The Birds of Horicon Marsh
Horicon Marsh Education & Visitors Center
Horicon Marsh is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. Located in southeast Wisconsin, Horicon Marsh has been formally recognized as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention of the United Nations. The 32,000 acre marsh is home to numerous species of birds as well as fish, frogs, snakes, turtles, muskrats, insects and plants.
It is an important staging area for numerous species of migratory birds, especially Canada geese and mallards. Other species, some of them endangered, use the area as a staging, nesting, or feeding site. Among these are the bald eagle, the whooping crane, and the yellow-throated warbler. Apart from its importance for migratory birds, the Horicon Marsh is also important for maintaining the biological diversity of the region given the rapid loss of wetlands in the State. It is estimated that the extent of wetlands has decreased by almost 50% since 1850 in most of Wisconsin and by as much as 90% in southeastern Wisconsin. The main threats are associated to human activities; agricultural runoff has resulted in increased sediment and nutrient loading while the construction of wind farms has resulted in bird mortality.