The redheads are the most common duck species nesting on the refuge with an average of 500 breeding pairs. Redheads are diving ducks that nest overwater in stands of emergent plant bed vegetation. Nests are made by weaving stems of cattail and hardstem bulrush through the upright stems of these species. The bottom of the nest often touches the water surface. Redheads prefer to build their nest within 10-12 feet of open water and in water depths greater than 18 inches. The large permanent wetlands that were restored on the refuge soon after acquisition are key breeding habitat for redheads.
Twenty-two refuge wetlands covering over 1,800 acres are actively managed to promote the optimum interspersion of emergent plant beds and open water habitats favored by this species.The value of Turnbull to redheads has made it one of the focal species for refuge management over the past 30 years.
Often parasitic, laying eggs in other nests
Feeling blue? Look for the western bluebird, the perfect indicator of a healthy, thriving ponderosa pine forest.