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Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is located in extreme northwest Missouri near the city of Mound City. It was created in 1934 primarily as a stopover for migrating waterfowl. One of the main attractions is the huge numbers of Snow Geese which use the refuge on the spring and fall migrations.
Approximately 400,000 Snow Geese have been observed using this area during these migration times. In recent years there have been increasing numbers of Ross's Geese mixed in with the Snow Geese. There are two phases of Snow Geese present in these flocks. The "white" phase predominates the "blue" phase with approximately 2/3 of the flock being the "white" phase. American Bald Eagle accompany these vast flocks feeding on sick and injured birds.
Very large numbers of other waterfowl can also be found passing through the area. The numbers only diminishing during the summer months. American Coots, Common Gallinules, herons, egrets, ibis and a large array of shorebirds also find the refuge favorable to their needs.
- Species which are in bold type are rare.
Birds you can see here include:
Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Canada Goose, Trumpeter Swan, Tundra Swan, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, White-winged Scoter, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Wild Turkey, Ring-necked Pheasant, Northern Bobwhite, Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Eared Grebe, Western Grebe, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, White-faced Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Swainson's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Golden Eagle, American Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Prairie Falcon, Yellow Rail, King Rail, Virginia Rail, Sora, Common Gallinule, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Black-bellied Plover, American Golden-Plover, Snowy Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, Killdeer, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Long-billed Curlew, Hudsonian Godwit, Marbled Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, Stilt Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Ruff, Short-billed Dowitcher, Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilson's Snipe, American Woodcock, Wilson's Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, Franklin's Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, American Herring Gull, Caspian Tern, Common Tern, Forster's Tern, Least Tern, Black Tern, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Black-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Barn Owl, Eastern Screech-Owl, Great Horned Owl, Snowy Owl, Burrowing Owl, Barred Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Common Nighthawk, Chuck-will's-widow, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Eastern Wood Pewee, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Acadian Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Eastern Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Shrike,White-eyed Vireo, Bell's Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Horned Lark, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, Bewick's Wren, House Wren, Winter Wren, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Veery, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, American Pipit, Bohemian Waxwing, Golden-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Palm Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Prothonotary Warbler, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Kentucky Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Summer Tanager, Scarlet Tanager, Spotted Towhee, Eastern Towhee, American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Harris's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Lapland Longspur, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Black-headed Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Dickcissel, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, Common Grackle, Great-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Purple Finch, House Finch, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow
Birds seen only once or twice
Tri-colored Heron, White Ibis, Anhinga, American Flamingo, Barnacle Goose, Brant, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, Long-tailed Duck, Surf Scoter, Black Scoter, Mississippi Kite, Gyrfalcon, Greater Prairie Chicken, Whooping Crane, Red Phalarope, Parasitic Jaeger, Laughing Gull, Sabine's Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Common Ground-Dove, Black-backed Woodpecker, Say's Phoebe, Black-billed Magpie, Mountain Bluebird, Townsend's Solitaire, Lark Bunting, Snow Bunting, Bronzed Cowbird and Evening Grosbeak
History and Use
Hunting is not allowed on the refuge, except for a three day hunt in some years in the month of January. This hunt is conducted occasionally to maintain a deer herd of about 600, as the deer would cause irreparable damage to the habitat if not managed.
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities