Squaw Creek National Wildlife Reserve

DSC_0062Christmas came a little early at the Homestead this week. I’ve been researching for a long while now about the what I want to replace my laptop with. I say research, but what that really means is: 1) I pester my kids, your kids, anybody’s kids to death with questions because they know it all, and I sure don’t, and 2) I read all the reviews I can find about the product I’m looking for. When a good sale came up earlier this week saving us $100,  Most Beloved purchased my new laptop – complete with Windows 8.1. In order to “make sure it isn’t broken and that I can use it properly” it is going through a test drive for the next few days. Well, weeks really, because I don’t see me going back to my old, laptop. I am thoroughly in love with this new machine. Who would have thunk it?!

Today we went for a day trip up to the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Preserve in the northwest corner of Missouri; a stone’s throw from Nebraska and Iowa. The eagles are migrating, along with the swans, geese, ducks and anything else that flies. We were very fortunate today, and counted 110 eagles, a large amount of swans with snow geese making a comeback by the thousands. The weather was fantastic, the company was superb and the birds were very accommodating and posed tirelessly for us. When I got home and put my photos on my new laptop, I almost cried in sheer delight. What a stunning difference in the clarity and definition of my pictures – Oh My. (Happy Sigh)

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Below are the bird count statistics for the last four weeks.  You can see how the numbers will vary according to what the weather and temperatures are.  Last week it warmed up and the eagles moved on, this week it was cold again, and the numbers swelled.  There was a park ranger in the visitor’s center who told us that some years they will have as many as 400 eagles and up to two million snow geese.  That’s a lot of birds!  I will be posting some pictures over the next few days, hope you enjoy them.

DSC_0087 (2)

Amount of Wetlands Flooded (acres)

2,850

Habitat Conditions

Good

PercentWetlands Frozen

95%
Squaw Creek Waterfowl Count
11/04/2013
11/13/2013
11/19/2013
11/25/2013
Greater White-fronted Goose
4,543
8,765
640
220
Snow Goose
200
58,155
75,407
3
Ross’s Goose
0
0
0
0
Canada Goose
473
654
613
1,396
Trumpeter Swan
Tundra Swan
8
2
224

12
325
7
346
2
Wood Duck
5
6
3
0
Gadwall
23,541
6,562
840
11
American Wigeon
15
15
0
1
American Black Duck
0
0
0
0
Mallard
49,092
130,900
98,395
49,720
Blue-winged Teal
65
14
0
0
Cinnamon Teal
0
0
0
0
Northern Shoveler
528
1,157
514
580
Northern Pintail
35,465
13,365
5,476
215
Green-winged Teal
12,960
11,215
2,566
1,050
Canvasback
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Scaup
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye Hooded Merganser Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
0
5
3,630
0
0
0
0
0
0
61
17
6
2,835
357
25
1
6
4
0
72
25
25
4,098
35
15
25
22
0
0
359
8
2
54
6
5
2
46
0
0
60
Pied-billed Grebe
34
17
28
3
Horned Grebe
0
0
0
0
Eared Grebe
0
0
0
0
American Coot
15,855
5,665
2,280
190

Total Geese
5,216
67,574
76,660
1,619

Dabblers
121,671
163,242
107,794
51,577

Divers
3,696
3,323
4,604
183

Total Ducks
125,367
166,565
112,398
51,760

American White Pelicans
264
54
173
4

Total Bald Eagles

Im= Immature, A= Adult
7
I =5, A=2
47

I =38, A=9
27
I =23, A=4
177
I =126, A=51 
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9 thoughts on “Squaw Creek National Wildlife Reserve

  1. Oh, that eagle photo is so neat! Must show my hubby that one as he loves eagles. Glad you had a great time spying and counting all of those amazing creatures. And yay, for early Christmas gifts! Sounds like you picked just the right laptop. :-)

    • It was a fun way to spend the day, and I was really surprised and blessed by seeing so many eagles. Seemed like they were everywhere. I AM loving my new laptop, I think twice as much just because I was so disappointed with the old one. Sara helped me set it up and it’s been almost smooth sailing ever since. The first 2 nights I couldn’t find where/how to shut it down, but figured it out now. Today I used the split screen for the first time, oh my – happy sigh. . . .

    • Usually the eagles just take off when we try to stop and get a picture, but that day they just sat there and let us get close and personal. As for the laptop, I fully expected to join the multitudes bemoaning the new windows 8, but no problems so far.

      • Nice of the eagles to cooperate :) I didn’t mention the windows 8 because I didn’t want to spook you. I haven’t taken the plunge yet. Still on windows 7, even for work

  2. So glad Christmas came early for you! I’m glad for this post, too. I didn’t know about this place, and it’s gone on the list, now. I’ve been wanting to go to White Cloud the next time I’m up that way and have some time, but it never seemed worth going north from my aunt’s just for White Cloud. Now I can add the wildlife sanctuary.

    That bird count’s amazing, particularly given the percentage of frozen wetlands. Clearly, I don’t know as much about waterfowl as I thought I did – if it were me, I’d be long gone! Of course, those birds are better equipped to deal with the cold. No need for scarves and mittens for them!

    • That bird count is what keeps me on my toes. You’re right about the frozen wetlands though. Last year we went in January, and because it was frozen over solid, the ducks and geese had moved on, which is the main food source for the eagles, and then they had moved on. We were able to see 35 eagles last year, and 7 swans, but learned that when it’s 100% frozen, it makes for lower numbers. It really is a science on when to go; too warm and no birds, too frozen and no birds. We’ve enjoyed it in the summer also, and there are all types of wildlife there, not just birds. We’ve seen deer, fox, grouse with babies, beaver, owls, turkeys. I can say that it is never the same thing twice. :) It’s very easy to get too and takes less than 2 hours from Blue Springs.

    • It certainly does. I can’t believe what a difference it made in the photos I took. I’m thinking, and I may be wrong here, but this new one must have HD and the old one didn’t, or that technology has changed dramatically. Either way, I’m a happy camper.

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