Diverse Habitats Means Diverse Wildlife
Refuge marshes, lakes, prairies, and wooded coulees provide wildlife a variety of habitats. Because of this mix, many different species occur on the Refuge. For example, more than 250 bird species have been recorded on Des Lacs and other Souris Loop refuges. A checklist of the bird species found in the Souris Loop is available at Refuge headquarters.
Remnants of the vast native prairie are found on hillsides above the river. In summer, birdwatchers delight to glimpse grasshopper, Baird's, and other sparrows; Sprague's pipit; and northern harrier. Other grassland species such as short-eared owls and sharp-tailed grouse benefit from the healthy grasslands. In addition, these grasslands provide important nesting habitat for blue-winged teal, mallards, and gadwall.
The wooded coulees provide secluded white-tailed deer fawning areas and protection from winter winds. Warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and other songbirds nest within or beneath the canopy of green ash, American elm, and box elder. Moose occasionally wander through these draws.