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Wildlife & Habitat

Birds landing in a marsh

The Stillwater wetlands are well-known to birders because of the hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, such as Long-billed dowitcher, Black-necked stilt, and American avocet (above) passing through during migration. The refuge is an area of International Importance within the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network (external link) 

  • Waterfowl hunting is popular in Fall.

    hunters land-airboat pass

    Stillwater waterfowl hunters can walk in or boat on designated wetland units north of Division Road only. A valid NV hunting license, state and Federal duck stamps are required, plus a NV Harvest Information Program #. Contact the refuge office for more information before heading into the field. 

  • Pelicans are common summer visitors

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    American White Pelicans spend summers feeding on fish at Stillwater refuge, but nest on Anaho Island NWR (part of the Stillwater NWR Complex) about 60mi away.

  • Marsh Birds Galore!

    yellow headed bb

    Yellow-headed blackbirds are common marsh migrants in the spring. Males stake out territories among the cattails to attract a female and build their nest. Red-wing and Brewers blackbirds also are common, along with thousands of songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, and waterfowl.

  • Water brings life to the wetlands

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    Stillwater NWR is irrigated with water from the Carson River through a series of canals and delivery ditches. The refuge is the largest water rights owner in the Lahontan Valley, and has an active water rights acquisition Realty program to provide water critical to these unique desert wetlands. 

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2014
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