Waukesha County's Birding Hotspots

Under Construction - More Spots to be added soon!


We're still working on putting the information on the website. In the meantime,
click here for a printable version of the Waukesha County Hotspots.

Birds can be found anywhere, but some places are birdier than others.
While this is not a complete list, these are the places club members rely on to see
their favorite birds. Click on the name of each hotspot to access a map for the location.

These hotspots are organized in order of the number of species that have been reported at
each location as of July 2018. These numbers can be expected to increase as birders report more species

VERNON WILDLIFE AREA
"VERNON MARSH"

NOTE: Public hunting area – wear appropriate clothing for visibility. No facilities.

HABITATS: 4,655 acres consisting of mostly wetlands and flowages with the Fox River snaking through. Adjoining uplands consist of grasslands and woodlots. A calcareous fen is on the south side. The area offers excellent wildlife habitat, especially for migrating and nesting waterfowl.

TRAILS: The two main access points for birders are Frog Alley Road on the west side (turn east from Hy 83) and Benson Avenue on the east (turn west from Hy XX). The end of Frog Alley Road features a parking lot at the top of the hill; follow the trails that head down the hill to the north and then split – turn right to head into the marsh or go straight to traverse upland habitats. While the dikes are level for walking, they can often be overgrown with grass, so be prepared for ticks. The Benson Avenue access is reached by driving across the tracks into the parking lot (sometimes the gate is open, permitting driving to a second gate); walk on the road and dikes through the woods and into the marsh.

LOCATION: North of Mukwonago in eastern Waukesha County. Parking lots are located off of Hy 83, Frog Alley Road, Hy I, Hy NN, and Benson Avenue. See map on website for parking locations.

THE BIRDS: The general Vernon Marsh location has 201 species on eBird; Frog Alley has 194 species and Benson Avenue 218 species. Highlights include Trumpeter and Tundra swan, 20 duck species, Least Bittern, Black Tern, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and White-winged Crossbill (winter).

https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/wildlifeareas/vernon.html

PARADISE VALLEY STATE WILDLIFE AREA -
BARK RIVER UNIT

NOTE: Public hunting area – wear appropriate clothing for visibility. No facilities.

HABITATS: Wetland, river, wood edge, grassland. Glacial Drumlin Trail forms the northern boundary of the property.

TRAILS: Viewing platform near parking lot and disabled-accessible blind approximately 2/3 mile from the platform. Main trail into the wildlife area is a combination of mowed grass, broken asphalt, and rough gravel. Going past the blind requires boots. Trail branches left before the blind, providing a one-mile (each way) trail that is sometimes covered with water. Trail north from parking lot goes toward the Glacial Drumlin Trail and then west to follow the river (2.5 miles each way); mowed grass to rough path. 500 yards from the viewing platform is a canal that may not be passable. The trail does not connect to the bike trail. The home on the northwest corner of Kincaid near Paradise Valley has several active feeders.

LOCATION: from Hy 67 in Dousman, turn west onto Hy Z (Ottawa Ave.), then turn west onto Kincaid Lane. Park in the lot at the end of the road.

THE BIRDS: 193 species on eBird, including Greater White-fronted Goose, Trumpeter Swan, 19 duck species, Least Bittern, Broad-winged Hawk, 16 shorebird species (including Black-necked Stilt), Caspian, Black, and Forster’s tern, five owl species, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.

https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/wildlifeareas/paradisevalley.html

SOUTH KETTLE MORAINE STATE FOREST

State forest is open 6am-11pm daily. Headquarters address: S91 W39091 Hy 59, Eagle 53119.
State vehicle admission sticker required at most sites.

Over 22,000 acres of glacial hills and lakes. Predominant vegetation types: upland deciduous forests, sedge meadows and other wetlands, native prairies, savanna, shrub-carr, cool-season grasslands, upland shrublands, and conifer plantations.

SKMSF, which is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, has been designated an Important Bird Area. Birds of special note include Cerulean Warbler and the largest population of Hooded Warbler in the state. Grassland birds such as Northern Harrier, Sedge Wren, Henslow’s, Field, and Grasshopper Sparrow, Bobolink, and Eastern Meadowlark also find extensive habitat here. Other high-conservation-priority species include American Woodcock, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Belted Kingfisher, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Vireo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Wood Thrush.

https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/kms/

http://www.audubon.org/important-bird-areas/south-kettle-moraine-state-forest

Kettle Moraine Low Prairie State Natural Area

Kettle Moraine Low Prairie State Natural Area

Habitats: Northern portion has wet prairie and fen, while wet-mesic prairie lies to the south where the land slopes down to the river. Small upland islands within the wetland contain recovering oak opening and dry-mesic prairie.

Location: From the intersection of State Hys 67 and 59 in Eagle, go north on Hy 67 2.1 miles to a gated access lane leading west, with a small parking lot at the gate. Walk west along the access road 0.5 mile to the southeast corner of the site.

Birds: 130 species on eBird, including both cuckoos, Red-headed Woodpecker, Acadian and Alder flycatcher, 21 warbler species, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Dickcissel.

https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/naturalareas/index.asp?SNA=88