Photo from Friends of Wisconsin State Parks award banquet.
Wyalusing State Park in Bagley, WI, recently won the Best Wildlife Viewing Award for 2009. The award was given out at the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Banquet held at the Horicon Marsh International Education Center. Wyalusing State Park, at the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, is a great place to see migrating birds of the Mississippi flyway. Noted for its wild turkey, bald eagle, and rugged, scenic hills surrounding the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, Wyalusing’s trails traverse southern hardwood forest, river bottom lowlands, and steep hillsides.
This area supports high breeding populations of numerous species, including red-shouldered hawk, Acadian flycatcher, yellow-throated vireo, Bell’s vireo, cerulean warbler, Kentucky warbler, Louisiana waterthrush, and, in one of the few breeding locations in the state, yellow-throated warbler. Golden eagles use the area in winter and tens of thousands of landbirds and raptors pass through during migration.
Resident bald eagle and turkey vulture soar over panoramic vistas of the river valley. The wild turkey flourishes in the park along with white-tailed deer, raccoon, and pileated and red-headed woodpecker. Hognose, fox, and black rat snakes are elusive residents.
A canoe trail throughout the river sloughs offers a unique way to see herons, egret, muskrat, beaver, and mink. Mallard, teal, wood duck, and Canada goose can be seen from the boat landing and fishing pier on Glen Lake, a backwater of the Mississippi River.