DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge
1434 316th Lane, Missouri Valley, IA 51555
DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge is located six miles east of Blair on the Missouri River. The refuge’s 8,365 acres of wetlands are a scenic place to visit year-round, but they become a hot spot for migratory birds every spring. A mind-bending number of bald eagles, ducks, geese and shore birds descend every March and April. Peak populations are weather dependent. Observation platforms on the Nebraska side during the second week of March often offer stunning though certainly not silent views of more than 100,000 flapping migrants. Keep an eye out for wood duck drakes—arguably the most beautiful ducks in North America.
The Streamboat Betrand Museum is located inside the visitors center. It showcases artifacts from an 1856 Missouri River steamboat wreck.