Bird Watching in Wisconsin
The annual migration of Tundra swans can easily be viewed here. Rieck's Lake Park has an observation platform and is located 3 miles north of Alma, WI on WI Hwy 35.
1000 Islands Environmental Center
This 300-acre refuge along the Fox River in the city of Kaukauna is a Conservancy Zone and is home to nesting eagles, great blue herons, black crowned night herons, owls, bitterns, teal, coots, ducks, mergansers, resident and migratory song birds. The nature center houses a collection of both North American and African/Asian animals. More than 300 specimens are on display. No admission charged.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Located in Lake Superior just off the tip of the Bayfield Peninsula. More than 240 species of birds breed and/or migrate through these twenty-two pristine islands. Park rangers staff several visitor centers on a daily basis from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
1,600 acres of Wisconsin DNR land along the Sugar River near the town of Avon, (between Beloit and Janesville in south-central Wisconsin). The site is primitive but has a wide range of habitats including prairie, swamp and oak savannah.
(715) 682-2500 or (800) 284-9484
Located of the south shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, the Chequamegon Bay region has a wide variety of waterfowl habitat concentrated in a small area. Waterfowl, warblers and shorebirds in spring; snowy owls and bohemian waxwings in winter.
Chequamegon National Forest
The Chequamegon National Forest cover 858,400 acres in northwestern Wisconsin. More than 225 species have been sighted in the Chequamegon, including migrating tundra swans, eagles, osprey, ruby crowned kinglets, indigo buntings and rufous-sided towhees. 200 miles of trails, wildlife viewing platforms, interpretive exhibits and trail guides bring this seasonal display into focus.
Crex Meadows Wildlife Area
This state-owned 27,000-acre complex of marsh, woodlands and prairies is located in Burnett County north of Grantsburg at the intersection of County D and F. Crex Meadows features colonies of nesting herons, double-crested cormorants, breeding osprey and sharp-tailed grouse.
Ellwood H May Environmental Park
The park is 120 acres with diverse habitats consisting of a restored prairie, wetlands, Pigeon River corridor, coniferous and deciduous forests--with bird watching being one of our top park activities. Our site was recently listed in a survey by the Sheboygan Press as the #1 wildlife viewing location in Sheboygan County.
Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve
This 775-acre white cedar swamp located on County Highway A north of Appleton offers a variety of woodland species including great horned owls, pileated woodpeckers, yellow-bellied sapsuckers warblers, herons, cranes, Cooper's hawks, harriers, Canada geese, migrating ducks and shorebirds.
Great Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area
(920) 387-7860, N7728 Hwy 28,
Horicon, WI 53032
Located northeast of Beaver Dam in Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties, Wisconsin's Great Horicon Marsh is known worldwide for its tremendous spring and fall concentrations of Canada geese with the fall migration being the most spectacular.
Havenwoods State Forest
Call (414) 527-0232
This urban forest is 237 acres of diverse habitats consisting of a restored native prairie, wetlands, deciduous forests -- bird watching is very popular. Sightings include great blue herons, sandhill cranes, kestrels, flycatchers and sandpipers. Also great for dragonflies and butterflies.
Hawthorne Hollow Nature Sanctuary & Arboretum
Forty acres of woodland, prarie and a 12-acre arboretum in a natural "hollow" accented by bluffs, Pike Creek, and a small fen (swamp) located at 880 Green Bay Road in Kenosha. See a variety of exotic trees, shrubs and birds including warblers, herons, owls, hawks, ducks and pheasants.
Horicon National Wildlife Refuge
More than 300 species of birds have been sighted on the march. This federally-managed portion includes a 6-mile trail system open year-round for hiking, wildlife observation and cross-country skiing in winter; and a 3.2 mile auto tour route open April 15 to September 15. Stop at the Visitor Center to see the new exhibits, shop at Coots Corner, pick up free posters, maps and information. Accessible for persons with disabilities.
Hunt Hill Nature Center & Audubon Sanctuary
A 500-acre wildlife sanctuary with wooded, glacial hills, three clear lakes, old-growth forest, prarie and northern bogs. Located ten miles south of Spooner; twenty miles north of Rice Lake. See nesting osprey and loons as well as many other species. Guided walks, cabin rental and environmental programs. Center open daily, 9-5.
International Crane Foundation
Dedicated to the protection and preservation of cranes and their wetland homes, the Foundation has the most complete collection of the fifteen crane species in the world. Newly-hatched chicks, breeding pod, habitat tours, video presentation, gift shop, self-guided and guided tours offered May 1-October 31.
Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy
Information: Call the Fontana Public Library, at (414) 275-5107
A 230-acre natural area near Williams Bay on the northwest shore of Geneva Lake. See migrating waterfowl including coots, grebes, many species of ducks and Canada geese.
L H Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve
A 925-acre wildlife management area located 3 miles north of Green Bay. Six miles of hiking and ski trails tour the preserve which is located on the west shore of Green Bay. It features waterfowl and wetland birds. Facilities include a nature center with restrooms and outdoor picnic areas. Trails open daily sunrise to sunset, year-round. Interpretive Center open Mon-Fri 9 am-4 pm, Sat and Sun noon-4 pm.
Mack Wildlife Area
Located 2-1/2 miles west of Black Creek on Hwy 54 and Bishkoff road. The 1,829-acre Mack State Wildlife Area is one of several public areas totaling more than 10,000 acres in northwest Outagamie County. the newly-created 500-acre wildlife observation area is one of the few areas in the state where migrating swans can be seen along with Canada geese, ducks and shore birds.
Marsh Haven Nature Center
Located on Highway 49 just east of Waupun. Observation tower, picnic shelter, amphitheater, nature center with museum displays and exhibits, trail system, pond, and a gift shop. Adjacent to the Wild Goose State Trail.
Navarino State Wildlife Area
Located about thirty miles west of Green Bay and seven miles south of Shawano, this wetlands area was once part of a glacial lake bed formed 12,000 years ago. Birds include a resident population of sandhill cranes, black terns, wood ducks, mallards and yellow-headed blackbirds.
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
The refuge is located in Juneau County near Necedah in the state's sand counties. Visit the area to see the sandhill crane and waterfowl concentrations in fall, both bald and golden eagles, as well as wild turkeys in winter, and shorebirds and songbirds in spring.
Nicolet National Forest
Covering 661,400 acres in northeastern Wisconsin, the Nicolet National Forest provides abundant habitat for a wide variety of species. In just one area alone, the annual bird survey has counted approximately 235 different species in the northern most part of Oconto County. Rare species in the forest include the boreal chickadee, gray jay, northern tree-toed woodpecker, spruce grouse and sandhill crane. The abundance of lakes attracts bald eagles, common loons and ospreys.
Oconto Marsh Refuge
The Oconto Marsh Refuge is located just north of the City of Oconto on the west shore of Green Bay. Covering 4,000 acres, the march is one of the last remaining Great Lakes' wetlands. It is accessible by car on paved roads that make watching Forester Terns, eagles, raptors, herons, cranes and other marsh denizens both rewarding and comfortable. The march encompasses a state waterfowl sanctuary and a breeding fround for the yellow-headed blackbird.
Quincy Bluff and Wetlands
A 1,705-acre preserve located in Adams County owned by the non-profit The Nature Conservancy. The terrain is varied with bluffs, buttes and mesas. Pine forest and sedge meadows give way to tamarack swamps, bogs and wetlands. Bird species include northern tarrier hawks, turkey vultures and sandhill cranes.
Riveredge Nature Center
A 350-acre sanctuary located thirty miles north of Milwaukee between Saukville and West Bend. The Center is a breeding habitat for 67 species of birds with twelve miles of trails through prairies and woodlands along the Milwaukee River. Environmental Center open Monday-Friday from 8-5; Saturday and Sunday from noon-4.
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
A 225-acre sanctuary located just 20 minutes north of downtown Milwaukee on Lake Michigan, (exit I-43 at Brown Deer road, east). Located along the Lake Michigan migratory corridor, 250 species of birds have been recorded within the Center. Two ponds, ravines, woodlands and prairies provide habitat for hawks, ducks, owls, warblers, finches, falcons and many others. Interpretive Center open daily, except Mondays.
Located on the north end of the UW-Stevens Point campus, this 217-acre reserve is a field station for the College of Natural Resources. The reserve's varied habitat is excellent for songbirds. Five miles of nature trails connect to 24 miles of trails in the city's greenway. The visitor's center houses the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame. Center hours are 10-5 Mon-Fri; noon-5 Sat and Sun.
Thunder Marsh Wildlife Area
Located just off of Hwy 45, three miles north of Three Lakes, this 3,000-acre wildlife offers a rare opportunity to observe the birds of a spruce and tamarack forest, as well as many species of marsh birds and waterfowl. Resident birds include ruby crowned kinglets, yellow rails, hooded mergansers and kingfishers.
At the extreme west end of Lake Superior, this location at the intersection of marsh, lake and woodland makes it one of the best migrant bird areas in the state in spring (May) and fall (September). The Point is one of the best locations in the state to observe extreme rarities such as the piping plover, parasitic jaeger and Cassin's kingbird.
Woodland Dunes Nature Center
Located on Hwy 310 just west of Two Rivers, this 991-acre reserve offers a variety of birding opportunities including ten species of warblers in summer. The Center includes marsh, meadow, forest, swamp and prairie habitats, as well as 6 miles of nature trails. The Visitor Center is normally open 8-3 weekends and 8-11 on Saturdays, but call ahead for confirmation.
The following are locations
to view Eagles in their natural habitat.
Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce
(608) 643-4168 or (800) 68-EAGLE, 421 Water St., Suite 105, Prairie du Sac, WI 53578
Cassville Department of Tourism
(608) 725-5855, P.O. Box 576, Cassville, WI 53806-0576