Roosevelt Wetlands

Roosevelt Wetlands


This fairly new created wetland came to the attention of local birders when both a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck and a pair of Purple Gallinules were seen here in 2008. The duck(s) were seen again the next year, but have not been reported since and the gallinules are an infrequent visitor and perhaps nester. But if you want to “hear” the following species within the dense wetland vegetation it is the place to go; Least Bittern, Sora, Virginia Rail, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren and Swamp Sparrow. Of course, with patience and a little enticing any of them may show themselves.

FALL: Usually by late September and early October the first wintering marsh birds have arrived. Because there are no trees there is a lot of sky to scan. Watch for migrating hawks and vultures anytime from late September into November. Also, check the tall power poles off to the west for Bald Eagle. Almost anything may show up during fall migration as far as passerines are concerned, like a White-crowned Sparrow did in 2017.

WINTER: Few ducks winter here, but occasionally a stray flock of Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck or Northern Shoveler. It’s a go-to spot to see a Northern Harrier during the winter season. The marsh birds are the highlight, so get there early to hear one calling.

SPRING-SUMMER: : Not a whole lot of birders get to this site during spring and summer. There are no major stands of trees to hold migrating passerines or woodland species. Expect to see a few Northern Cardinals, Loggerhead Shrike, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Boat-tailed Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird and Common Gallinule. Least Bitterns are common in the marsh. Listen for their soft coo-coo call. If you’re in the area in summer it might be worth a stop to see if any Purple Gallinules or Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks have returned. Also, if you happen upon any Mottled Duck types take the time to analyze them well to make sure their are not yet another Mallard X Mottled hybrid. The marsh looks to be a prime spot for Mottled Duck nesting.

INSIDER TIPS: There are no restrooms and a dirt parking lot that holds four vehicles, but you can also park up off the curb at the street, if necessary. You can walk all the way around the wetland. It is just under a mile in length.