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Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is located midway between Buffalo and Rochester, New
York within the rural township of Alabama. Locally known as the "Alabama Swamps" or Oak
Orchard Swamp, the refuge encompasses approximately 10,818 acres of freshwater marshes
and hardwood swamps, bounded by woods, forests, pastures and wet meadows. The refuge
is bordered on two sides by state Wildlife Management Areas: Tonawanda to the south, and
Oak Orchard to the east, which add an additional 9,000 acres of valuable wildlife habitat.
Western New York lies along the Atlantic Flyway, a major north/south route traveled by
migrating birds. This area has historically been a major staging, resting, nesting and feeding
area for ducks, geese and other migratory birds. In 1958 the federal government established
the Oak Orchard National Wildlife Refuge under the authority of the Migratory Bird
Conservation Act ( the Duck Stamp Act).
To avoid confusion with the neighboring Oak Orchard State Wildlife Management Area, the
refuge was renamed Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in 1964, in honor of the Iroquois Nation.
Many areas of the refuge are namesakes for the early inhabitants.
At last count, 266 species of birds have been
sighted on Iroquois, with approximately 60 species
being year-round residents. Mammals, including
muskrat, oppossum, beaver, mink, cottontail rabbit,
raccoon, red and gray fox and white-tailed deer are
common. Infrequent sightings of coyote have been

No poisonous snakes are found on the refuge. Warm water fish species
including northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, black crappie, bullhead,
carp, sunfish and yellow perch reside in the pools and creek.
Waterfowl migration peaks from mid March through early April and again from
mid September through early October. Canada geese, tundra swans and 24
species of ducks pass through the refuge each year.
Shorebird migration peaks are in May and again in July and August. Common
species are yellowlegs, dowitchers, sandpipers, killdeer, American woodcock and
The refuge has one of the largest heron rookeries in the state of New York
where great blue herons nest and raise their young through the summer.
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE. For more information contact:
Refuge Manager
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box Casey Road
Alabama, New York 14003-0517
Telephone: (716) 948-5445
May call the New York Relay Center at
1-800-662-1220 TDD
1-800-421-1220 voice.