Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge / Thief Lake

Thief River Falls, Minnesota

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This book has already discussed the scope of the former Glacial Lake Agassiz, which covered northwestern Minnesota, much of Ontario and Manitoba, as well as parts of Saskatchewan and North Dakota. Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge is named for the once great lake that bears his name. Intense efforts were made in the early 1900s to drain the lands in and around what is now the Agassiz refuge, but the millions of dollars were no match for the size and scope of the bog lands east of here. The percolation capabilities and high water tables made the task an insurmountable one, and efforts were finally ceased. The ditches designed to drain the lands can still be seen today. Key birds: Pied-billed, Horned, Red-necked, Eared, and Western Grebes; American White Pelican; Northern Harrier; American Bittern; Sandhill Crane; American Woodcock; Franklin’s Gull; Black Tern; Blackbilled Magpie; Sedge Wren; Le Conte’s and Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows. Don’t miss: Agassiz’s West Gate Road, view from Agassiz fire tower. This eTrail provides information on birding strategies for this location, birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful maps.
Birding Minnesota

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Minnesota

by Jay Michael Strangis (Falcon Guides)

This book has already discussed the scope of the former Glacial Lake Agassiz, which covered northwestern Minnesota, much of Ontario and Manitoba, as well as parts of Saskatchewan and North Dakota.

Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge is named for the once great lake that bears his name. Intense efforts were made in the early 1900s to drain the lands in and around what is now the Agassiz refuge, but the millions of dollars were no match for the size and scope of the bog lands east of here. The percolation capabilities and high water tables made the task an insurmountable one, and efforts were finally ceased. The ditches designed to drain the lands can still be seen today. Key birds: Pied-billed, Horned, Red-necked, Eared, and Western Grebes; American White Pelican; Northern Harrier; American Bittern; Sandhill Crane; American Woodcock; Franklin’s Gull; Black Tern; Blackbilled Magpie; Sedge Wren; Le Conte’s and Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows. Don’t miss: Agassiz’s West Gate Road, view from Agassiz fire tower. This eTrail provides information on birding strategies for this location, birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful maps.

©  Jay Michael Strangis/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Thief River Falls
Trail Type: Several options
Duration: 1 day
Best Times: Best May-early June; October-early November
Local Contacts: Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area
Local Maps: Minnesota Highway Map
Driving Directions: Directions to Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge / Thief Lake

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Apr 2018