Tucked away in the quiet bottomlands of western Henderson County and northern Union County, about 10 miles west of Henderson is the Sloughs Wildlife Management Area. This public land holding is separated into several units, the most accessible and diverse of which is the Sauerheber Unit, accessible from KY 268 northwest of the community of Geneva.
Much of the WMA is closed from November 1 to March 15, but a drive along KY 268 in the winter often yields a number of species of geese and ducks. Also, in recent years a flock of tundra swans has wintered on the WMA and is sometimes in view from this road.
Between March 15 and November 1, the WMA is entirely open and many gravel and a few paved roads run between and through the various units, which extend westward and southwestward from the Sauerheber Unit. Maps and advice on areas to visit are available at the headquarters (open only M-F, 8:00 – 4:30 CT). During spring one must be aware of the Ohio River levels in the vicinity of Evansville, Indiana—most of the area can become inaccessible due to high water. If resources indicate that the river is at or above flood stage, you might as well try bird watching somewhere else!
Birdlife at the Sloughs is always abundant, whether it be nesting songbirds like prothonotary and yellow-throated warbler, indigo bunting, great crested flycatcher, and tree swallow, or during migration when a variety of warblers, vireos, flycatchers, tanagers, orioles, and others can be abundant. Some of the waterfowl management units at the Sauerheber Unit are great for marsh birds like sora and American bittern in spring and fall. During winter, a resident flock of geese often includes Canada, snow, greater white-fronted, and a few Ross’s, and dabbling ducks including mallard, northern pintail, and gadwall are often numerous.