Located in the Milk River Valley of Phillips County the refuge is made up of approximately 6,616 acres of wetlands and 8,935 acres of uplands. Although this area was glaciered 15,000 years ago, it does not have the abundance of semi-permanent and permanent wetlands found in the true glaciered prairie. Geologic history indicates that Lake Bowdoin was once an oxbow of the pre-glacial Missouri River, which now flows 70 miles south of Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge. Today, water is gained from rain, snow melt, irrigation return flows, and occasional spring flooding of Beaver Creek. The main source of water is the Milk River via a system of canals.
Amazing numbers of waterfowl, marsh birds and shore birds wing their way over in the skies above the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge, just off Highway 2, seven miles east of Malta, Montana.
More than 250 different species make their way through scrublands, grassy marshes and wetlands. Nesting colonies of white pelicans, black-crowned night herons and white-faced ibises lure the best of this country's bird watchers who know that late spring, early summer and late fall are the best times to catch a glimpse. Big Island, Lake Bowdoin and the Drumbo Unit provide access points, or travelers may opt for the 90 minute self-guided auto tour through the Refuge. Call 654-2863 for more information.
Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge lies in the Central Flyway of a great waterfowl migration corridor extending from Canada to Mexico. Bowdoin serves as a major resting area for waterfowl on their journeys to and from prime nesting areas in Canada. Waterfowl from the Pacific Flyway also use the 15,550-acre refuge.
This region receives only twelve inches of precipitation per year, and ducks, geese, and shorebirds flock to the refuge's ponds and marshes. The Milk River, draining the eastern slopes of the Montana and Alberta Rockies, is the source of the precious water resource for refuge wetlands.
Stop at information kiosk for leaflets or at refuge office during working hours. A 15-mile self-guided auto-tour route brings visitors up close and personal with many of the wildlife species.