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

male wood duck on the water
3815 American Blvd. East
Bloomington, MN   55425
E-mail: minnesotavalley@fws.gov
Phone Number: 952-854-5900
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
The refuge's wetlands provide habitat for waterfowl, such as this male wood duck.
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  Wildlife and Habitat

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Refuge visitors experience a diversity of habitat and wildlife. On the blufftops, one encounters prairie remnants with big and little blue-stem, swtichgrass, Indian grass, butterfly weed, puccoon and blazing star. Hillside forests include an overstory of oak, elm, and maple, with dogwood and chokecherry for an understory. In springtime, this forest floor is carpeted with Canada anemone, bloodroot, trout lily, and Dutchman's britches. Deer are abundant, and tree cavities in basswood and oak provide homes for squirrels, woodpeckers, and wood ducks.

The foodplain is dominated by silver maple, willow, cottonwood and elm trees. The forest is edged with dogwoods and alders. Inside, nettles and river bank grape provide food for mice, rabbits and squirrels. These small mammals in turn provide a food source for weasels, mink, fox, hawks and owls. The valley's bottoms contain wetlands and wet meadows thick with reed canary grass, cattail and bulrush. Open water areas offer water lillies, duckweed and pondweed attracting waterfowl and water birds. Muskrats and beaver also thrive here.

In all, more than 250 species of birds, including nesting bald eagles and peregrine falcons, use the refuge at some time during the year. This avian diversity is complemented by at least fifty species of mammals and thirty species of reptiles and amphibians.

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