At the wildlife area: Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is managed primarily for waterfowl wintering and nesting. More than 250 species of birds use the area during different seasons of the year, making this an excellent birding destination. Shorebirds, raptors and wintering waterfowl including ducks, geese and swans can be seen during late fall and winter. Lake and marsh habitats provide excellent viewing opportunities. Wintering waterfowl are best viewed on open water areas of the reservoir and in flooded cropland fields on the southeast portion of the area. Seasonal public access restrictions apply to protect wintering waterfowl. Maps and bird checklists are available at area headquarters and parking area information kiosks. There are boat and canoe access sites and nature trails to provide lake and wildlife area access during spring and summer months.