December through February is an exciting time at the refuge. Thousands of green-winged teal, mallards, American widgeon, black ducks, pintails, northern shovelers, ring necked ducks, and tundra swans make the Mackay Island moist soil management units their winter home. Dabbling ducks harvest seed from the bottoms of moist soil management units; geese and swans glean grain from crop fields. Overwintering songbirds eat seed from native shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses. Bald eagles, barred owls, great blue herons, and American egrets are also among the cold weather sights. White-tailed deer browse on twigs and bark. Visitors may drive, hike, and paddle throughout the refuge areas not closed for wintering waterfowl. The refuge's visitor center provides opportunities for the public to learn about the refuge and its wildlife and habitats.