Birds of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge

Hackmatack NWR is home to many common species of breeding and migratory birds. We have a diverse array of habitat, from wetlands to grasslands, prairie and woodland. Many of the species found here have been targeted by Illinois and Wisconsin as SGCN – Species of Greatest  Conservation Need.

In addition to the birds listed here, see the Articles section for bird counts that have been done during The Big Sit. This is an international event started by the New Haven Bird Club in 1992.   Their challenge:  How many birds can you identify in one day while staying within a 17-foot diameter circle? Our bird counts list all of the birds seen and/or heard during The Big Sit.  Audubon members are present at our events to help identify the birds.

About the Whooping Crane

Of particular note is the federally endangered Whooping Crane, which has been seen in the Hackmatack NWR area. This magnificent bird, the tallest bird in North America, was whittled away by European settlers until in 1941, the Texas wintering flock was down to only 15 birds. Our refuge neighbor to the north, the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, has worked to restore an experimental population of these cranes. See the story on

*T = recorded at Turner Tract

^WI = Wisconsin SGCN

^^ = WI & IL SGCN/Critical Species

*B = recorded at Blackmon Tract

^IL = Illinois Critical Species


Eastern Meadowlark
(Sturnella magna)


*T Great Horned Owl
(Bubo virginianus)

pileated woodpecker ShenandoahNP-CC

*T Pileated Woodpecker
(Dryocopus pileatus)


*T Red-bellied Woodpecker
(Melanerpes carolinus)


Ruby Crowned Kinglet
(Regulus calendula)

^WI Acadian Flycatcher
^^American Bittern
American Crow
*T American Goldfinch
*T American Robin
*T Bald Eagle
*T Baltimore Oriole
*T Barred Owl
^^ Black Tern
^^*T Black-billed Cuckoo
^WI Black-throated Blue Warbler
*T Blackpoll Warbler
*T Blue Jay
*T Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
^WI Blue-winged Warbler
^^ Bobolink
*T Brown-headed Cowbird

^WI Canada Warbler
*T Cedar Waxwing
*T Chimney Swift
*T Chipping Sparrow
^^ Common Tern
*T Common Yellowthroat
^^ Forster’s Tern
^WI Golden-winged Warbler

Gray Catbird
*T Great Blue Heron
*T Great Crested Flycatcher
Green Heron
^^ Henslow’s Sparrow
*T House Wren
*T Indigo Bunting
^WI Kentucky Warbler
Kildeer Plover

^WI Least Flycatcher
^^Loggerhead Shrike
*T Mourning Dove
^^Northern Harrier
*T Northern Cardinal

*T Northern Flicker


*T Red-eyed Vireo
Red-headed Woodpecker
*T Red-winged Blackbird
*T Rose-breasted Grosbeak
*T Ruby-throated Hummingbird
*T Sandhill Crane

*T Song Sparrow
*T Tennessee Warbler
*T Turkey Vulture
^^ Upland Sandpipers
*T Warbling Vireo
^WI Willow Flycatcher
^^ Wilson’s Phalarope
^WI Yellow-billed cuckoo
*T Yellow-rumped Warbler
*T Yellow-throated Vireo
^WI Yellow-throated Warbler


Friends of Hackmatack NWR

P.O. Box 413
Richmond, IL 60071


Call 262-448-3558 to listen for the latest updates on upcoming activities. If you need to reach us, please leave a message and we will return your call.

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