Seasons of Wildlife
The marsh provides critical habitat for more than 300 species of birds as well as muskrats, red foxes, turtles, frogs, bats, dragonflies, fish and much more.
Fall migration on the refuge offers impressive numbers of Canada geese, ducks and sandhill cranes.
Spring migration offers a variety of unique waterbirds and songbirds and the sounds of frogs chorusing.
Summer is nesting time at the marsh so wildlife is often less visible.
Winter is a quiet time at the marsh but wildlife is still abundant including otters, muskrats, hawks, owls and coyotes.
Muskrats are often seen swimming or feeding on cattails and make their homes in cattail “huts” throughout the refuge. The original “marsh managers”, they create open areas of water for waterfowl to swim and feed.
Originally established for this species, the refuge supports the largest nesting population of redhead ducks east of the Mississippi River. Thousands use the marsh each year.
American white pelican
American white pelicans nest abundantly on islands in the interior of the marsh and may be seen feeding in large groups - “herding” fish into shallower water for easier dining.