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Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area IBA–Bird Observatory and Banding Station

Birding in Vermont

About Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area Important Bird Area
Flowing north through the Champlain Valley, Dead Creek empties into Otter Creek near its mouth on Lake Champlain. The WMA is composed of cultivated farmland, wetlands, grasslands, and early and late succesional harwood forest. Several dams were constructed to greatly increase open water and permanently flood wetland areas. Vermont Natural Community types include Cattail Marsh, Deep Bulrush Marsh and Valley Clayplain Forest.

In winter Dead Creek hosts resident and northern raptors including Snowy and Short-eared Owls, Peregrine and Gyrfalcon, Bald Ealges, Northern Harriers, Rough-legged hawks and mixed flocks of Snow Buntings, Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs. In summer the marsh supports populations of waterfowl, rails, waders, and representative songbirds. The grasslands support Grasshopper Sparrows and Upland Sandpipers. During periods where the state draws down the impoundments large numbers of shorebirds can be found on the exposed mudflats.

Dead Creek WMA is also hosts Snow and Canada geese which number as high as 20,000 during fall migration and several state and federally threatened and endangered avian species. Some of these include Bald Eagle, Osprey, Sedge Wren, and Black Tern.

This site is managed and protected by the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. A large portion of the area is a refuge and is off limits to the public. Marshbird populations are monitored through the Vermont Marshbird Monitoring Program. Threats include invasive species, agricultural run-off and intensification of agriculture around the property.
From Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area (Audubon IBA) webpage