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Richard Bong State Recreation Area Nature

Flowers in prairieThe recreation area encompasses 4,515 acres of rolling grassland, savanna, wetlands and scattered woodland. Nature is on display all around, constantly changing with the season. A spring woodland hike will yield the first blooms of the year—white bloodroot and lavender hepatica. The prairie is the place to be in summer, when warm breezes part the brilliant patches of prairie smoke, coneflowers, butterfly weed and blazing stars. In late summer and fall, the variety of seeds, late-blooming flowers and brilliant leaves provide interest.

Spring is the premier birding time. The earliest migrants, red-winged blackbirds, show up in late February. New winged visitors arrive throughout the spring: grackles, cowbirds, meadowlarks, killdeer, snipe, bluebirds, ducks and swallows each one in progression. Ducks and geese begin to nest in the area's wetlands in March and April and warblers pass through in May. Yellow-headed blackbirds, bobolink and upland plovers are among the uncommon species seen here.

Last revised: Friday October 17 2014