Wildlife & Habitat

Wading Birds on Woody Pond

Harris Neck NWR provides premier nesting, foraging, and wintering habitat for a diversity of wildlife, including nearly 350 species of birds.  Signature species include threatened wood storks, which nest in a large colony on Woody Pond, and the colorful and uncommon painted bunting.  The refuge encompasses six man-made freshwater ponds as well as extensive salt marsh, open fields, forested wetlands, and mixed hardwood/pine forest.

  • Wood Stork

    Wood Stork With Chicks

    The wood stork is the only stork species that breeds in the United States. Harris Neck NWR manages a variety of habitats that create ideal conditions for these birds to live and raise their young.

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  • Painted Bunting

    Painted Bunting

    With its striking rainbow-colored plumage, the painted bunting is easily visible along the forest edge and at feeders during the summer months.

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  • American Alligator

    American Alligator

    A member of the crocodile family, the American alligator is a living fossil from the Age of Reptiles, having survived on earth for 200 million years. It is vitally important to the alligator's survival that visitors view them from a distance and under no circumstances ever feed them.

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  • Maritime Forest


    Dominated by live oak and palmetto, maritime forests provide a protective buffer between the mainland and the sea.

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  • Salt Marsh

    Salt Marsh

    Salt marshes are a mosaic of snaking channels called tidal creeks that fill with seawater during high tides and drain during low tides.

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  • Coastal Hammocks


    These small islands of maritime forest, usually surrounded by brackish water or salt marsh, provide a secluded sanctuary for wildlife.  Approximately 1,200 hammocks comprising over 17,000 acres are now identified and mapped on the Georgia coast.

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  • Pollinators


    Pollinating animals, including bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and others, are vital to our delicate ecosystem, supporting terrestrial wildlife, providing healthy watershed, and more.

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