Wisconsin Important Bird Areas

Conserving the most important places for birds

Moose Lake Old-Growth Forest-Muskeg

Site Description

This IBA is a significant forested landscape encompassing Moose Lake State Natural Area and surrounding Iron County Forest and corporate forest lands.  Remote and largely unpopulated, it contains the largest contiguous block of old-growth hemlock forest remaining in the entire state, as well as extensive muskegs and lowland forests of cedar, alder, ash, and tamarack.  There also are stand of spruce and spruce-fir, tamarack forest, old red pine forest, floodplain forest, upland openings, and lakes.

Ornithological Importance

Breeding birds of both upland and lowland conifers occur here in significant populations, including olive-sided flycatcher, yellow-bellied flycatcher, Blackburnian warbler, and Canada warbler.  Old-growth stands host high numbers and densely packed territories for species such as blue-headed vireo, brown creeper, Northern parula, and magnolia warbler.  Rare or uncommon species found here include Northern goshawk, long-eared owl, black-backed woodpecker, gray jay, boreal chickadee, and palm warbler.

Moose Lake Forest, photo by Ryan Brady

Moose Lake Forest, photo by Ryan Brady