The Visitor Center Is Open!

Come and bring the kids to see the indoor exhibits and enjoy shopping in our fully stocked Nature Nook!  We hope you are as excited as we are, but we need to make you aware of some changes:

  • Masks are required in the building, as in airports and every federal facility.
  • The Visitor Center will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9am to 4pm.
  • Tram tours have resumed! Make your Wildlife Explorereservation online today!

Do you love nature and enjoy meeting people from all over the world? Sign up to be a volunteer greeter in the Visitor Center.

Lets Talk Turkey

By Kathy Whaley

Turkey on Refuge Road by James Waghorne

It seems as if everyone who comes to Hagerman NWR hopes to catch sight of our National Bird, the Bald Eagle, but what about the bird it is said Ben Franklin wanted chosen as our nation’s symbol: the Wild Turkey? The Rio Grande subspecies of Wild Turkey are primarily found in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico. These large birds seek out areas with lots of edge habitat, and roost nightly in mature hardwoods, including hackberry, pecan, elm, and cottonwood. Sounds like the refuge has plenty of perfect habitat for them, doesn’t it? With spring mating season right around the corner, you might catch sight of a flock of turkeys as you approach the refuge, or along one of the trails. In fact, Refuge Manager Kathy Whaley wrote about just such an encounter in a blog posted right before Thanksgiving in 2009. I hope you enjoy revisiting it, and maybe on your next visit, you’ll find some Wild Turkeys yourself.

Refuge Update:

It's a great time to visit the refuge!  Refuge lands are open to the public from sunrise to sunset daily.  Restrooms are located at Goode Day Use Area, the Visitor Center, Big Mineral Day Use Area and Sandy Point Day Use Area. 

Upcoming Hunt Information, Closures and Applications

Feral Hog Hunt

March 46, 2022, Mar 18–20, 2022

Areas Closed: Big Mineral, Sandy, Godwin, Goode, Meyers, and SE Harris Creek.

Spring Turkey

April 22–24, 2022

Areas Closed: Big Mineral, Sandy, Godwin, Meyers, and SE Harris Creek.

Join us for the 2022 Friends of Hagerman NWR Annual Meeting

March 20, 2022 at 2:00 online via ZOOM

The Friends of Hagerman NWR Foundation will be conducting their 2022 Annual Meeting via Zoom this year. Registration is required. The meeting is free and open to the public. Members will be updated on activities and accomplishments during the past year. New Board members for the coming two-year term will be elected.

Second Saturday: Spring Bird Migration with Dr. Wayne Meyer

Saturday March 12, at 10:00 AM Online via ZOOM (Registration Required)

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, like many others, was established to provide a stop-over habitat for migratory birds. Certainly, many other species benefit from the refuge and at other times of the year, but migrating birds are the focus of much of the refuge’s work. So, it would be useful to understand what migration is, why it occurs and how birds do it. This month’s program will discuss all of these topics, and at just the right time of year, when birds are beginning to head north for the spring again.

Dr. Wayne Meyer is an Associate Professor of the Biology department at Austin College, where he has been teaching for 28 years. He started birding at 13 in Connecticut. In 1993 he finally achieved his life’s dream of being paid to look at birds when he joined the faculty of Austin College. He has birded both coasts of the U.S. extensively and now has spent a quarter-century birding in Texas and Oklahoma. The proximity of Austin College to Hagerman NWR has made research on prairie birds easy and convenient and he has been studying song learning and singing in Painted Buntings for over a decade. Meyer is also a sought-after speaker for Master Naturalist groups and a frequent speaker for the Friends of Hagerman.

Puddles' Craft Corner

Shades of Green

By Cindy Steele, Master Naturalist

Welcome back to Puddles’ Craft Corner. It’s March and spring is about to burst out all around us! Spring officially begins on March 20, but signs of spring start earlier in the month in our area. It seems like everyone, young and old, gets a little bit excited once we start to see grass turning bright green, early spring flowers starting to bloom, and the trees unfurling their vibrant delicate new leaves. Let’s learn a little bit about why plants are green and how this helps...

Birding with Jack

Updated, Weekly Census Results

By Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, Mike Petrick and

Dr. Wayne Meyer (Pictured Right)

Each Tuesday a team of experienced birders, including Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, traverse 35 miles of refuge roads and hiking trails, documenting every bird they encounter. This Bird Census is reported to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use in research, and each week we will bring you a link to their actual bird count, and a summary of their adventures.

Shop Amazon Smile to Support the Friends of Hagerman

Amazon SmileDid you know that you can support the Friends of Hagerman while shopping on Amazon? If you shop on Amazon using this Amazon Smile link, the Friends will receive 0.5% of eligible purchases. Simply go to and sign in with your Amazon account. Under "Your Account" select "Change your Amazon Smile Charity" and enter "Friends of Hagerman" in the charity search box. Once your results appear, select the Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge Foundation. Every time you make a purchase on Amazon Smile, the Friends will get a donation. Thanks for helping us make Hagerman a great wildlife refuge!

Kroger: Stop by the customer service desk at Kroger and link your Kroger Card to the Friends of Hagerman: the Friends will get rewards for every dollar you spend, at no cost to you.

Thank You

To Our Contributors:

Pat Crone, Jack Chiles, Cindy Steele, Kathy Whaley and Laurie Sheppard

Refuge Manager: Kathy Whaley

Deputy Refuge Manager: Paul Balkenbush

Visitor Services Manager: Spencer Beard 

Editor: Patricia Crain

Friends of Hagerman NWR Foundation

6465 Refuge Road, Sherman, TX 75092

Phone: 903-786-2826

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