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Main Injector Moat

This site is a restricted area and is currently not open to the public. The Main Ring Moat is a series of connected ponds that roughly correspond to the location of the accelerator ring. The ponds are used as a source of cooling water for the accelerator components which means that they often remain open even when most of the lakes on site are frozen and that means that the moat is a good place to look for wintering waterfowl. A portion of Kautz Road and Indian Creek Road run adjacent to these ponds and allow close up looks at both wintering and migrating waterfowl. It also provides good views of adjacent grassland areas bordering the ring where, in winter, Northern Shrikes and Rough-legged Hawks can be found. During winter, late in the day large assemblages of Common Goldeneye and Common Mergansers can be found. In late winter the moat is a good place to check for early arriving diving ducks such as Canvasback, Redhead and Bufflehead.

The moat area is also home to breeding Ospreys. The first nest appeared in the northeast portion of the moat area in 2009 and has been producing fledglings every year since then. A second nest appeared in the northwest portion of the moat area in 2015. Extreme care should be taken when viewing these nest sites to ensure that the birds are not feeling pressured.

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