Wisconsin Important Bird Areas

Conserving the most important places for birds

Lower Chequamegon Bay

Site Description

This site encompasses much of the lower portion of Chequamegon Bay and includes Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge and the South Shore State Fish and Wildlife Area.  Habitats present include Lake Superior coastal wetlands, sedge meadow, hardwood swamp, black spruce swamp, springs and creeks, sand beach and sandbar, sandstone cliffs, and open water.

Ornithological Importance

This site hosts the oldest and arguably most important of Wisconsin’s four active common tern colonies, with over 100 breeding pairs.  The bay area also is an important migratory staging and stopover area for shorebirds, waterfowl, and waterbirds, including tundra swans, greater and lesser scaup, scoters, common loons, horned grebes, and various gulls.  Thousands of raptors migrate through this area in the spring.

Lower Chequamegon Bay, photo by Ryan Brady

Lower Chequamegon Bay, photo by Ryan Brady