Bird Watching

Welcome to Clark County, where a wonderful world of wildlife watching awaits you. Environmental tourism has become an important part of our diverse mix of outdoor recreation. Extensive wetlands, millions of acres of wild places, a broad range of natural habitat, and a commitment to environmental stewardship have made Clark County part of an outstanding regional birding opportunity. Clark County is part of the Central Sands Prairie Region of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail. This project divides the state into five wildlife-viewing regions with driving trails that link important wildlife sites within each region.

Bird Watching

THE GREAT WISCONSIN BIRDING AND NATURE TRAIL is a mapped auto trail that reaches into every area of the state. Full-color viewing guides with maps and descriptions of every site leads the nature traveler to warblers, shorebirds, eagles, loons, cranes and all manner of mammals found in some of the state’s premier wildlife venues. Signs with the Sandhill Crane trail logo featured on this website mark sites on the trail.

SPORTSMAN’S LAKE WILDLIFE AREA, a 1,200-acre wildlife area dominated by open marsh and grassy uplands is a good place to learn your waterfowl and add some new species to your checklist. During spring and fall migrations it attracts a variety of waterfowl and wetland birds.

Signature species: Tundra Swan & American Woodcock Rare species: Least & American Bittern, Sora Rail & American Black Duck

MEAD LAKE, the largest lake in Clark County, boasts a pair of county parks along its shores which include wetlands, woodlands, open water and shrubby marshlands. Besides viewing waterfowl of all types throughout the year, Osprey and Bald Eagles can be seen soaring on the summer thermals.

Signature species: Black-and-white Warbler & Clay-colored Sparrow Rare species: American White Pelican & Osprey

SCHMIDT MAPLE WOODS STATE NATURAL AREA, is an 87-acre heavily forested area with a mix of prairie, forests, scrub and hardwood stands offering habitat that attracts a variety of songbirds and wildlife.

Signature species: Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager & Chestnut-sided Warbler Rare species: Red-shouldered Hawk & Winter Wren

ROCK DAM LAKE is a hotspot for ducks, herons and other water birds. A number of small creeks and streams flow through the area and attract a variety of birds. Black bear and porcupines enjoy the large blocks of forest and can be seen along the roads at dawn or dusk.

Signature species: Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hermit Thrush & Broad-Winged Hawk Rare species: Red-headed Woodpecker