Sibley, Butler units of St. Catherine Creek Wildlife Refuge remain closed

Published 4:03 pm Monday, August 30, 2021

SIBLEY — St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge Manager Skye Kreisler said the refuge was closed Sunday when Hurricane Ida blew through the region. Currently, Sibley and Butler Units of St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge are closed.

There is no timetable for when they would open as Kreisler has not been able to check the conditions of the refuge. United States Fish and Wildlife Service has a protocol and task list the refuge would follow in the coming days. She told her staff they did not have to come to work Monday and asked them to stay home with their families.

“I can’t survey the damage until, at the earliest, Tuesday,” Kreisler said. “The roads need to dry a bit. With all this rain, the roads have become saturated. Tuesday, I hope to get a better estimate of the damage.”

Saturday, migratory wading birds took roost in trees deep in the forest near the swamp. While some birds remained on the fringe to feed, their activity was considerably less than their average behavior. She said the birds had moved deeper into the woods on Sunday.

“I’m interested to see how the wildlife changes,” Kreisler said. “I haven’t had a chance to see yet. I noticed the white egrets were deep in the woods (Sunday.) How birds know that the weather is coming is mind-blowing. It was like they were hiding and taking shelter. ”

She spent Sunday night sweeping out visitors to ensure their safety. Visions of trees landing on a visitor from the storm had crossed her mind, she said.
Birds are making their way to St. Catherine Creek earlier than expected, she said.

“Certain birds who are not here yet have blown in the past few days,” Kreisler said. “They must have been following the wind current. I’m excited to see what kind of birds will be here.”