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Fall Bird Migration In The Baraboo Hills

In early September the small songbirds that breed in the forests of the Baraboo Hills around the Inn at Wawanissee Point, and the grassland birds in the prairies surrounding the bluffs will begin to quietly fly south to their winter grounds. Later the honks of geese overhead will fill the skies alerting us the fall migration is underway.

The Baraboo Hills is designated an Important Bird Area (IBA), one of 88 sites in Wisconsin recognized as habitat essential to protecting bird populations. The IBA program, implemented as part of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative and administered globally by the National Audubon Society, is a voluntary, grassroots, cooperative approach to foster stewardship for monitoring and protecting birds.

With more rare bird species and diverse concentrations in the Baraboo Hills than any other similarly sized wooded area in southern Wisconsin, the fall migration is one of the better times to spot an array of birds while on the trails, or from the deck or terrace at the Inn. According to the Wisconsin IBA program, approximately 10,000 migrating landbirds congregate here before departing.

If you haven’t hiked to the top of balanced rock trail near the south shore of Devil’s Lake State Park in October to stand amid hundreds of congregating turkey vultures soaring and swooping within a few yards, you must. It’s a sensory experience like few others. Devil’s Lake is one of the largest staging areas in the Midwest for turkey vultures, where more than 25 percent of Wisconsin’s population gathers before flying to Central and South America.

Besides being in the Baraboo Hills Important Bird Area, the Inn is also

  • less than a 30-minute drive from the 2,300-acre Leopold-Pine Island IBA on the Wisconsin River, nine miles north of Baraboo at the Aldo Leopold Center
  • 15 minutes from the Lower Wisconsin River IBA that begins in Sauk Prairie

where you’ll find staging areas for grassland species, waterfowl, waterbirds, more landbirds, raptors and sand hill cranes.

We recently had the resident sand hill crane family visit our prairie!

The Inn at Wawanissee Point is an ideal bird-watching headquarters and is the only bed and breakfast adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park.

Book your birding guest room today.

We have many weekday vacancies but the last weekend openings are:

Sept. 21–23

Oct. 5–7

Oct. 19–21

Oct. 26–28

Trail Background