Waterfowl

BBWD brood

Waterfowl at Lake Ophelia NWR


Lake Ophelia NWR was established to provide a habitat and protection for wintering waterfowl, particularly for mallards, Northern pintails, blue-winged teal, and wood ducks.  The refuge provides a diversity of habitats for waterfowl that include shallowly flooded moist-soil impoundments, flood agriculture crop, scrub-shrub wetlands, and cypress-tupelo swamps.  Wintering waterfowl utilize each of these habitats during the winter to find a variety of foods, cover, and to begin pair bonding for the spring.  Waterfowl abundance will vary by year, but could range from 50,000-150,000 waterfowl during peak times of the year, which usually occur in early to mid-January.  Common winter visitors include the mallard, Northern pintail, gadwall, Northern shoveler, green-winged/blue-winged teal, wood duck, and American wigeon.