Birding, as dedicated hobbyists call bird watching, is a great way to spend a vacation day in Hayward Lakes. To help you make the most of your next birding trip, Hayward Lakes has put together some top spots for viewing the birds of Wisconsin’s Northwoods.

Hayward Lakes and Wisconsin’s Northwoods are a premier destination for bird watchers! Hundreds of bird species have been spotted within the borders of Chequamegon National Forest. The Northwoods have a diverse collection of feathered residents because our area features so many different habitats from dense forests to open waterways.

When To Go Birding in the Northwoods?

The best time to watch for birds are early morning and evening hours, when birds are most actively feeding. Birds will go into their rest mode in late morning. They will resume feeding later in the afternoon or evening.

Birding Backpack Rentals at the Cable Natural History Museum

Here is the birding migration site:

Hayward birding

Best Birding Locations in Hayward

Lake Chippewa Flowage

Length: 233 miles. The “Chip” is a 15,300-acre flowage with miles of rugged pine and aspen shorelines cut by numerous bays, channels, and floating bogs. Travel by boat or canoe to fully appreciate wildlife throughout the warm months. Directions: From Hayward travel east 12 miles on County Road B, then turn south on County Road CC, which cuts through the middle of the Flowage.  Continue south 5 miles to the Landing.

Lynch Creek State Wildlife Area

Length: 1/4 mile. The habitat is mainly cattail marsh, shrubby bogs, and stream with some red pine forest. Common birds include belted kingfisher, snipe, flycatchers, swallows, warblers, rails, great blue herons, bitterns, sandpipers, and many species of ducks. This is a great moonlit walk. Getting there: From Hayward, take Hwy. 77 21 miles east, then turn north on FR 203, and go 6 miles to FR 622. Turn left and go 1/3 mile to the parking area. For more information call 715-634-4821 to reach the Forest Service Ranger Station in Hayward.

Flambeau River State Forest

Length: 90,000-acre property located along the Flambeau River is Flambeau River State Forest. Northern song birds are found in good numbers throughout the property, along with bald eagles and common loons. Directions: From Hayward, take Hwy. B east 25 miles, then turn right on Co. Rd. W and continue for 20 miles.  Just before you cross the Flambeau River, you’ll see the park headquarters on the right. For more information call 715-332-5271 to reach the Flambeau River State Forest office.

Totagatic Lake State Wildlife Area

Length: 2,719-acre. Getting There: Located 7 miles northwest of Hayward on Hwy 27.  500 feet south of the Nelson Lake Dam, you’ll see a gravel pullout on the left (west) side of Hwy. 27.  A gravel road extends back into the wildlife area for two miles.  Walk it, mountain bike, or drive slowly in a 4WD vehicle.

Davis Flowage

Length: 1.2 miles.  Also known as the Chippanazie Flowage, this body of water was formed by damming Chippanazie Creek, downstream from Chippanazie Lake.  The flowage is a good spot to see cranes, eagles, and swans (and the occasional deer or muskrat).  It takes some work to get there by canoe or kayak, and larger boats usually have a hard time with the weeds.  Getting there:  Take County Hill Rd. 4 miles west from Hayward,  then turn right (north) on Chippanazie Rd.  Go 1 mile, and look for the gravel boat landing on the left side of the road.  Paddle downstream (west) through a winding, weedy channel for about a quarter-mile, and then the flowage will open up.  The main body of water is about 200 yards across and 1 mile long.

Hayward birding