Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

The Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, located just off of I-5 south of Salem, is home to over 200 bird species. The refuge is over 1,700 acres/6.9 sq km dedicated to bird habitat.

The refuge consist of several natural ponds and others formed by dikes of levees. With meandering streams, a varied habitat is maintained for not only the heron, but also eagles, falcons, geese, wood ducks, cormorants, black-capped chickadees, rufous hummingbirds, red-breasted sapsuckers (and other woodpeckers), long-billed dowitchers and so much more.

The rail trail, and its extensions, is my favorite place at the refuge. The new interpretive center should be nice when it opens later this year. There are several places where you can view the birds in ponds from your vehicle.

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