The lake, marsh,
and woodlands on Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge provide habitat for
over 240 bird species. Ospreys nest in low cypress trees near the edge of
the lake. Hundreds of migratory shorebirds find resting and feeding spots
along the edge of the lake and through 2,600 acres of marsh impoundments.
Migrating warblers are popular subjects for bird watchers in the spring
primarily for its large flocks of visiting waterfowl during the months
from November to March, Mattamuskeet also is a home for threatened and
endangered species such as the peregrine falcon and bald eagle.
The Refuge manages
the marsh impoundments to provide habitat for migrating birds, using
moist-soil techniques to produce stands of natural waterfowl foods such as
wild millet, panic grass and spikerushes. The Refuge staff controls water
levels using pumps and flow-control structures. Management of these
impoundments includes periodic burning, disking, and mowing to maintain
these early successional wetlands plants.
contracts with local farmers to plant corn, soybeans, and winter wheat on
sections of the refuge, under a cooperative arrangement where a percentage
of the crop is left unharvested for feeding the Canada geese, snow geese,
ducks, and swans that winter at Mattamuskeet. Forest management techniques
such as prescribed burning and selective thinning are used to enhance