Wildlife & Habitat

  • American Woodcock

    American woodcock - USFWS.

    The American woodcock is a migratory shore bird that uses several upland habitats, including fields and woods openings, alder swales, and young regenerating forests (early successional habitat).

    Woodcock are best known for their spectacular spring courtship flights. At dusk and dawn from early April to mid-May, the males fly to their territories in open areas. Each bird begins his mating ritual with a series of nasal 'peents'. He then takes wing in a spiral flight that carries him several hundred feet into the air while he warbles a plaintive song to waiting females. He returns to the same spot after each flight and repeats his performance several times over the next half hour.

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  • American Black Duck

    American black duck - USFWS.

    The American black duck uses freshwater refuge wetlands for nesting, and brood rearing during the spring and summer months, and both freshwater and coastal areas during the migration and wintering periods. They may be seen in most refuge inland wetlands, such as the Magurrewock Marshes and along the shores of Dennys and Whiting Bays on the Edmunds Division.

  • River Otter

    River otter - USFWS.

    River otter are primarily found along rivers, ponds and lakes throughout the refuge. The species can be found around many of the refuge’s impoundments. In the spring, summer and fall, otter are often seen swimming during daylight hours. In the winter, otter ‘slides’ are often found in areas where otter move from one body of water to another. Otter are more frequently seen at the Baring Division.

  • Forests


    Moosehorn NWR provides long-term conservation of important forested wildlife habitat for migratory birds and threatened and endangered species. The refuge provides management and enhancement of forested habitat for wildlife populations, thereby contributing to the biological diversity in Downeast Maine. Years of work have been invested in developing forest management plans that protect mature forests while providing wildlife with a diversity of early to mid-successional forests. Moosehorn NWR has been identified by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry as having some of the oldest mature forest in the state of Maine.

    Forestry Operations at Moosehorn NWR

  • Wetlands


    Wetlands can be found throughout Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge (i.e. bogs, heaths, emergent wetlands, forested wetlands and impoundments). The refuge is actively working to improve the quality of wetlands to provide optimal habitat for a variety of wetland birds and mammals, and coastal areas including tidal marshes and rocky shoreline.