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Wildlife Observation

Within 50,000 acres of well kept land that the friend's group helps maintain, there is a seemingly endless opportunity to view a variety of natural wonders. 


A favorite wildlife viewing opportunity is the countless birds that utilize the refuge throughout all seasons. Migratory species like Cerulean Warblers, Worm-eating Warblers, and Henslow's sparrows can be seen on the refuge.


Plenty of other wildlife that inhabit the refuge are frequently seen as well. White-tailed deer are common throughout the land. River otters, squirrels and the occasional coyote or bobcat can also be found. Furthermore, Big Oaks is home to the state endangered crawfish frogs. Other herpetofauna on the refuge includes marble salamanders, bull frogs, southern leopard frogs, and more! 

In addition to our wildlife, in the prairie portion of the refuge you will find an incredible assortment of wildflowers. Bidens, milkweed, boneset, mountain mint, and more provide a beautiful landscape of color and an enticing fragrant atmosphere. These flowers peak in late summer to the early fall. They provide habitat for Monarch Butterflies and other beautiful insects. 


Included in the refuge is Old Timbers Lake which is roughly 150 acres and currently home to a breeding pair of bald eagles. At Big Tree Point there is a wildlife observation deck built by some of our BOCS members. Other habitat on the refuge is wetlands that is home to beavers and wood ducks. 

Photography is permitted in any area of the Refuge the visitor is authorized to enter.

The diverse wildlife and landscape beauty create excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Join us for our Christmas Bird Count or North American Butterfly Count! Private bird tours are available upon request. Volunteers are always welcome to assist with Crawfish Frog surveys in the spring and the North American Butterfly Survey in mid-summer. 

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