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Birds of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve

Located in the driftless area of southwest Wisconsin, the Kickapoo Valley Reserve offers 8,600 acres of forest, wetland, and open/ grassland ecosystems.  

The large forested areas within the Reserve provide habitat for Scarlet Tanagers, Ovenbirds, Wood Thrushes and many other species sensitive to forest fragmentation, including Kentucky Warblers and Acadian Flycatchers. Louisiana Waterthrush can be found along the forested corridor of the Kickapoo River and its tributaries. Cerulean Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, and Red-shouldered Hawk are rare species that have been reported on the Reserve.

Some species normally found farther to the north have been observed during the nesting season in the cooler microclimates of the forested areas. These include Winter Wren, Northern Parula, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Broad-winged Hawk. Conifer stands of large hemlock and white pine embedded within the extensive hardwood forests have also provided breeding habitat for Black-throated Green Warblers and, more rarely, Pine Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, and Blue-headed Vireo. 

More open habitats within the Reserve have produced reports of Bell’s Vireo, Henslow’s Sparrow, and Dickcissel. Winter species include Golden Eagle, occasional reports of Northern Goshawk and rare sightings of Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, and Bohemian Waxwing.  


Connecticut Warber (photo by Dan Jackson) sitting on a branch
Given this varied list of species and habitats, the Reserve has been recognized as a National Natural Landmark through the National Park Service and designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) by the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, Bird Life International, and the National Audubon Society


Kickapoo Valley Reserve | S3661 State Highway 131 | La Farge, Wisconsin 54639 
Phone: 608-625-2960 | FAX: 608-625-2962

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