Wisconsin Important Bird Areas

Conserving the most important places for birds

Lunch Creek Sedge Meadow

Site Description

This IBA encompasses Lunch Creek Wetlands State Natural Area as well as portions of White River and Mecan River State Fishery Areas.  It contains one of the richest and best-quality wetland complexes in southern Wisconsin, with large areas of sedge meadow, wet prairie, and fen present.  The wetlands show a rare “patterning”, a wetland phenomenon resulting from dramatic differences in plant composition between high and low areas, and known from only two other natural areas in the state.  The uplands at this IBA consist of planted grasslands, oak savanna, and oak forest.

Ornithological Importance

This site provides for a number of priority wetland and grassland breeders including Northern harrier, sedge wren, Henslow’s sparrow, and swamp sparrow, with smaller numbers of field sparrow, vesper sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, and Eastern meadowlark.  Savannas and woodlands host red-headed woodpecker, whip-poor-will, willow flycatcher, and brown thrasher.  Thousands of sandhill cranes use this area for staging in the fall, and short-eared owls are present in winter.

Lunch Creek Sedge Meadow, photo by Christina Isenring

Lunch Creek Sedge Meadow, photo by Christina Isenring