Birdwatching in Middleton this Fall

During the fall, hundreds of species of birds migrate through Middleton; learn where to spot them.

Middleton is an excellent place for birdwatching, with multiple scenic parks, trails, ponds and conservancy areas. During the fall, hundreds of species of birds pass through Middleton as they migrate south for the winter. Here are a few great places to spot migrating birds.

Pheasant Branch Conservancy Wetlands and Ponds – At the center of Pheasant Branch Conservancy, a 549-acre protected natural area, one can find a creek and multiple ponds and wetlands, which attract birds of many types, particularly wading birds and waterfowl. Beautiful paved nature trails circle the marshes, giving birdwatchers opportunities to see visiting cranes, ducks, herons and geese. Jet off the main path onto boardwalks for a better chance to spot birds waiting in the water or feasting in the fields. The conservancy provides a quiet refuge for bird watchers to enjoy serene beauty. View more information on the birds of Pheasant Branch Conservancy here.

Tiedeman Pond Conservancy Area – Located just a few minutes out of downtown Middleton is Tiedeman Pond Conservancy Area, a 25-acre glacial kettle pond and restored wetland. Take a short walk around the pond’s ADA-accessible boardwalk, and you’re sure to spot various wildlife. On the west side of the pond, there is a wildlife-viewing platform that gives birdwatches an even more fantastic opportunity to spot feathered creatures. When at Tiedman Pond, it is common to encounter blue-winged teal, great blue herons, wood ducks, green herons, mallard ducks, Canada geese, cattle egrets, black-crowned night herons and double-crested cormorants.

Esser Pond – Located near Greenway Station, Esser Pond is another great place to see waterfowl. Despite its proximity to U.S. Highway 12 and a busy shopping area, birds love this open water and wetlands complex. A trail along the northern edge of the wetlands leads to and from downtown Middleton making it an ideal nature escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.   

Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail – Streaming through the heart of Middleton is Pheasant Branch Creek, which flows adjacent to a scenic, paved, mixed-use trail. The Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail is 1.4 miles long and can be accessed from multiple points; enter from the west off Parmenter Street, east off Century Avenue or mid-trail at Parisi Park. The woods that line the creek are perfect for seeing migrating songbirds.

Even on days when there aren’t many birds to be found, the fall scenery is ample compensation. This fall, make plans to catch a glimpse of migrating birds and beautiful fall colors in Middleton.

In Wisconsin, most migratory birds will have flown south by the end of November. Here is a great site to check year-round if you are an avid birder! And for tracking seasonal bird traffic, check out this site.

Modified October 19, 2023