Waterfowl flock

The primary management objective for Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge is to provide food and protection for waterfowl during the winter months. Below are a few examples of waterfowl species that utilize the refuge.

  • American Black Duck

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    American black ducks are similar to mallards in size, and look a lot like the female mallard in coloration, though the black duck's plumage is relatively darker. The male and female black duck are similar in appearance, but the male has a yellow bill while the female has a dull green.  When in flight, the white underwings of these ducks can be seen in contrast to the dark brown body. Black ducks are most common in the Mississippi Flyway, which is why they are common at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Wood Duck

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    Wood ducks were so named because of their tendency to live in wooded swamps, and build their nest in cavities of trees. The male wood duck is known for its bright colors with lots of iridescent feathers. Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge bands wood duck annually. Learn more here.

  • Mallard

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    Mallards are by far the most common waterfowl visitor to the refuge. Typically the refuge waterfowl numbers will peak around 200,000 to 300,000 ducks in the middle of winter. Of that number, more than half the total waterfowl numbers found on the refuge each winter are mallards.