It’s the day after Thanksgiving and you want to avoid the crowds at the mall. Consider cruising by the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in western Iowa’s Harrison County. Deputy manager Mindy Sheets says the refuge is home to many thousands of migrating birds at the moment. About 30,000 snow geese are in, 7.000 ducks, a thousand Canada geese and a number of bald eagles. While that’s more snow geese than most of us would want in our backyards, Sheets says that is actually a much smaller population than usual for this time of year. She says they sometimes peak between 500,000 and 800,000 snow geese. She says no one’s really sure why this year’s numbers are down compared to recent years, but she says some of the birds may have migrated to the west while others are still in the north, moving more slowly this season. Sheets says the refuge is both a haven for animals of all kinds, but also for people who are seeking shelter from the foul weather. Other creatures are visible at the nature preserve too, including deer, coyotes and wild turkeys. For more information, call (712) 642-2772.
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