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Lake Kegonsa State Park Nature

Lake Kegonsa State Park's woods, prairies and wetlands feature many native wildlife communities. Investigating the park wildlife can turn an ordinary visit into a true learning experience.


The most common mammals seen are gray and fox squirrels, chipmunks, cottontail rabbits, ground squirrels (called gophers) and muskrats. Deer, woodchucks, red fox, raccoons, skunks and opossums are also seen frequently in the park.


Bluebird. Photo by Pat Ready.Lake Kegonsa State Park, though relatively small, is a wonderful area for bird watching. The greatest variety of birds are observed during the mid-March to mid-May and mid-August to mid-October migration periods. More than 60 kinds of birds visit the park or nest here in summer and at least 24 species of resident and visiting birds use the park in the winter.

The fields harbor a variety of sparrows, horned larks, kingbirds, crows, pheasants and occasional bobolinks. In spring and fall, a great variety of ducks, grebes and geese may be seen on Lake Kegonsa. The marsh and creek near the park beach host a wide variety of nesting and migrating ducks and birds.

Reptiles and amphibians

Reptiles and amphibians include many types of turtles, frogs, toads and snakes. None of these are poisonous. Snakes living in the park are the garter, brown, red-bellied and milk snake. Blandings, painted turtles, snapping turtles and a few soft-shelled turtles are found in the marsh. The park is also home to American toads, leopard, green, chorus, spring peeper and gray tree frogs.

Insects and spiders

Hundreds of insect varieties also inhabit the park. Butterflies are seen almost everywhere. Large moths including the cecropia (Wisconsin's largest moth), promethea, polyphemus, luna, many kinds of hawk moths, tiger and underwing can also be seen. Big blue or green dragonflies and smaller blue damselflies hover over fields and wetlands.

A controlled burn of the Lake Kegonsa prairie. Photo by Pat Ready.Locusts, grasshoppers, large beetles, wasps, bees and flies are common and often brightly colored. A number of garden spider species, jumping spiders and wolf spiders live in the park, but none are aggressive or harmful.


A walk on the mowed trails through Lake Kegonsa State Park's restored prairies reveals a wide variety of native prairie plants, flowers, birds and wildlife. This unique feature offers a fantastic photographic experience.

Controlled burning is one of the ways the Department of Natural Resources has restored and continues to preserve the prairie.

Last revised: Friday October 17 2014