Red River National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

 

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Waterfowl

Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

Red River NWR is located in the West Gulf Coastal Plain and at the confluence of the Mississippi and Central Flyways. Since the mid-1800’s, the Red River Valley has been cleared and drained, primarily for agriculture production, removing prime wintering habitat for migrating waterfowl. The Refuge is working toward restoring marginal farmland back to its original conditions.

 

Ducks

Ducks at Lower Cane Unit. Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

Ducks at Lower Cane Unit. Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

Wintering duck species common at Red River NWR include wood duck, gadwall, American wigeon, mallard, northern shoveler, northern pintail, green-winged teal, canvasback, ring-necked duck, lesser scaup, bufflehead, and hooded merganser. Mallards are the most abundant wintering species, followed variously by gadwall, green-wing teal, ring-necked duck, northern pintail, northern shoveler, lesser scaup and wood duck. The highest one-day recording for ducks was 81,000 in December 2008 on the Lower Cane Unit of the refuge.

Resident wood ducks are common, with breeding/production probably being limited by natural cavities and quality brood habitat. As timber clearing increased, nesting cavities for wood ducks became scarce. Red River NWR has about 100 wood duck boxes that are monitored throughout the breeding season to determine how many were used and the amount of reproduction that occurred. Eggs that have not hatched and shells of those that have can be counted to give us an idea of the success these boxes are having on the local wood duck population. The Refuge also conducts pre-season wood duck banding.

 

Geese

Geese at Lower Cane Unit. Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

Geese at Lower Cane Unit. Credit: Lindsay Coldiron, USFWS

Currently, the most numerous goose species present are snow geese, Ross’ geese, greater white-fronted geese and Canada geese, respectively. Since surveying began in 2006, the highest one-day recording for geese has been 4,976 with snow geese making up 3,435, Ross’ geese 965, greater white-fronted 575 and with only 1 Canada goose. These numbers were observed in January 2009 at the Lower Cane Unit of the refuge.

 

Last updated: March 3, 2010