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Birds of the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit

Updated: Jun 19

Covering more than 22,000 acres of forested glacial hills, kettle lakes and prairies, the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest offers a variety of habitats for birds.


How to Identify a Bird

It can be helpful to consider the size and shape, color pattern, behaviors, and habitat.


Size and Shape

What is the size and shape of the head, body, tail, and bill?


Color Pattern

Field marks, also known as color patterns, are commonly found on the head or wings. Look at the type of the pattern - rings, stripes, etc.


Behavior

How does the bird behave? Does it hop or run? What does the bird eat and how does it feed? Is it alone, with a partner, or in a flock?


Habitat

Where is the bird found - forests, open grassy and rocky areas, on or near the water


Habitat


Categories

Birds are grouped into orders, families, and genera based on similarities in their feet, bills, and anatomy.


It can be helpful to sort birds into categories (also known as orders) such as:

  • Ducks, Geese, & Swans

  • Grebes

  • Herons

  • Vultures, eagles, and hawks

  • Grouse, quail, and turkey

  • Owls

  • Hummingbirds

  • Woodpeckers

  • Perching Birds


 

Birds of the KMSFSU



American Crow

Cephas, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

American Goldfinch

Male American Goldfinch

Cephas, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Female American Goldfinch

Darren Swim, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

American Robin

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

American Tree Sparrow

Jocelyn Anderson, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Bald Eagle

Steve Berardi, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Barn Owl

Dannymoore1973Minor edits made by Subsidiary account, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Barred Owl


Black-Capped Chickadee

Jocelyn Anderson, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Blue Jay


Rob Hanson from Welland, Ontario, Canada, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Brown-Headed Cowbird

Male Brown-Headed Cowbird

DickDaniels (http://theworldbirds.org/), CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Female Brown-Headed Cowbird

Paul Danese, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Canada Goose

Karrackoo, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

Cedar Waxing

Randen Pederson from Superior, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Chipping Sparrow

Mdf, Edited by Fir0002, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

Common Grackle

Mdf, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

Coopers Hawk

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Dark-Eyed Junco

Jocelyn Anderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Downy Woodpecker

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

European Starling

Ingrid Taylar, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Great Blue Heron

© Frank Schulenburg

Hairy Woodpecker


House Finch

Male House Finch

John Benson from Madison WI, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Female House Finch

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Female_house_finch_in_Central_Park_(11033).jpg

House Sparrow


Moni Sertel, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Indigo Bunting

Photo By Dan Pancamo, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Great Horned Owl

Bgag, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mallard Duck

This picture was realized by Richard Bartz by using a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens, CC BY-SA 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons

Morning Dove


Ryanx7, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Northern Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Female Northern Cardinal

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Purple Finch

Male Purple Finch

Cephas, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Female Purple Finch

Cephas, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Purple Martin

Ursus sapien, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Red-Wing Blackbird

Male Red-Wing Blackbird

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Female Red-Wing Blackbird

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Red-Tailed Hawk

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Male Hummingbird

Rhoude7695, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Female Hummingbird

Richard Houde, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Sandhill Crane


http://www.birdphotos.com, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Song Sparrow

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

White-Crowned Sparrow


Wolfgang Wander, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

White-Throated Sparrow


Cephas, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Turkey

Peter van der Sluijs, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Turkey Vulture

Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


 

How to Learn More

If you enjoyed this article, there are a few ways to learn more about native plants.


Visit Headquarters


Located within the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit Headquarters, the Nature History Museum includes various displays showcasing rare plant community, pollinators & prairie flowers, birding, glacial formations, and more! The gift shop offers various books to learn more about native birds.



iNaturalist Resource


iNaturalist helps you identify plants and animals while generating data for science and conservation. It is a great way to learn more about nature!




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