Wisconsin Important Bird Areas

Conserving the most important places for birds

Paul Olson State Wildlife Area

Site Description

This 1,650 acre property in central Wisconsin is one of the four core management areas for greater prairie-chicken. The flat, largely agricultural landscape contains pastures, row crops, oldfield, and upland shrub. Sedge meadow, shrub swamp, and woodland also are found.

Ornithological Importance

Olson contains the second-largest population of greater prairie-chicken in the state, and functions as a key property in facilitating dispersal of prairie-chickens between the Buena Vista/Leola area and the rest of the prairie-chicken range to the north. Other species of grassland birds, such as sedge wren, clay-colored sparrow, savannah sparrow, vesper sparrow, bobolink, and eastern meadowlark, are found here. The site also hosts small numbers of bitterns, herons, and rails.

Paul Olson State Wildlife Area, photo by Andy Paulios

Paul Olson State Wildlife Area, photo by Andy Paulios