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Seasons of Wildlife

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  • Spring

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     Grasses and wildflowers green up and trees sprout leaves and begin to bloom during March, April, and May. Early flowers such as Virginia iris in herbaceous wetlands, red maple in forests, and black-eyed Susan along roadsides color the Refuge landscape. Neotropical songbirds return from the West Indies and Central and South America to breed and nest in forested wetlands. Bear sows emerge from their dens and roam the forest with their cubs in search of food. The Refuge hosts a permitted turkey hunt. Anglers fish in the creeks and the Roanoke River along U.S. Highway 17. Visitors may hike throughout the Refuge areas not closed for hunting.  

  • Summer

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    June, July, and August is the time when songbird chicks are raised and fledged. Turtles are out and about and can often be sunning themselves on logs in ditches and wetlands. Great blue herons, great egrets, and barred owls abound. Wetland plants such as pickerelweed and arrowhead bloom and adorn the area. Winged sumac and devil’s walking stick display their flowers along roadsides and trails attracting a wide variety of pollinating insects. Anglers fish in the creeks and the Roanoke River along U.S. Highway 17. Visitors may hike throughout the Refuge.

  • Fall

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    September, October, and November treat us to a variety of goldenrods and asters that feed pollinating insects before frost occurs. Red maple leaves turn red and water tupelo leaves turn yellow giving the evergreen background on the refuge some variety. Fruit and seed of native plants hang on vegetation throughout the refuge. Bears fatten up on acorns and the water tupelo fruit. Ducks begin making their way south to the floodplain wetlands for a rest stop or overwinter destination. The Refuge hosts permitted hunting for deer and small game. Visitors may hike throughout the Refuge areas not closed for hunting.

  • Winter

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    December through February is an exciting time at the Refuge. Green-winged teal, mallards, ring necked ducks, and hooded mergansers may be found in the flooded swamps. Overwintering songbirds eat seed from native shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses. Barred owls and great blue herons are also among the cold weather sights. Black bears lumber through the forest scavenging for acorns, and white-tailed deer browse on twigs and bark. The Refuge hosts permitted hunting for deer and small game. Visitors may hike throughout the Refuge areas not closed for hunting.  

Page Photo Credits — Hunting by USFWS
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2014
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