Rare Bird Spotted Near Titonka at the National Refuge

A rare bird has been spotted in northern Iowa. Erich Gilbert, assistant manager at the Union Slough (SLOO) National Wildlife Refuge near Titonka, says there’s a partial albino among the Canada geese that have settled in for the past few weeks.

It’s the time of year for Canadian geese to molt — lose their feathers. Albino birds are rarely found in the wild.

Gilbert says the albino goose is visible from the county highway passes along the south end of the refuge. Gilbert can see sandhill cranes in a shallow area right across from his office.

The drought has made the refuge more attractive to birds.

Automobiles may start driving on the tour route through the refuge on August 1st. It’s open to the public from sunrise until sunset through September 20th. The driving route starts at the Refuge Headquarters, which is six miles east of Bancroft. Gilbert says there are all sorts of birds, including ducks, trumpeter swans, great blue herons and pelicans, at the refuge and the best time to see them is in the early morning or evening hours, when the temperatures are cooler and the birds are most active.


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