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Important bird areas
Catawba River Bottomlands/Mt. Island Lake IBA
Panorama of Cowan's Ford Wildlife Refuge's ponds and fields
Road into cowan's ford wildlife refuge lined with cedar trees Grassland's restoration area sign at cowan's ford wildlife refuge path to the viewing stand at cowan's ford wildlife refuge
Cowan's Ford Wildlife Refuge viewing stand
 
Established in October 1999 the Catawba River Bottomland/Mountain Island Lake Important Bird Area, one of first five dedicated in North Carolina, includes over 4,000 acres of protected shoreline in Mecklenburg, Gaston, and Lincoln Counties. Duke Power owns nearly 1,000 acres of the IBA. Over 203 species of birds have been documented at Cowan's Ford Wildlife Refuge alone, including 57 species of neotropical migrants. Of these, 23 species of neotropical migrants breed on the refuge and in the surrounding forests. During fall and winter, the area is a migratory stopover and wintering area for thousands of waterfowl that gather on the lake, river and ponds.
Mountain Island Lake IBA was designated because of its extensive bottomland hardwood forests and its rich diversity of migratory songbirds and wintering waterfowl. The IBA starts at the Cowan's Ford dam and extends south to the Gar Creek inlet on Mountain Island Lake. A MAPS bird banding station will begin its sixth year at Cowan's Ford Wildlife Refuge.
Read more or visit it's IBA site.
Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge
Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge Sullivan's pond
Trail through the woods at Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge Flooded lowgrounds fields at Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge Meadow in fall colors at Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge
Beaver pond at Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge
 
Situated along the Pee Dee River, Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge contains 8,443 acres in Anson and Richmond Counties, North Carolina approximately 6.2 miles north of Wadesboro. The refuge was established to provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl.
The site consists of a variety of habitat types along the Yadkin–Pee Dee River. Freshwater wetlands are found throughout and include small creeks, five ponds, one lake, two moist soil units, six impoundments, and one green-tree reservoir. Uplands, including mixed deciduous forests, upland pine forests, old fields and farmland, are found throughout. Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1965 “for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose for migratory birds.” It is located adjacent to the famous Lockhart Gaddy Wild Goose Refuge, which provided sanctuary for over 15,000 Canada Geese in the 1940s through the 1960s.
Read more or visit it's IBA site.
 
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