Wisconsin Important Bird Areas

Conserving the most important places for birds

Harrington Beach-Kohler Andrae Lakeshore Migration Corridor

Site Description

This site extends from Sheboygan Point in Sheboygan County south to the northern border of the Ozaukee Bight Lakeshore Migration Corridor IBA south of Port Washington in Ozaukee County.  It encompasses Harrington Beach and Kohler-Andrae State Parks, Cedar Grove Hawk Research Station State Natural Area, and the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.  This IBA contains a variety of habitats including open Lake Michigan waters, sand beach, cool-season grasslands, upland deciduous forest, lowland forest of white cedar and black ash, and shrublands.

Ornithological Importance

Thousands of birds utilize this site as migratory stopover and wintering habitat.  In winter the open waters host large rafts of diving ducks such as red-breasted merganser, bufflehead, and common goldeneye, as well as loons and grebes.  Shorebirds are found on the sandy beaches and a wide variety of landbirds use the woodlands and shrubby areas in both spring and fall.  Short-eared owls are found occasionally in the grasslands during the winter.  Raptors migrate along the lakeshore in large numbers.  The Cedar Grove Hawk Research Station is a major raptor banding and observation area, having trapped, banded, and released over 38,000 birds of prey of 24 species over the past 60 years.  The Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, owned by the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, is the headquarters of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory.  A former country club and golf course now being restored to native habitats, this tract is used by a wide variety of migrating birds.  Some 224 species have been recorded for both spring and fall seasons.

Harrington Beach Lakeshore, photo by Ryan Brady

Harrington Beach Lakeshore, photo by Ryan Brady