Wisconsin Important Bird Areas

Conserving the most important places for birds

Rainbow Flowage and Peatlands

Site Description

On the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, this site encompasses a large depression in the outwash plain. Extensive flat areas support open muskeg with scattered black spruce, tamarack, and jack pine. Several areas are sedge-dominated. Numerous patches of higher ground contain red and white pine. Uplands are forested with young aspen, pine, and hardwoods.

Ornithological Importance

This site is considered a muskeg core habitat, with up to 5000 acres of suitable habitat available. Merlin, spruce grouse, black-backed woodpecker, gray jay, boreal chickadee, olive-sided flycatcher, yellow-bellied flycatcher, palm warbler, Canada warbler, Northern waterthrush, and evening grosbeak all breed here. Bald eagle and osprey nest around the flowage and waterfowl congregate during migration. When drawdowns on the flowage expose mudflats, thousands of shorebirds congregate in the fall.

Rainbow Foliage & Peatlands, photo by WDNR

Rainbow Foliage & Peatlands, photo by WDNR