Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Trout Lake, Washington

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The Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) can be a confusing place. If you go to the area looking for a lake, as we did one summer, you will be surprised to find a number of wetland areas along the roads that ring the refuge but nothing that you could call a lake. Visit the site in spring or fall, though, and the seasonal lake is more apparent. Whether there is a year-round lake or not isn’t an issue for the birds that call the Conboy Lake NWR home. In fact, the mixed-wetland and forest habitat is perfect for a small nesting colony of Sandhill Crane, the only nesting colony for this majestic bird in Washington. In all, 165 bird species can be seen throughout the year at Conboy Lake, with the most species in the area during spring and fall. Habitats: Wetland, mixed forest. Specialty birds: Tundra Swan; Greater Scaup; Barrow’s Goldeneye; Golden and Bald Eagles; Swainson’s Hawk; Sandhill Crane; Short-eared and Northern Pygmy-Owls; Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds; Lewis’s and Pileated Woodpeckers; Red-naped Sapsucker; Hammond’s, Gray, Dusky, and Pacific-slope Flycatchers; Cassin’s Vireo; Pygmy Nuthatch; Western Bluebird.

Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge Professional Review and Guide

"The Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) can be a confusing place. If you go to the area looking for a lake, as we did one summer, you will be surprised to find a number of wetland areas along the roads that ring the refuge but nothing that you could call a lake.

Visit the site in spring or fall, though, and the seasonal lake is more apparent. Whether there is a year-round lake or not isn’t an issue for the birds that call the Conboy Lake NWR home. In fact, the mixed-wetland and forest habitat is perfect for a small nesting colony of Sandhill Crane, the only nesting colony for this majestic bird in Washington. In all, 165 bird species can be seen throughout the year at Conboy Lake, with the most species in the area during spring and fall. Habitats: Wetland, mixed forest. Specialty birds: Tundra Swan; Greater Scaup; Barrow’s Goldeneye; Golden and Bald Eagles; Swainson’s Hawk; Sandhill Crane; Short-eared and Northern Pygmy-Owls; Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds; Lewis’s and Pileated Woodpeckers; Red-naped Sapsucker; Hammond’s, Gray, Dusky, and Pacific-slope Flycatchers; Cassin’s Vireo; Pygmy Nuthatch; Western Bluebird."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Trout Lake
Distance: 2
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Best Times: Best spring, summer, and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 1,900 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Driving Directions: Directions to Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge

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May 2018