One day Bill was thumbing through this impressive little information book from Quartzsite. He became all excited and said we have to go check this place out! The Cibola National Wildlife Refuge! The directions to the Refuge were easy to follow and it only took us about 25 minutes to drive there.
Once we arrived, Bill went inside to the headquarters and picked up some useful information. We found we were able to take an Auto Tour on Goose Loop. The dogs were allowed to go with us but NO ONE was allowed to exit the vehicle at any time. Except to walk the Corn Field Nature Trail and/or to use the rest room. Pets were still not allowed out of your vehicle at this point.
Our Auto Tour began
We read a sign just before we entered the Refuge which said, the best times to take this tour were 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 after sunset. Unfortunately, we were there at midday :(.
The Goose Loop Auto Tour was 3 miles long and they suggested you drive at 25 mph. With so much to see or potentially see, we found 10 or 12 mph was better for us. Luckily there was only 1 vehicle ahead of us and 1 way behind us.
Since this was Feb and considered winter here :), we found out that the geese, cranes and ducks were in abundance along this drive. Yay for us!
Our first KODAK MOMENT was!!
We stopped within 2 mins into the tour at Long Pond in a pull off area. There had to be hundreds of these geese, cranes and ducks sitting, swimming and floating in this area. Joy had never seen such LARGE Canadian Geese before. Bill took many pictures here trying to capture a real appreciation for all these beautiful birds.
After a while we slowly pulled back onto the road and crawled along so we could continue to watch all these amazing feathered creatures. Lucky and Sierra were both glued to the open window in back watching, but never saying a word. Joy could tell, Lucky was quite excited, by posture. Lucky loves to see other animals.
Moving on down the road
As we moved on down the road, we noticed up ahead the vehicle had turned the first corner but stopped. Both of us strained to see what they were looking at.
Joy grabbed the binoculars and Bill looked through his camera. In the distanced we could see movement through the field of 2 animals. Finally the first one broke through and casually crossed over the road to the other field. We believe they were wolves. We only caught brief glances of them from a great distance. But they were too large for coyotes and we knew they were not dogs. Only answer could be wolves. They were gorgeous.
Both the vehicle ahead and we then moved on.
Turning the corner
Continuing on, we saw strange mounds of rocks and tubes in the middle of them. Looking down at the information we had, we found out these were homes for Burrowing Owls.
We never saw any Owls at home but the homes were quite interesting to see.:)
Looking back out to the fields
Looking further afield again, we were able to see flocks of Sandhill Cranes, Canada and Snow geese. Further along, we saw many different birds that we could not identify. 🙂
Cibola National Wildlife Refuge
Borrowed from a flyer from the Refuge;
“Cibola National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1964 as mitigation for channelization and dam construction on the Colorado River in the 1930s and 1940s. The refuge is located in both Arizona and California along the flood plain of the Lower Colorado River and provides important habitat for migratory birds, wintering waterfowl, and resident species. The refuge contains several miles of historic river channels and back waters that provide key habitats in a changed environment.”
For More Information Contact
Cibola National Wildlife Refuge
66600 Cibola Lake Road
Route 2, Box 1
Cibola, Arizona 85328