Warbler Migration Peaks in September

Early September is the sweet transition of summer melding into fall and when warbler migration peaks. The Inn at Wawanissee Point bed and breakfast in Baraboo, Wis., is nestled in prime bird breeding habitat in the Baraboo Range, often called Baraboo Bluffs.

Book an early birding getaway Sept. 1–15. Click HERE or call us at 608-355-9899.

If the room or date you desire is booked, call us. We sometimes have last-minute cancellations.

During the first two weeks of September Wisconsin’s colorful and melodious summer bird visitors start migrating to their winter habitat in Central and South America. Warblers, vireos, thrushes and hummingbirds are the neotropical migrants on the move, often at night, in early September. Baltimore orioles leave ahead of them.

  • Come relax overlooking the Inn’s southern prairie in its peak, glowing color.
  • Trails and attractions become peaceful as the fall bird migration begins.

Warbler Habitat Surrounds The Inn

Wisconsin hosts more than 30 of the 56 warbler species that breed in North America, according to the Wisconsin department of natural resources. Some like to nest in the Inn’s 42 acres of woods and prairie and the adjacent Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area, where the moist, narrow sandstone gorge in the Baraboo Hill’s south end often hosts two state-threatened songbirds, the cerulean warbler and Acadian flycatcher.

  • The Baraboo Range, often called Baraboo Bluffs, atop which the Inn is perched, is prime bird breeding habitat and the place to enjoy bird migration.

“Warblers are mostly insect-eaters, so they’ll be attracted to native plants that produce insects,” explains Ryan Brady, a Wisconsin department of natural resources research scientist who also coordinates monitoring for the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. He says most warblers nest and forage in woodland habitats, and you can also see them near water, and shrubby or forested pond edges, especially on cooler days.

About 40 minutes west of the Inn is the Honey Creek State Natural Area (SNA) where more than 180 bird species have been recorded including more than 80 nesting species and 31 warblers. These 695 wooded acres with a Class II trout stream and rock escarpments were originally protected in 1971 as a bird sanctuary. There are two more SNAs nearby plus Natural Bridge State Park.

  • Pick up a handout and maps at the Inn before departing.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s warblers here.

Where To Find Birds During Fall Migration

Migration is a good time to see many species especially those passing through that nested farther north. The Baraboo Hills Important Bird Area, one of 88 in Wisconsin with habitat essential for bird populations, is a key stopover area during migration in addition to hosting more than 135 breeding bird species.

  • The best places to find fall migrants generally are shrubby, wooded edges with morning sun, which often offer the showy songbirds a mix of fruit and bugs, explains Wisconsin department of natural resources biologist Andy Paulios.

You’ll find this ecotone steps from your guestroom where the Inn’s prairie meets the woods. Look for native woody species with fruit like black cherry trees, viburnum and dogwoods.

Migraters like the petite warblers also seek water for drinking, bathing and an insect hatch, says Brady.

  • The cold, spring-fed streams through the Inn’s woods and at the bottom of Parfrey’s Glen attract birds.

More Birding Spots Near The Inn

  1. 1,900-acre Riverland Conservancy’s Merrimac Preserve of forest, prairie, savanna, wetlands and streams laced with 12.7 miles of trails, including 3.2 miles of Ice Age Trail, connecting to Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area and Devil’s Lake State Park, is two miles from the Inn.
  2. Devil’s Lake State Park five minutes west of the Inn.
  3. Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area (IBA) 20 minutes northeast of the Inn at the Aldo Leopold Center offers excellent birding along 11 miles of Rustic Road 49 Levee Road. Up to 40 migrating species have been surveyed here. Much of the land in this IBA is privately owned but there is some public land to explore.

Stop at Ski Hi Fruit Farm for crisp, early apples, pie, cider and other sweet treats. It abuts the west side of Devil’s Lake State Park, 10 minutes from the Inn.

  • The orchard opens for the season Aug. 27, 2018.

Monitor the changing fall colors in the Baraboo Bluffs by visiting the Inn’s Live Web Cam at the bottom of our home page at www.bestviewinwisconsin.com.

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