Wisconsin Important Bird Areas

Conserving the most important places for birds

Brule Glacial Spillway

Site Description

On the Brule River State Forest, this long, steep-sided section of the Brule River was formed by glacial meltwaters during the retreat of the glaciers. The spillway is surrounded by white cedar and black ash swamps, open bog, alder thicket, and sedge meadow, with mature conifer forest in the uplands. Springs and seeps bubble up through the sandy substrate almost the entire length of the spillway.


Ornithological Importance

A very diverse breeding avifauna includes northern saw-whet owl, black-backed woodpecker, gray jay, boreal chickadee, olive-sided flycatcher, yellow-bellied flycatcher, winter wren, wood thrush, golden-winged warbler, Cape May warbler, Blackburnian warbler, and mourning warbler.

Brule Glacial Spillway, photo by Andy Paulios

Brule Glacial Spillway, photo by Andy Paulios