Creamers Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge
Just 2 miles from downtown Fairbanks is a birders paradise known by locals simply as Creamer's Field. Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge is a 1,800-acre preserve that began as a dairy farm but now provides a range of habitats - forests, wetlands and fields - for a diversity of animals, particularly migrating birds.
The refuge dates back to Alaska turn-of-the-century gold rush when a pioneer family brought three cows and some horses from Nome up the Yukon and Tanana Rivers to Fairbanks to operate a dairy. In 1928, the Creamers bought the dairy and enlarged and operated it as the largest and most successful dairy in Interior Alaska until 1966. As the dairy grew, so did the migratory waterfowl that stopped at Creamer's Field, lured by the large open fields and grain.
When the Creamer's put the place up for sale in 1966, Fairbanks residents rallied to ensure the farm fields were preserved as a migratory stopover. Today the Alaska Department of Fish and Game seeds the area with bird-luring plants, attracting more than 100 species annually, including sandhill cranes, while the structures, the only surviving pioneer dairy buildings in Interior Alaska, are on the National Register of Historic Places.