BIRD CITY Designation
ALMA Wisconsin | 19th Century River Town | National Historic District

Wintering Bald Eagles On The Mississippi River, Alma Wisconsin
  CHAMBER VISITOR CENTER at WINGS OVER ALMA
110 N Main Street, Alma, Wisconsin 
608-685-3303 | info@almawisconsin.com 

BIRD CITY WISCONSIN 
DESIGNATION IN PROCESS, PENDING FOR 2017
The Alma Area Chamber of Commerce, working with the City of Alma, is in the process of applying for "Bird City Wisconsin" designation in 2017. Here is the important work in our community that will support this designation.

1
   GREAT RIVER BIRDING MONTH  
MAY is "Great River Birding Month" in Alma WI.  Commercial businesses on Main Street will celebrate throughout May by sponsoring their own migratory bird from our area. Information sheets will be provided for each migrator and they will be featured in the store.
2   GREAT RIVER BIRDING FESTIVAL  On May 13, 2017, Main Street Alma will be decorated in the old Swiss/German tradition with young saplings, bird houses and fun festivities throughout the day.  
 
3   INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY BIRD DAY  The City of Alma passed a resolution declaring May 13, 2017 as "International Migratory Bird Day" in Alma, Wisconsin.
4   DISCOVER WISCONSIN produced a program "Birding In Wisconsin" and Alma, Wisconsin was one of 3 Wisconsin "Birding Hot Spots" promoted.  The Alma Area Chamber of Commerce, Wings Over Alma Nature & Art Center and the City Of Alma Tourism Commission sponsored this program and participated in its production.

5   BIRDING IN ALMA This informational webpage on the Chamber's website provides information on 9 specific locations for birding success.   

6   BIRDING INFORMATION  The Chamber's website provides information for bird enthusiasts in our community:
7   BIRD MONITORING & BIRD COUNTS  Do you want to participate in a bird monitoring or count program?  Here are a few options for participating in citizen science:

8   BIRDING BY MINI TRAIN   Wings Over Alma Nature & Art Center sponsors "Birding By Mini Train" through the Tiffany Bottoms State Wildlife Area observing migratory birds in the spring and fall.

9   WATCH BIRDS & WILDLIFE At Alma City Parks
  • Rieck's Lake Park
  • Buena Vista City Park, Hiking Trail & Overlook
  • Mossy Hollow Trail

10  WINGS OVER ALMA NATURE & ART CENTER   Located on Main Street in Alma WI, the Wings Over Alma Nature & Art Center is available for information on birding, Bald Eagles and the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge.  They have a viewing deck with viewing scopes overlooking the Mississippi River where you can watch Bald Eagles all year long but especially in the winter.
BIRDING RESOURCES
LEARN MORE ABOUT BIRDING, BUILDING HABITAT & PROTECTING RESOURCES
ALL ABOUT BIRDS | Cornell Lab of Ornithology
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/

AMERICAN BIRDING ASSOCIATION
https://aba.org/

AUDUBON SOCIETY, Wisconsin
http://www.audubon.org/audubon-near-you?state=WI

eBIRD, Wisconsin
http://ebird.org/content/wi/

GREAT WISCONSIN BIRDING & NATURE TRAIL
http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/trail/

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, Birds
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/

NATURE CONSERVANCY, Wisconsin
http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/wisconsin/

NATIONAL EAGLE CENTER
https://www.nationaleaglecenter.org/

UPPER MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL WILDLIFE & FISH REFUGE | US Fish & Wildlife Service
https://www.fws.gov/refuge/upper_mississippi_river/

WINGS OVER ALMA NATURE & ART CENTER
www.wingsoveralma.org
WINGS OVER ALMA
NATURE & ART CENTER
WINGS OVER ALMA NATURE & ART CENTER | ALMA VISITOR CENTER
118 N Main Street, Alma WI 54610

Web: www.wingsoveralma.org
Phone: 608.685.3303
Hours:  Open daily, 11am to 4pm

Wings Over Alma Nature & Art Center is a multi-purpose, non-profit organization staffed by volunteers.  Wings Over Alma overlooks the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife Refuge and the magnificent Mississippi River.  The Center also hosts the Alma Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.


The Center offers a 50-foot outdoor viewing deck overlooking the Mississippi River and is equipped with spotting scopes and binoculars to view a variety of wildlife year-round. You can also enjoy a great river from inside the comfort of the Center.


The Mississippi Flyway brings hundreds of migrating birds past the Center every spring and fall.  During the winter months, dozen of bald eagles can be viewed from the deck, feeding in the open water below Lock and Dam #4.


Inside the Center, local area artists display their work in rotating exhibits.Nature displays and educational programs are offered through the year.  The talent of our many local artisans and the National Historic District of Alma have attracted over 7,000 guests a year from all 50 states and many countries.

BUENA VISTA
A GREAT WISCONSIN BIRDING AND NATURE TRAIL SITE
BUENA VISTA PARK, TRAIL & OVERLOOK
Buena Vista Road Off County Road E, Alma WI 54610

Phone & Reservations: City of Alma 608.685.3330
Hours: Open daily, dawn to 11pm

Located 500 feet above Alma, it’s a small city park with a big view of the Mississippi River for several miles to the north and south. According to Better Homes & Gardens magazine, "Buena Vista Park is one of the river valley's finest natural balconies."

 

The park is a great birding spot with breathtaking sunsets and is a "must see" when you come to Alma. This scenic vista 500 feet above Alma and the Mississippi River Valley has a natural viewing platform. Visitors can watch barges and riverboats traveling on the river and locking through Lock & Dam #4 along with views of sand islands and backwaters.

 

The area is handicapped accessible and offers picnic tables, grills, a picnic shelter, restrooms and a small children's playground. The park also offers a large parking lot that accommodates several vehicles and motor coaches. No camping is allowed. This is a popular wedding spot but must be reserved in advance.  For information, directions and regulations contact the Alma City Clerk at (608) 685-3330.

 

DRIVE County Road E from Main Street in Alma up the bluff to Buena Vista Park and walk to the overlook. County Road E starts at Wisconsin Highway 35 (the Great River Road) in Alma.

 

HIKE the Buena Vista Trail from Alma's Main Street up the Alma Bluff to Buena Vista Park or hike down the trail from the Park to Alma's Main Street.  This is a 3-mile hike and approximately 7300 steps up 500 feet.

RIECK'S LAKE PARK
A GREAT WISCONSIN BIRDING AND NATURE TRAIL SITE

RIECK'S LAKE PARK & CAMPGROUND

Off Wisconsin State Highway 35, Alma WI 54610


Phone & Reservations: City of Alma 608.685.3330
Hours: Open daily, dawn to dusk

Camping:  Open daily, April to December

Rieck’s Lake is located at the confluence of the Buffalo and Mississippi Rivers.  Beautiful sunrises start your day and if you are traveling in the summer months you may experience the morning mist as it rises from the water.  Located 3 miles northwest of Alma on Wisconsin Hwy 35 (the Great River Road), the area is handicapped accessible and provides a large parking lot that accommodates several vehicles.


Rieck’s Lake Park offers a small popular camping area on a “first come” basis.  For $15 a night you will enjoy a paved camping pad, fire pit, picnic table, showers and a direct lake view.  Electricity is available at an additional charge.  Dumping facility is available 2 miles north on Wisconsin Hwy 35 at the Silver Moon facility.  For information, directions, regulations and prices contact the Alma City Clerk at (608) 685-3330.


Recreational options abound with a picnic shelter and a great playground that offers a play structure as well as old time swings, slide and merry-go-round we all enjoyed as children.


The park is an excellent birding spot with two viewing decks and a spotting scope.  Expect crowds in the spring and fall during migration. White Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Tundra Swans, Canada Geese and many species of ducks can be viewed.  Other wildlife like beaver, muskrat and mink can be sited, with muskrat huts visible on the lake.


DRIVE Wisconsin Highway 35 northeast from Alma about 3 miles.