Wildlife and Habitat

Header Pic of Drake Wood Ducks

You will find diverse wildlife and habitats at Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge!  Come visit and see for yourself!

  • American alligator


    On sunny days, you may see alligators basking along the edges of refuge wetlands. The female builds a nest from grass and plant debris often 4’ wide by 3’ tall, in which she lays up to 45 eggs in late spring. As the plants decay, heat is given off that incubates the eggs. The female will protect this nest and the young alligators upon hatching. To estimate an alligator’s length, convert the distance in inches from the tip of the nose to the eye ridge, into feet.

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  • Copperhead


    The copperhead gets its name from the copper-like coloration on the dorsal side of its head. This snake is brown and has alternating cross bands that are lighter and darker in different variations.

    The size of an adult copperhead is 20 to 40 inches (51-102 cm). The copperhead belongs to the pit viper subfamily.

  • White-tailed deer


    Each season brings new opportunities for viewing white-tailed deer on the refuge. In spring, the deer’s grayish winter coat is replaced with a shorter, reddish-brown coat and bucks begin to grow velvety antlers. Rubs on trees and scrapes on the ground are evidence of deer that visitors may observe. White-tailed deer don their grayish winter coats in late summer/early fall and bucks shed their antlers by March.

    Spotted fawns are usually born in summer and mostly hide in vegetation their first month. After that, they are able to follow their mothers to forage. Deer may be seen eating leaves and acorns in the woods or corn in the fields. Breeding season may begin as early as November with the peak occurring during January.

  • Coyote


    Coyotes are highly adaptable and can live nearly anywhere, including within close proximity to humans. Mostly carnivorous, coyotes use their strong senses of sight, scent and hearing to catch and eat mice, voles, squirrels, rabbits, and birds. They will also eat amphibians and snakes. Look for coyotes along forest edges and in grasslands and fields.

  • Great blue heron


    The stately great blue heron is the largest, most widely distributed of American herons. It is a hardy and adaptable species capable of surviving in almost any unfrozen wetland.

  • Osprey


    Ospreys are common summer residents often seen soaring over shorelines, patrolling waterways, and standing on their huge stick nests, white heads gleaming. These large, fish-eating raptors do well around humans and have rebounded in numbers following the ban on the pesticide DDT.

  • Wood duck


    The wood duck is one of the most stunningly pretty of all waterfowl. Males are iridescent chestnut and green, with ornate patterns on nearly every feather; the elegant females have a distinctive profile and delicate white pattern around the eye. These birds live in wooded swamps, where they nest in holes in trees or in nest boxes put up around lake margins. They are one of the few duck species equipped with strong claws that can grip bark and perch on branches.

  • Seasonal wetlands


    The Chattahoochee River valley historically provided thousands of acres of seasonal wetlands. These wetlands were inundated by winter floods, slowly dried throughout the growing season, and were again flooded the following winter. As the flooded areas dried in the spring, they were colonized by plants. Many of these plants produced seed that became food for migrating waterfowl in the winter. Because the river rarely floods, the refuge uses a system of pumps and other water control structures to mimic the historic conditions, and provide a valuable resource to wintering birds.

  • Longleaf pine grasslands and native prairies


    Much of what is now refuge was historically dominated by native prairie and longleaf pine grasslands. These fire-adapted habitats supported northern bobwhite quail, eastern fox squirrels, and wild turkeys. Changes in land use led to a landscape dominated by loblolly pine and agriculture. Although loblolly pine still cover much of the refuge uplands, close inspection will reveal planted longleaf pine in various growth stages. Even closer inspection will uncover evidence that fire has been reintroduced to the landscape.

  • Riparian marshes


    Refuge marshes along the Chattahoochee River support both aquatic and terrestrial plants and wildlife. Dragonflies, crayfish, turtles, and frogs are some animals for whom riparian marshes are critical. Aquatic insects and minnows found in these shallow wetlands are an important food source for bass and bream.

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