The US Fish and Wildlife Service fashioned Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge from an elite hunt club established soon after the end of the Civil War; by the 1920s, individual memberships cost as much as $10,000. Like much of the Mississippi River basin, Wapanocca (a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area) is a sanctuary for waterfowl. Though 205 species of birds have been identified on this 5,484-acre refuge, it is the huge populations of wintering ducks and geese -- more than 100,000 in some years -- that many birders come to see. Mallards, Northern Pintails, American Black Ducks, American Wigeons, Blue-winged and Green-winged Teals, Northern Shovelers, Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, and Gadwalls are all common. The cypress swamps and bottomlands also attract a variety of woodpeckers, owls, and songbirds. Warbler migration at Wapanocca takes place in early May, and Bald Eagles nest here from February to May.
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