Boulder Junction birdwatching tips

By Alan Hamari

Now is the perfect time for birdwatching. Millions of birds are returning to Wisconsin, many stopping on their journey further north, so right now you’ll see a variety of birds that you won’t see again until the fall. Boulder Junction’s diversity of habitat attracts a number of rare and endangered birds, making for an excellent birdwatching destination.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your birding experience:BOU hummingbirds 4

Pick up a bird identification guide. Start by identifying common Wisconsin birds such as robins, cardinals, blue jays and red-tailed hawks, and eventually you can move on to harder-to-identify birds like sparrows and warblers. It just takes practice!

Watch AND listen. Enhance your birding experience by learning bird songs and using them as a means of identification. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website is very helpful for beginner birders.

Grab your binoculars. Binoculars open your eyes (literally) to a whole new world of birdwatching. Without them, you’d only see a fraction of the species that are out there.

Explore the waterside. Some of the best birding is found along the area’s wetlands, ponds and lakes, where you’ll find a variety of ducks and wading birds.

Get in the woods. While many wildlife viewing areas can be reached by car, some of the most unique viewing happens deep into the woods. Consider hiking or paddling to improve your chances of seeing rare birds.

Hundreds of thousands of state, federal and county lands surround the Boulder Junction area.  Here are some of the best wildlife viewing areas:

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest protects some of Wisconsin’s rarest types of woodland habitat.

The 25-acre Trout Lake Conifer Swamp, located south of Boulder Junction, is a superb place to find warblers.

Escanaba-Pallette Lakes Trail, the Fallison Lake Trail and the Lumberjack Trail. These trails are perfect for a dual hiking-birdwatching adventure.

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