Wisconsin Important Bird Areas

Conserving the most important places for birds

Wisconsin Point

Site Description

This IBA encompasses all of Allouez Bay as well as the eastern section of a long coastal barrier sand spit separating the bay from Lake Superior.  Habitats present here include open water, several miles of open sand beach and dunes, small interdunal wetlands, lowland brush, mature red and white pine forest, and young deciduous forest.

Ornithological Importance

Wisconsin Point is a well-known migratory bird concentration area.  Its location at the head of Lake Superior makes it a natural bottleneck, funneling birds migrating along the west side of the lake.  Shorebirds, waterfowl, and landbirds all use the site heavily.  Hundreds to thousands of shorebirds of 26 species have been recorded here.  Waterfowl, loons and grebes are found in the open waters, while the brushy and forested portions of the point can hold very high numbers of landbirds—several thousand individuals have been recorded in single-day counts.  Large numbers of gulls and terns also are found here, including Caspian, common, and black terns and Bonaparte’s gulls.  The site also reliably produces Wisconsin rarities such as jaegers, black-legged kittiwake, Arctic tern, fork-tailed flycatcher, and Harris’s sparrow.

Wisconsin Point, photo by Ryan Brady

Wisconsin Point, photo by Ryan Brady