Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge

Location: Bailey County, Texas
Date: December 8, 2012

Lower Paul's Lake

Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge encompasses grasslands around a few intermittent saline lakes. The refuge is known for the sandhill cranes that spend the winter here. In a typical winter there are 75,000 cranes here, but the most observed was over 200,000. The refuge also has several miles of dirt roads and trails open for public use.

Upper Paul's Lake

During my visit Upper Paul's Lake had some water in it, but all the other lakes were dry. I arrived just after sunrise, and the lake smelled of birds. Feathers and footprints were all around the lake, but all of the cranes had already left for the day to go foraging. There were two cranes at the far end of Upper Paul's Lake, but they hid as soon as I saw them. As I was walking back to my car a group of six cranes flew over the lake, but just circled around and flew off. I either need to get there at least a half hour before sunrise or around sunset next time to see more cranes.

Lower Goose Lake

View of the refuge near Lower Goose Lake

Cranes in flight

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