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Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge - Woodworth, North Dakota


Chase Lake NWR has one of the largest white pelican nesting colonies in North America. In 1908, only 50 white pelican inhabited the area. In 2000, biologists estimated over 35,000 birds were present on the refuge, the largest number recorded since the refuge was established.

Aerial photo of a peninsula with nesting waterfowl on it - Photo credit:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
White pelicans nesting on an island at Chase Lake NWR

Other species that use the nesting islands and peninsula include ducks, double-crested cormorant, common terns, egrets, American avocets, ring-billed gulls, and California gulls. The endangered piping plover also nests along the shores of Chase Lake. The giant Canada goose, once a common breeding bird of the Prairie Pothole Region, was reintroduced at Chase Lake in 1972. Today, several broods are reared on the refuge each year. Migratory birds such as sandhill cranes, Canada geese, and tundra swans also use Chase Lake NWR as a "rest stop" during their migration flights.

White-tailed deer, fox, coyote, badger, skunk, and long-tailed weasel are common sights at Chase Lake NWR. Native prairie and marsh bird species include LeConte's sparrow, Sprague's pipit, mourning dove, vesper sparrow, Baird's sparrow, lark bunting, savannah sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, clay-colored sparrow, horned lark, upland plover, northern harrier, red-winged blackbird, sharp-tailed grouse, and bobolink. The yellow lady slipper and tufted milk vetch are two unique plant species that dot the marsh areas of Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

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