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Waterfowl

Canada geese in snow - Doug Racine/USFWS.Tens of thousands of ducks and geese inhabit the refuge during the spring and fall migrations. Canada and snow geese can fill the sky, while black duck and mallards can be found throughout the refuge pools.

Tens of thousands of ducks and geese inhabit the refuge during the spring and fall migrations. Canada and snow geese can fill the sky, while black duck and mallards can be found throughout the refuge pools. Wood duck, gadwall, green-winged teal, American wigeon, northern shoveler, northern pintail, and blue-winged teal make up the bulk of other dabbling ducks that depend of refuge waters and lands during migration. You may also see certain diving ducks on refuge pools or in the canal -canvasback, redhead, ring-necked duck, and mergansers may be found in lesser numbers than their dabbling friends.

A visit to the refuge in winter may reveal large flocks of Canada geese - as long as there is open water on the marsh. Overwintering of Canada geese in the Cayuga Lake Basin has increased dramatically since the 1970s, with current numbers of geese in winter as high as 100,000!

You may also discover flocks of snow geese in the area. Finding them in flight on a sunny day is a sight to behold as their white bodies glimmer in the sun as they fly!

Black duck factsheet (pdf)

Page Photo Credits — Canada geese in the winter - Doug Racine/USFWS.
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2014
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