McNary National Wildlife Refuge
|McNary National Wildlife Refuge|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Location||Walla Walla County, Washington, United States|
|Nearest city||Pasco, Washington|
|Area||15,000 acres (61 km2)|
|Governing body||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
Few areas in North America support waterfowl populations in the extraordinary numbers found within McNary National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors enjoy spectacular concentrations of Canada geese, mallards, and other waterfowl. More than half the mallards in the Pacific Flyway overwinter at some time in this portion of the Columbia River Basin. The refuge's location, close to the Tri-Cities, Washington, and major State and Federal highways, makes it easily accessible to locals and travelers.
The refuge encompasses over 15,000 acres (61 km2) of backwater sloughs, shrub-steppe uplands, irrigated farmlands, river islands, delta mudflats, and riparian areas. Particularly important to Canada geese, mallards, and wigeons, as well as shorebirds and wading birds, the refuge also includes wetlands and shoreline bays that serve as an important nursery for developing fall chinook salmon. Other waterfowl species using the refuge include green-winged teal, shoveler, canvasback, ring-necked, and Lesser Scaups. Rare and endangered birds, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons, are found here, as are thousands of colonial nesting water birds using river islands for safe nesting.
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