Deer Flat

National Wildlife Refuge - Idaho

The Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is an important breeding area for mammals, birds, and other animals. The refuge is located on land surrounding Lake Lowell, just outside Nampa, Idaho. It serves as a resting and wintering area for birds, including mallards and Canada geese, along the Pacific Flyway. The refuge consists of two sections which contains open water, edge wetlands, grasslands and riparian and forest habitats. The largest portion of the refuge consists of Lake Lowell and its environs, located in Canyon County, just west of Nampa, while the second comprises the Snake River islands located in non-contiguous localities along the river in Canyon, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington counties (Idaho) and Malheur and Baker counties (Oregon). There is a visitor's center at the Lake Lowell site.

brochures

Brochure of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Deer Flat - Brochure

Brochure of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Map of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Deer Flat - Map

Map of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Birds of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Deer Flat - Birds

Birds of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Deer Flat NWR https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Deer_Flat/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deer_Flat_National_Wildlife_Refuge The Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is an important breeding area for mammals, birds, and other animals. The refuge is located on land surrounding Lake Lowell, just outside Nampa, Idaho. It serves as a resting and wintering area for birds, including mallards and Canada geese, along the Pacific Flyway. The refuge consists of two sections which contains open water, edge wetlands, grasslands and riparian and forest habitats. The largest portion of the refuge consists of Lake Lowell and its environs, located in Canyon County, just west of Nampa, while the second comprises the Snake River islands located in non-contiguous localities along the river in Canyon, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington counties (Idaho) and Malheur and Baker counties (Oregon). There is a visitor's center at the Lake Lowell site.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge provides a watery oasis for resident and migratory wildlife, including spectacular concentrations of waterfowl. About the Refuge Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge has two units, Lake Lowell and the Snake River Islands. The Lake Lowell Unit encompasses 10,619 acres, including the almost 9,000-acre Lake Lowell and surrounding lands. The Snake River Islands Unit contains about 1,200 acres on 104 islands. These islands are distributed along 113 river miles, from the Canyon-Ada County Line in Idaho to Farewell Bend in Oregon. Diverse Habitats The Refuge provides a mix of wildlife habitats, from the open waters and wetland edges of Lake Lowell to the sagebrush uplands around the lake and the grasslands and riparian forests on the Snake River islands. The variety of habitats makes Deer Flat NWR an important breeding area for resident and migratory birds and other wildlife. The Refuge is also a significant resting and wintering area for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway, including spectacular concentrations of mallards and Canada geese. A System of Refuges Snow and Ross’s geese USFWS 2 Deer Flat NWR is one of the oldest refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System, which now includes over 560 refuges. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the System preserves a network of lands and waters set aside for the conservation and management of the nation’s fish, wildlife, and plant resources for the benefit of present and future generations. This blue goose, designed by J.N. “Ding” Darling, has become the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. 3 A Brief History Early Settlers F.C. Horn/Bureau of Reclamation Creating Lake Lowell Before settlement, the land that would become Deer Flat NWR was a low-lying area with many springs. In winter, herds of deer and elk came from the mountains to eat the abundant grasses. Early settlers observing these herds dubbed the area Deer Flat. The reservoir was completed in 1908 at a cost of $2,500,000. Unfortunately, local landowners greeted it with outrage rather than cheers because most of the water first used to fill the reservoir either evaporated or leaked out. Fortunately, the reservoir soon began to hold water. Needing water to irrigate crops, settlers initially restricted their settlements to land near rivers. In the early 1900s, they began lobbying and raising money for a reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamation began work on the Deer Flat Reservoir in 1906. In 1945, Deer Flat Reservoir was renamed Lake Lowell in honor of James H. Lowell, who had spearheaded efforts to establish the reservoir in his position as president of the local water users’ association. Lake Lowell is now one of the largest off-stream reservoirs in the American West, with the capacity to irrigate over 200,000 acres of land. Between 1906 and 1908, two large and two small earthen embankments, or dams, were built to contain the reservoir. The Upper Dam was constructed using a smallgauge train to haul, dump, and compact the material. Horse teams were used on the Lower Dam. Workers also constructed a diversion dam on the Boise River and enlarged the New York Canal, which brings water from the Boise River to the reservoir. Establishment of the Refuge Left: Deer Flat steam shovel Below: Horse teams compacting the dam F.C. Horn/Bureau of Reclamation 4 With the reservoir completed, President Theodore Roosevelt realized that a nearly 9,000-acre lake in an arid region would be an oasis for wildlife, so he created Deer Flat NWR in 1909, just three days after water started flowing into the reservoir through the New York Canal. The Refuge remained unstaffed until 1937, when 36 islands in the Snake River were added to protect a riparian corridor for wildlife. Through land purchases, donations, and other land-acquisition methods, the Refuge eventually expanded to about 11,800 acres. 5 Seasons of Wildlife A Brief History continued Spring Bureau of Reclamation In the 1930s, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp was established at the Lower Dam and grew to over 100 corpsmen, who spent many years quarrying lava rock to face Civilian both dams. Crews from the Works Conservation Progress Administration also worked Corps crew working on Refuge projects. Some created on parapet wall nesting islands in the eastern portion of the lake, while others would “line up shoulder to shoulder and walk around the lake pulling or digging up…undesirable plants.” Both of these programs ended with the start of World War II. Refuge Visitor Center built by the Job Corps In the early 1970s, Job Corps students from the nearby center in Marsing, Idaho constructed many of the current Refuge facilities, including the Visitor Center, shop, a residence, and facilities at the Lower Dam Recreation Area. Resident Canada geese set up nesting territories on the Snake River islands in early March, and goslings h
NOTE: Eagle, osprey, and grebe nesting closures are not depicted on the map because the areas can change from year to year. Watch for signed closures on land as well as on the water. Brownlee Reservoir 95 Weiser Snake River Islands Unit Ontario Vale 20 Washington County Payette Payette County Gem County 26 Nyssa 52 Emmett Malheur County 16 ak e Riv 20 Caldwell er 26 Boise 55 Nampa 95 OREGON 55 44 Canyon County IDAHO Sn 78 Owyhee County Snake River Islands Unit 45 Lake Lowell Unit Ada County
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Stone Lakes Deer Flat National WildlifeRefuge National Wildlife Refuge Birds Watchable Wildlife The Lake Lowell and Snake River Islands Units of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge provide a watery oasis for resident and migratory wildlife. Introduction The Refuge Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge has two units. The Lake Lowell Unit has over 10,000 acres, including the almost 9,000-acre Lake Lowell and surrounding lands. The Snake River Islands Unit contains about 1,200 acres on over 100 islands. The Refuge has been designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Over one hundred species are known to nest at the Refuge, so spring and early summer are good times to observe nesting activities and young birds. As summer progresses and the lake is slowly drawn down for irrigation, large numbers of shorebirds come to feed on the exposed mudflats. As fall approaches, the number of birds using the refuge increases. Resident flocks of ducks and Canada geese are usually on Lake Lowell by the second week of October. As colder weather drives migrating ducks and geese south, migratory birds join the resident birds at the lake. Some birds pass through while others spend the winter. By mid-November, the goose population peaks at up to 15,000 birds. 2 Canada geese. ©Mike Shipman Duck populations peak in midDecember, with up to 150,000 on Lake Lowell. Geese and ducks roost on the lake at night, their activity usually keeping patches of water open all winter. Bald eagles, which move into the area to feed on weak and injured birds, can often be seen around the lake. The Snake River also provides a winter home for a variety of waterfowl, including goldeneyes, scaup, mergansers, buffleheads, wood ducks, greenwinged teals and a large number of mallards. 3 Getting the Most from Your Visit The Refuge is open to the public all year from sunrise to sunset. Please help protect wildlife and their habitats by obeying all regulations. Some areas are closed to public use, so please observe signs. The Lake Lowell Unit is easily accessible by road from Nampa and Caldwell, Idaho. The Snake River Islands Unit is accessible only by boat, although some sections can be viewed from roads along the river. The Refuge Visitor Center is located about 5 miles southeast of Nampa and is open 8:00 am to 4:00 pm weekdays and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturdays. It provides an observation room overlooking Lake Lowell, interpretive panels about the wildlife and history of the Refuge, and a Kids' Activity Area. Nearby are several trails, as well as a viewing blind and viewing platforms. Ask for Refuge brochures and information on areas open for your enjoyment. You will see more birds if you time your visit for early morning or evening hours, sit quietly, and wait for the birds to come to you. If walking, move slowly and quietly to avoid scaring wildlife. Be sure to listen for calls and songs. A good field guide and binoculars or a spotting scope will help you identify what you see. If driving, your car is an excellent blind; for better viewing opportunities, stay in your car. Lake Lowell and Snake River Islands driving tours are available. Whether you are a seasoned “birder” or are just beginning, we wish you rewarding and memorable experiences from this visit to the refuge. Come back again soon! 4 Checklist Notes This list includes 249 species that have been observed on the Refuge since 1950. Habitat, seasonal occurence, and abundance are coded as follows. Habitats W - On or near water G - Grassland and dry uplands D - Deciduous woodlands and riparian areas A - Agriculture S - Species more likely to be seen on the Snake River Islands Unit Seasons Sp - Spring = March-May S - Summer = June-August F - Fall = September-November W - Winter = December-February Abundance a - abundant = a common species that is very numerous c - common = certain to be seen in suitable habitat u - uncommon = might be seen in suitable habitat o - occasional = seen only a few times during a season r - rare = seen at intervals of 2-5 years v - vagrant = highly unusual * - species that nest on the refuge Refuge personnel, visiting professionals, and amateur ornithologists have contributed observations for this list. This list is undoubtedly incomplete; other species probably use the Refuge. To improve future editions of this list, please provide confirmed sightings of species listed as rare or vagrant, as well as of species not on this list. American White Pelicans. ©Dick McKee 5 Birds of Deer Flat NWR Common Name Habitat Sp S Geese, Swans, and Ducks Greater White-fronted Goose Snow Goose Ross's Goose *Canada Goose Trumpeter Swan Tundra Swan *Wood Duck *Gadwall Eurasian Wigeon *American Wigeon *Mallard *Blue-winged Teal *Cinnamon Teal *Northern Shoveler *Northern Pintail *Green-winged Teal Canvasback *Redhead Ring-necked Duck Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup Harlequin Duck White-winged Scoter Long-tailed Duck Bufflehead Common

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