Animals and Plants

Fauna Positively Identified at the Wheeler Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

As the habitat value of the Wheeler Bay Wildlife Sanctuary has been enhanced, we have observed an increase in the number and variety of birds, mammals and insects at this site. The following is a list of fauna that was positively identified living at, or stopping over at the wildlife sanctuary. This list understates the variety of fauna because many other species were observed but not positively identified.

Visiting Red Fox
Visiting Red Fox


American Beaver (Castor canadensis)

Bat (Myotis lucifugus)

Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

Coyote (Canis latrans)

Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)

Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

Ermine (Mustela erminea)

Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus)

Grey Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

House Mouse (Mus musculus)

Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata)

Meadow Vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus)

Mink (Neovison vison)

Moose (Alces alces)

Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)

Woodchuck (Marmota monax)

Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus)

Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

River Otter (Lontra canadensis)

Shrews (Sorex spp.)

Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus)

Southern Red-backed Vole (Clethrionomys gapperi)

Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)

White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Woodchuck (Marmota monax)

Visiting mallards, black ducks, and white tail deer


American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)

American Coot (Fulica americana)

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)                                                               

Barred Owl (Strix varia)

Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon)

Black Tern (Chlidonias Niger)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Black-Throated Green Warbler (Dendroica virens)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Blue-Winged Teal (Anas discors)

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

Common Raven (Corvus corax)

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)

Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

Golden-Crowned Kinglet (Regulus satropa)

Gray Catbird (Dumatella carolinensis)

Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

Greater White-Fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)

Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)

Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla)

Least Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea)

Mallard (Anas platyrhycnchos)

Merlin (Falco columbarius)

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata)

Nashville Warbler (Vermivora ruficapilla)

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

Cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

Northern Parula (Parula americana)

Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus)

Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus)

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pleatus)

Pine Grosbeak (Pinacola enucleator)

Pine Siskin (Cardnelis pinus)

Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus)

Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus)

Red-Breasted Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla)

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarenisis)

Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus)

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza medodia)

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)

Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Veery (Catharis fuscesens)

Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

White-Crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

White-Winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)

Wilsons Phalarope (Phalaropes tricolor)

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)

Wrens (Troglodytidae spp.)

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)

Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow


Amphibians and Reptiles

American Eel (Anguilla rostrata)

Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra s. serpentina)

Eastern American Toad (Bufo a. americanus)

Frogs (Rana spp.)

Northern Spring Peeper (Pseudacris c. crucifer)

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)

Red-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus v. viridescens)

Various Minnows and Insects


Vegetation Being Added to or Removed from the Clark Island Wildlife Refuge

Invasive plants are introduced species that thrive in areas beyond their natural range of dispersal. These plants are characteristically adaptable, aggressive, and have a high reproductive capacity. Their vigor combined with a lack of natural enemies often leads to outbreak populations. Removing them will allow native species to thrive on the refuge.

Invasive Species Being Systematically Removed

Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)

Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

(Originally cultivated for wildlife habitat but it crowds out native species)

Restored Wetlands
Restored Wetlands and Fields

Vegetation Being Added to Increase Habitat Value

The following list is a partial compilation of vegetative species that have been planted to attract and sustain the wildlife population at the refuge.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American Holly (Ilex opaca)

American Waterweed (Elodia canadensis)

Bailey Red twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea )

Baltic Ivy (Hedera helix Baltica)

Bayberry (Myrica pennsylvanica)

Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Bee balm (Monarda didyma)

Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

Bulrushes (Juncas effusus)

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Duckweed (Lemnaceae spp.)

Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica)

Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

Hawthorn (Crataegus)

Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corybosum)

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum lentago)

Maltese Cross (Lychinis chalcedonia)

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)

New England Aster (Aster nova-angliae)

Norway Spruce (Picea albies)

Pear Tree (Pyrus communus)

Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)

Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris)

Various Grasses, Perennials and Wildflower Mixes

Vernal Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis)

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquifolia)

Water lilies (Nymphaeaceae)

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)