Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) is home to more than 300 species of wildlife, 223 of which are birds. In 1927 the area that is now KNWR was diked to drain the Kootenai River bottomland for agriculture. By 1947 farming dominated the fertile river valley, and 95% of the original wetland had been lost. The huge flocks of waterfowl that once darkened the skies became a distant memory. But in 1964 the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission purchased these 2,774 acres and dedicated the land to restore waterfowl habitat in this part of the Pacific Flyway. Today thousands of pintails and mallards arrive in early spring, and by late fall KNWR’s wetlands may hold 25,000-35,000 ducks. Canada geese also arrive by the thousands, along with tundra and trumpeter swans, 20 different species of ducks, shorebirds, brilliantly colored warblers, ospreys, and many other migratory birds.