Ballard Wildlife Management Area

Ballard Wildlife Management Area
864 Wildlife Lodge Road
Barlow, KY 42024

Ballard Wildlife Management Area and associated state lands to the south in Ballard County (Barlow Bottoms WMA) offer excellent year-round birding. The majority of the Ballard Wildlife Management Area is closed from mid-October to mid-March, but a public viewing loop is accessible 365 days a year unless floodwaters prevent access. Waterfowl, especially geese, and bald eagles can be observed from along the public loop throughout the winter. In some years, large numbers of red-headed woodpeckers inhabit the bottomland forest tracts of the WMA.

During the time of the year that the WMA is open, birds of all types abound in the variety of habitat types. Extensive tracts of bottomland hardwood forest harbor a great diversity of forest birds including Acadian flycatchers, great crested flycatchers, northern parula, and a few American redstarts. Spring and fall migration can be excellent for warblers and other songbirds, especially along the edges of the various woodland tracts. At least three pairs of bald eagles nest on the WMA, so a few are typically in any month. Barred owls are as thick as flies, so it is not uncommon to see or hear one at any time of day or night.

During the summer and fall, the impoundments at Ballard WMA often begin to lower because of reduced rainfall, and herons, egrets, and shorebirds are sometimes abundant. In part because of all the water, biting flies especially mosquitoes (April through September) and deer flies (June and July) can be quite annoying.

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