Mississippi River Info
Wildlife of the Mississippi River
The majestic Mississippi River supports a vast array of wildlife that depend on the river everyday and is by far one of North America's greatest environmental resources. Providing a home to more than 400 different species of wildlife, the river plays a necessary role in the ecosystem of the upper Mississippi River valley. The Mississippi contains approximately 40% of North America's migratory waterfowl and about 20% of the nations duck population. It has been estimated that every year approximately 8,000,000 ducks, geese, swans and wading birds use the river as a flyway. The main types of migratory birds that the Mississippi River has to offer include: Black, Wood, Mallard, Teal, Widgeon, Pintail and Ring-necked ducks, Canadian geese, swans, coots, Double-Crested cormorants, Yellow and Prothonotary warblers, bluebirds, pelicans and many types of songbirds.
The upper Mississippi River is also the home to one of the most magnificent birds in the world, the great bald eagle. Bald eagles are very plentiful along the shores of the upper Mississippi and continue to thrive in the coulee regions of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. The only 2 states that contain more bald eagles are Alaska and Florida. These magnificent creatures can be viewed year-round in the area as they continue to nest more rapidly. The upper Mississippi River valley also contains many other endangered, rare and threatened types of wildlife along its beautiful shores.
The river also provides a home to many different fish and other types of animals. Over 100 different species of freshwater fish can be found in the Mississippi. Fish that are contained in the river include: catfish, walleyes, trout, bass, northern, sunfish, suckers, carp, garfish, black and brown bullheads, long and short nosed gar, sturgeon and paddlefish. The many different types of fish that can be found in the great river allow for some of the best fishing in the entire world. The Mississippi River can be fished year round, which allows for one to enjoy the sport and all of the magnificence that each season in the upper valley has to offer. The upper valley has some of the most pristine forms of wildlife in the country, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, mink, muskrats, and otters.
The upper Mississippi River valley contains large wetland areas and some of the most extensive hardwood forests in North America. The land that surrounds the river contains some of the richest soils that can be found in the entire United States. The upper valley inhabits a diverse variety of ecological regions and ecosystems, including tall grass prairies, majestic woodlands and rolling drift-less areas. More than a dozen different vegetative communities can be found on the upper river. These vegetative communities help support many types of agriculture and play a significant role in the thriving wildlife of the upper Mississippi.
Fun Facts of the Mississippi
The Mississippi River drains approximately 1/3 of the United States' land mass!
The Mississippi River provides a state line for 10 states!