Maryland's Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was originally established in 1933 as a haven for ducks and geese migrating along the Atlantic Flyway. The Refuge is a popular place during the fall migration when upwards of 35,000 geese and 15,000 ducks can be seen at the Refuge.
At Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, the best time for viewing waterfowl is between mid-October and mid-March. Wintering species include tundra swans, Canada and snow geese, and over 20 species of ducks. The most common ducks found here are mallards, black ducks, blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, wigeon, and pintails. Although most waterfowl migrate north in the spring, some remain through the summer, using the protected areas of the Refuge to raise their young. These nesting waterfowl include Canada geese, mallards, black ducks, wood ducks, and blue-winged teal.
Although many visitors come to see the waterfowl, eagles, and ospreys (which are visible in nests along the Wildlife Drive), Blackwater NWR also hosts over 250 species of birds, 35 species of reptiles and amphibians, 165 species of threatened and endangered plants, and numerous mammals that can be spotted throughout the year in the various marshes, forests, meadows, fields, and even the Butterfly and Beneficial Insect Garden behind the Blackwater NWR Visitor Center. Some fortunate visitors even catch a glimpse of the once-endangered Delmarva fox squirrel along the Wildlife Drive.
For more information visit the Friends of Blackwater website.
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