Birding Winnebago County

Carl & Myrna Nygren Wetland

Location Information

Raccoon Creek has been restored to its original meandering streambed.The property straddles the old Milwaukee-St. Paul Railroad bed. In the summer, blossoms of wild bergamot, sunflowers and gray-headed coneflower create a purple and yellow ocean of color stretching from the scenic bluff in the north to the rivers in the south. Wildlife species, including migrating waterfowl and songbirds, are returning in abundance. The Natural Land Institute purchased the preserve in 2000 using a generous bequest from Carl and Myrna Nygren.
Carl & Myrna Nygren Wetland
West Rockton Road
Rockton, Illinois
(815) 964-6666

Species & Habitat

Signature bird & wildlife: Spring and fall migrations bring large numbers of Sandhill Cranes, White Pelicans and various ducks and geese to the oxbows and marshes. Whooping Cranes have used Nygren Wetlands several times as a migratory stop-off. Bald Eagles are resident. Short-eared owls are sometimes visible from the viewing deck hunting over the wet prairie on winter evenings at dusk. Pileated Woodpeckers and Prothonotary Warblers are in the bottomland forests along the Pecatonica River. Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels and Eastern Bluebirds nest in the prairies. Sandhill Cranes have begun to nest in the marshes along with Blue-winged Teal and Soras. River Otters, Red Fox, Badgers and Blandings Turtles are returning to the site.

Site Access Information

Hours of operation: Daylight, except special events.
Site Restrictions: No Pets Allowed

Site Assessment Information

Other: The east gate entrance is opened to the festival tent, old farm shed and greenhouseonly for special events and work days. At all other times the only access is at the west gate at the intersection of Hansberry & West Rockton Roads.

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