Mt. Rainier's majestic, snow-capped crown is the pre-eminent landmark of Rainier National Park. Its glaciers and snowmelt nourish rich natural habitats, including the Nisqually Delta, far downstream. This meeting of waters is a lush expanse of marsh, tidelands, and tree-lined streams. The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a walker's delight, with miles of level trails. It's a great place for birders, too. Look at what you might see when you visit Nisqually.
Nisqually, National Jewel
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote!
Mt. Rainier’s majestic, snow-capped crown is the pre-eminent landmark of Western Washington. And its glaciers and snowmelt nourish rich natural habitats, including the Nisqually Delta. [Water sounds] This meeting of waters – about an hour south of Seattle – is a lush expanse of marsh, tidelands, and tree-lined streams.
In 1974, the federal government set aside three thousand acres as the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. It’s a walker’s delight, with miles of level trails. The refuge attracts thousands of migratory waterfowl, as well as eagles, falcons, and other birds of prey. In summer, Rufous Hummingbirds buzz through trailside thickets [Rufous Hummingbird wing buzz], Swainson’s Thrushes sing with passion [Swainson’s Thrush song], and river otters frolic in the streams.
The first national wildlife refuge was set aside by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, on Florida’s Pelican Island. Now more than 500 refuges across all fifty states provide havens for wildlife, including many threatened species.
More than 20 await your visit in Washington State, including the one that begins with a trickle of snowmelt on Mt. Rainier.
BirdNote shows are made possible by the generous gifts of BirdNote benefactors. We thank them—and we thank you for listening. [Water sounds]
Bird audio provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Rufous Hummingbird and Swainson’s Thrush recorded by G.A. Keller.
Ambient audio recorded by Chris Peterson.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© Seattle Audubon 08/25/06
ID# 082506nisquKPLU 2009-02-17-nisqu-01-KPLU-MS/nisqually-01-MS-2009-02-17-KPLU-