resources for local and wintering waterfowl.

In order to see and photography any wildlife its important to pay attention to the various habits of birds. If you plan on exploring a wildlife sanctuary mid day in the summer chances are you will have little luck in spotting a rare bird of prey. Ducks and smaller waterfowl can be scene throughout the day. But if you are keen on snapping images of birds of prey you have to understand which time of day they are active and also which food source they are hunting. Dawn and Dusk are the best times to spot birds of prey in action as they leave their nests high atop the trees and start stalking smaller prey. If its bright and sunny and mid 70s degrees out you will have reduced chances of seeing any wildlife. Unlike us humans who have sunglasses, air conditioning and access to refrigerated beverages, animals do not. They retreat the cooler tree top canopy's until the late afternoon.

Skagit WIldife Area
Island Unit Tidal area home to many ducks and insects
Skagit WIldife Area
Natures Window Frame
Skagit WIldife Area

Skagit WIldife Area
A Mature (White feathers) American Bald Eagle keeping a stealthy eye on its family nest

Skagit WIldife Area
Backdrop of Mount Baker behind Island Unit Wildlife Area

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