Sunday, January 13, 2013

Birding at Horicon Marsh!

Belated Happy Holidays everyone!  This month I want to talk about my favorite birding location, Horicon Marsh.  I briefly talked about Horicon in an earlier post, but I wanted to give a bit more info about it and show off some of the wonderful birds and fantastic photo ops that can be had there.

Horicon Marsh comes in two parts. To the south is the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area which covers an area of 11,000 acres and is run by the Wisconsin DNR, and to the north is the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge which covers an amazing 21,000 additional acres and is run by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
In the Spring, Horicon comes to life with hundreds of migrating birds coming up from the south. With over 200 different bird species, there is something for everyone. Also, there is amazing fauna and flora which I hope to talk more about later this year as soon as we here in the cold Midwest get our flora back. :)

The Mute Swan is a early comer to Wisconsin in the Spring, and shows up in a few key places here in Wisconsin including Horicon and parts of SE Wisconsin.
Mute Swan taking off at Horicon  in 2010
One of my favorite large birds, the Great Blue Heron starts showing up at the marsh around March, but as I recently discovered, with some birds if food is available, they can stay in the area all year!
Great Blue Heron in flight over the Marsh
The elegant Great Egret comes en masse to Horicon; sometimes one can see dozens if not hundreds at the same time.  Stick around long enough and you can see its unique eating habits.
Great Egret after a successful catch
The gorgeous Green Heron is an exciting find at Horicon. Along with the Green Heron, you can find Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Least Bittern, American Bittern and the Little Blue Heron.
Green Heron with a watchful eye for fish at Horicon
There are only a few places that these wonderful birds show up in Wisconsin, and at Horicon they come in the hundreds! The Horicon wetlands are perfect for the pelicans and they spend the whole Summer swimming and fishing in the marsh.
Hundreds of American White Pelican shows up at Horicon
Many small birds are at Horicon also, if you venture inside the marsh.  There are dirt roads and an Auto Tour that will allow you to get closer to nature. The Killdeer is a popular bird at the marsh. Two of the more poplar roads are Dike Road and Ledge Road. Don't miss the Auto Tour on the National side of Horicon.
You looking at me? It appears this Killdeer is asking.
For more information about Horicon Marsh please visit If you want to see more of my work, please visit my blog at, or if you're on Google Plus you can find my profile at

- Ricky L Jones


  1. Thanks for taking us along to Horicon Marsh Ricky! What a cool place for birding and bird photography.

  2. Horicon Marsh looks like a glorious place for viewing birds. I would love to take a trip to Wisconsin and visit this area. Stunning photographs so rich in color, beautiful birds!

  3. Anytime you're in Wisconsin and want to get some amazing bird photography, let me know I will be more than glad to take you up to Horicon! It's a special place for sure! :)

  4. This is awesome. I'm from Wisconsin and have been in this area several times as a kid. I don't live there now but I plan on returning as a fully fledged birder now. I may take a flight in March to visit the Collin's Marsh near Manitowoc. Thanks for sharing your pics. Wonderful shots!