Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge

Montana Bitterroot Mountains

Early morning at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge.

I had the opportunity to spend yesterday with a friend photographing  Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge on a spectacular Montana morning. As we wandered through the refuge we saw a lot of the usual suspects: ringed-necked pheasants, trumpeter swans, mallards and even a brief glimpse of a great horned owl. But the backdrop of the Bitterroot Mountains was what stole the show with their snow-capped peaks towering over the refuge.Further south the far off Como Peaks with cattails in the foreground looked like a painting in the early morning light.

Bitterroot Mountains

Como Peaks in the distance looking out across the refuge

As one of a handful of important wildlife refuges in Montana, Lee Metcalf encompasses 2800 acres of critical habit for nesting and migratory birds and other wildlife in the Bitterroot Valley. Over 240 different species of birds have been recorded on the refuge which is made up of wetland, grassland, and forest habitat.

Montana Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans lifting off at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge

Its rich abundance of wildlife and habitat is a reminder of what’s at stake as our wild lands continue to shrink, but also what’s possible with our country’s conservation efforts and management of National Wildlife Refuges.

For more info on our National Wildlife Refuges and Lee Metcalf visit http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Lee_Metcalf/about.html

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