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Bird Checklists of the United States

Audubon National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

Coleharbor, North Dakota


Audubon National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1955 to replace wildlife habitat lost to the Garrison Dam and Reservoir Project. The Refuge's 14,735 acres are situated on the southern and eastern areas of Lake Audubon, a subimpoundment of the reservoir named Lake Sakakawea.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the land under an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who own the land. The Refuge is managed for optimum protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat with emphasis on migratory birds. The north half of Lake Audubon is managed by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department for public use and wildlife.

The Refuge name honors John James Audubon, the famous wildlife artist and naturalist, who explored much of the Missouri River area in the mid-1800's. In 1843, he summered in the Fort Union area collecting and painting wildlife. His series of bird paintings are treasured by people the world over.

This list includes all wildlife species seen on the Refuge since 1955: 239 birds, 37 mammals, 5 reptiles, 3 amphibians and 37 fish species.

Audubon National Wildlife Refuge is one of a system of refuges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the preservation of wildlife. The financial base to buy refuges was firmly established in 1934 through the passage of the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act. This Act requires waterfowl hunters to annually purchase a migratory bird or "duck stamp". Funds from duck stamp sales are used to purchase refuges that provide habitats necessary to sustain a wide variety of wildlife for both hunters and nonhunters to enjoy.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks to afford persons with disabilities full accessibility or reasonable accommodation. Contact Audubon Complex Headquarters for information or to address accessibility problems. For the hearing impaired, use your North Dakota Relay System for the Deaf (In North Dakota call: 1-800-223-3131).


* - denotes a breeding species

The relative abundance of birds for each season is coded as follows:

Sp - March-May
S - June-August
F - September-November
W - December-February

c - common: certain to be seen in suitable habitat
p - present: but not certain to be seen
r - rare: seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years
x - accidental: seen less than five times


LOONS Sp S F W ___ Common Loon r - r - ___ Red-throated Loon x - - -
GREBES Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe* c c c - ___ Horned Grebe p p p - ___ Red-necked Grebe p r p - ___ Eared Grebe* c c p - ___ Western Grebe* c p c -
PELICANS, CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican c c c - ___ Double-crested Cormorant* c c c -
BITTERNS, HERONS, IBISES Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* c p c - ___ Great Blue Heron c p c - ___ Great Egret r r r - ___ Snowy Egret r r r - ___ Little Blue Heron r r r - ___ Cattle Egret r r r - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* c c c - ___ Green-backed Heron p p p - ___ White-faced Ibis r r r -
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Tundra Swan (Whistling Swan) p - c - ___ Greater White-fronted Goose c r c - ___ Snow Goose c r c - ___ Canada Goose* c c c p ___ Brant - - r - ___ Ross' Goose p - p - ___ Wood Duck p p p - ___ Green-winged Teal* c c c - ___ American Black Duck r - r - ___ Mallard* c c c p ___ Northern Pintail* c c c r ___ Blue-winged Teal* c c c - ___ Cinnamon Teal r r r - ___ Northern Shoveler* c c c - ___ Gadwall* c c c - ___ American Wigeon* c c c - ___ Canvasback* c c c - ___ Redhead* c c c - ___ Ring-necked Duck c - c - ___ Lesser Scaup* c c c - ___ Greater Scaup p - p - ___ Common Goldeneye c - c r ___ Bufflehead c p c - ___ Hooded Merganser p - p - ___ Common Merganser p - p r ___ Red-breasted Merganser r - r - ___ Ruddy Duck* c c c - ___ White-winged Scoter - - p - ___ Harlequin Duck - - c - ___ Oldsquaw - - r - ___ Barrow's Goldeneye - - r -
VULTURES, EAGLES, HAWKS, FALCONS Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture r r r - ___ Osprey r r r - ___ Bald Eagle p r c p ___ Golden Eagle p r p r ___ Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk)* c c c r ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk p - p - ___ Cooper's Hawk r - p - ___ Northern Goshawk r - p r ___ Broad-winged Hawk r - r - ___ Swainson's Hawk p p p - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* p p p - ___ Ferruginous Hawk p p p - ___ Rough-legged Hawk p - p r ___ American Kestrel* c r c - ___ Merlin p r p - ___ Peregrine Falcon r - r r ___ Gyrfalcon - - - p ___ Prairie Falcon p r p r
PARTRIDGES, PHEASANT, GROUSE Sp S F W ___ Gray Partridge* c c c c ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* c c c c ___ Sharp-tailed Grouse* c c c c
RAILS, CRANES Sp S F W ___ Yellow Rail p p p - ___ King Rail p p p - ___ Virginia Rail* p p p - ___ Sora* c c c - ___ American Coot* c c c - ___ Sandhill Crane c r c - ___ Whooping Crane r - r -
SHOREBIRDS, GULLS, TERNS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover r - r - ___ American Golden Plover (Lesser Gol-Pl.) p - r - ___ Semipalmated Plover p - p - ___ Piping Plover* p p p - ___ Killdeer* c c c - ___ American Avocet* c c c - ___ Greater Yellowlegs p - p - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs c p c - ___ Solitary Sandpiper p - p - ___ Willet* c c p - ___ Spotted Sandpiper* c c p - ___ Upland Sandpiper* c c c - ___ Hudsonian Godwit r - - - ___ Marbled Godwit* c c p - ___ Ruddy Turnstone p - r - ___ Sanderling c - c - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper c - c - ___ Least Sandpiper c - c - ___ Western Sandpiper c - c - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper c p p - ___ Baird's Sandpiper p - p - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper p - p - ___ Dunlin p - p - ___ Stilt Sandpiper c - c - ___ Black-necked Stilt r - - - ___ Long-billed Curlew r - - - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher c - c - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher p - p - ___ Common Snipe* c p c - ___ Wilson's Phalarope* c c c - ___ Red-necked Phalarope p - p - ___ Franklin's Gull p p p - ___ Bonaparte's Gull p - p - ___ Ring-billed Gull* c c c - ___ California Gull* c c c - ___ Herring Gull p p p - ___ Caspian Tern r r - - ___ Common Tern* c c p - ___ Forster's Tern p p p - ___ Least Tern r r - - ___ Black Tern* p p p -
DOVES Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove p p p - ___ Mourning Dove* c c c -
CUCKOOS Sp S F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo* p p p -
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Great Horned Owl* c c c c ___ Snowy Owl p - p p ___ Burrowing Owl* p r r - ___ Long-eared Owl r - r - ___ Short-eared Owl* c c c r ___ Common Screech-Owl r r r r
GOATSUCKERS, SWIFTS, HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* p r p - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird p r p - ___ Chimney Swift r r r -
KINGFISHERS, WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher p p p - ___ Red-headed Woodpecker p p p - ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker p p p - ___ Downy Woodpecker c p c p ___ Hairy Woodpecker c p c p ___ Northern Flicker (Common Flicker)* c c c -
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee p - - - ___ Least Flycatcher p p r - ___ Eastern Phoebe p p p - ___ Say's Phoebe p p p - ___ Western Kingbird* c c c - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c c -
LARKS, SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* c c c c ___ Purple Martin* p p p - ___ Tree Swallow* p c p - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow* p p p - ___ Bank Swallow* c c c - ___ Cliff Swallow* p p p - ___ Barn Swallow* c c c -
JAYS, MAGPIES, CROWS Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay* p p p - ___ Black-billed Magpie* p p p p ___ American Crow* c p c p
CHICKADEES, NUTHATCHES, CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* c c c c ___ White-breasted Nuthatch p p p r ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch p - p p ___ Brown Creeper p - p -
WRENS Sp S F W ___ House Wren* c c p - ___ Sedge Wren* c c p - ___ Marsh Wren* p p p -
KINGLETS, BLUEBIRDS, THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet r - p - ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet r - p - ___ Eastern Bluebird p p p - ___ Mountain Bluebird p p p - ___ American Robin* c c c r ___ Swainson's Thrush* p p p -
THRASHERS, PIPITS Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird* p p p - ___ Brown Thrasher* c c p - ___ American Pipit (Water Pipit) p - p - ___ Sprague's Pipit* p p p - ___ Northern Mockingbird - r - -
WAXWINGS, SHRIKES, STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ Bohemian Waxwing p - p p ___ Cedar Waxwing* c c c c ___ Northern Shrike p - p p ___ Loggerhead Shrike p p p - ___ European Starling* p p p p
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ Solitary Vireo p - p - ___ Warbling Vireo p - p - ___ Red-eyed Vireo p p p -
WOOD WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Tennessee Warbler p p p - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler p - p - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c p - ___ Magnolia Warbler p - p - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler p p p - ___ Blackpoll Warbler p - p - ___ Black-and-white Warbler p - p - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat* p p p - ___ Ovenbird p - p - ___ American Redstart p - p - ___ Northern Waterthrush p - p - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c c - ___ Cape May Warbler r - - - ___ Palm Warbler p - - - ___ Blackburnian Warbler p - - -
GROSBEAKS, BUNTINGS, SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak - - - r ___ Evening Grosbeak - - - p ___ Black-headed Grosbeak - - - r ___ Dickcissel* p p p - ___ Spotted Towhee* p p p - ___ American Tree Sparrow* c p c r ___ Chipping Sparrow* c c c - ___ Clay-colored Sparrow* c c c - ___ Brewer's Sparrow* r - - - ___ Vesper Sparrow* p p p - ___ Lark Sparrow p p p - ___ Lark Bunting* p p p - ___ Savannah Sparrow* c c c - ___ Baird's Sparrow* p p p - ___ Grasshopper Sparrow* c c c - ___ Le Conte's Sparrow* p p p - ___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow* p p p - ___ Song Sparrow* c c c - ___ Lincoln's Sparrow p - p - ___ Swamp Sparrow p - p - ___ White-throated Sparrow p p p - ___ White-crowned Sparrow p - p - ___ Harris' Sparrow p - p - ___ Dark-eyed Junco c - c c ___ McCown's Longspur p - p p ___ Lapland Longspur p - p p ___ Chestnut-collared Longspur* c c p - ___ Snow Bunting p - p p ___ White-winged Crossbill r - - -
MEADOWLARKS, BLACKBIRDS, ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ Bobolink* c c c - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* c c c r ___ Western Meadowlark* c c c r ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird* c c c - ___ Brewer's Blackbird* p p p - ___ Common Grackle* c c c - ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c c c - ___ Orchard Oriole* p p r - ___ Baltimore Oriole* p p p -
FINCHES, WEAVER FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Pine Grosbeak p - p p ___ Purple Finch p p p - ___ House Finch p p p - ___ Red Crossbill p r p r ___ Common Redpoll p - p p ___ Pine Siskin p - p p ___ American Goldfinch* c c c p ___ House Sparrow* c c c c

For additional information contact:
                 Refuge Manager
                 Audubon National Wildlife Refuge
                 RR 1, Box 16
                 Coleharbor, North Dakota 58531
                 Telephone: 701/442-5474
This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  No date.  Wildlife checklist of Audubon 
     National Wildlife Refuge.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  No date.  Wildlife checklist of Audubon 
     National Wildlife Refuge.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govaudubon.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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