U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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National Wildlife Refuge

male lesser scaup with cattails to right and water in background
17788 349th St. SE (Polk County 210)
Erskine, MN   56535
E-mail: rydell@fws.gov
Phone Number: 218-687-2229
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Rydell Refuge provides habitat for a diversity of wildlife, inclduing waterfowl such as lesser scaup.
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  Wildlife and Habitat

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Hardwood stands on the refuge consist of maple-basswood forest and aspen-birch-ironwood stands, both of which support populations of breeding migratory songbirds, such as red-eyed vireo, cedar waxwing, American redstart and eastern wood pee-wee. Various species of warblers and sparrows also utilize the refuge during the spring and fall migrations. Sites managed for woodcock and ruffed grouse offer visitors an opportunity to witness "peenting" and "drumming" courtship displays along the refuge trail system.

Forest wetlands and lakes attract cavity-nesting wood ducks and hooded mergansers, as well as trumpeter swans. Resident species also include white-tailed deer, black bear, barred owl, Cooper's hawk, pileated woodpecker, red fox, river otter and beaver. Bald eagles and osprey hunt on the refuge, and gray wolves have occasionally been seen.

The refuge trail system winds through areas of tallgrass prairie, sundew bog and oak savannah, which harbor prime nesting habitats for migratory waterfowl such as mallard, gadwall, blue-winged teal, northern shoveler, and northern pintail. Prairie habitats provide an abundance of wildflower viewing throughout the spring and summer. Black-eyed Susans, prairie lily, yellow and purple coneflower, blazing star, and purple prairie clover are common wildflowers found on the refuge. These flowers, combined with the prairie wetlands, greatly increase the use of the refuge by neo-tropical migratory birds. Sandhill cranes, sandpipers, grassland sparrows, meadowlarks, and bobolinks are frequently observed.

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