Wisconsin Important Bird Areas

Conserving the most important places for birds

Governor Dodge State Park

Site Description

This site, which encompasses Bethel Horizons, a Lutheran retreat center and educational facility, as well as the state park, contains a variety of characteristic Driftless Area habitats: bluffs, ravines, oak-hickory forests, several pine relicts, oak savanna, shrublands, restored prairie, and cool-season grasslands.  There also are three impoundments formed by damming of streams.

Ornithological Importance

The diversity of habitats support varied assemblages of forest, shrub, and grassland birds.  Priority forest breeders include yellow-billed cuckoo, Acadian flycatcher, Eastern wood-pewee, wood thrush, cerulean warbler, worm-eating warbler, and Louisiana waterthrush.  Black-billed cuckoo, red-headed woodpecker, brown thrasher, willow flycatcher, and blue-winged warbler are among the shrub and savanna breeders, while grassland species include field sparrow and Henslow’s sparrow.  The impoundments provide habitat for waterfowl and waterbirds.  The site also receives heavy use by migrating landbirds in both spring and fall.

Governor Dodge State Park, photo by Eric Epstein

Governor Dodge State Park, photo by Eric Epstein