Mulvey Pond is a wetland in Tippecanoe County located entirely on private property. The wetland occurs in the setting of a 58-acre farm that includes a pond, an adjacent woodland, and marshland located more to the west. There are nearby grassy fields with grazing cattle and farms to the north and south. The receding edges of the pond provide mudflat habitat, largely at the mercy of area rainfall accumulation.
A local beaver population is responsible for creation of the wetland, as their activity blocks the culvert that drains the area. Despite several attempts at removing the beavers and their dam, the owners have found that the area quickly repopulates and the water levels rise again. Cattle continuously graze the land, which prevents the development of marsh vegetation and keeps the grass low enough to see the birds. A drought in 2002 caused the whole property to go completely dry due to insufficient water inflow.
Although birding on the Mulvey Pond property itself is not allowed, the wetland can be scoped from the perimeter roads. Good vantage points from which to scope the area include US 231 and CR 500 N, the latter likely being the best place. Be sure to park your car off the road. There are no trails.
The pond is one of the better places to look for waterfowl and shorebirds in the West Lafayette area. Greater White-fronted Geese have been regular here in the spring, and most dabbling duck species are intermittantly present throughout migration. Diving ducks are known to rest here, but the pond is not deep enough to provide much foraging habitat for them. When the pond recedes enough to produce adequate mudflat exposure, a wide variety of shorebirds can be found during migration. It is definitely a worthwhile stop on the way to Pine Creek Gamebird Habitat Area if you are coming from West Lafayette.
Typical Time to Bird Site: 30-60 minutes.