Lake of the Woods is the largest lake in Minnesota, consisting of 65,000 miles of shoreline most of which is in Canada. The lake is 90 miles long and 55 miles wide and has 14,582 islands and is located in the Agassiz Lowlands subsection of the Minnesota ecological Classification system. This IBA includes the U.S. portion of the lake, all islands and wetlands adjoining the lake. Zipple Bay State Park, Garden Island State Recreation Area, Pine and Curry Island Scientific and Natural Area, Larry Bernhoft, Rocky Point, South Shore and Border Wildlife Management Areas.
This large body of water attracts migrating waterfowl in both spring and fall. Historically tens of thousands of Lesser and Greater scaup have migrated through the area. In 2004 in the vicinity of the Northwest Angle, 4,000 Ring-necked ducks and 4,000 Lesser Scaup were recorded. Teal, American, Widgeon, Pintails, and mergansers can be observed during migration with some local nesting.
Osprey, Bald eagle, Northern harrier, Sharp-shinned hawk, Red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, Merlin, and Peregrine falcon can be observed along the shores as they skirt the large lake and travel along mainland corridors.