Prairie Peninsula

Winnebago County rests in a zone of transition. Part one of this series discussed the Dissected Till Plains. This is part 2 of 3 of this series.

The Prairie Peninsula, according to Partners In Flight, is located in Missouri, much of Illinois, and parts of Indiana and Ohio. This is the area that once earned Illinois the nickname The Prairie State. Nearly all of the prairie is gone now, but what remains is vital for many bird species.

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Some of the birds that are declining in this area include: Greater Prairie-Chicken, Henslow’s Sparrow, & Dickcissel in the grassland areas; Bell’s Vireo in scrubland; Black Rail in wetland areas; and Cerulean Warbler & Red-headed Woodpecker in the savanna areas. Of these birds, the Henslow’s Sparrow, Dickcissel, Bell’s Vireo, Cerulean Warbler, and Red-headed Woodpecker all nest in Winnebago County.

Many of these birds are the same as found in the Dissected Till Plains, but the mix of savanna add woodland birds. Surprising, the Eastern Wood-Pewee is a bird of concern in this area because the reproductive numbers are too low to sustain a healthy population. The birds are relatively common, but it is presumed this is from birds migrating from other habitats with sustainable populations.

The full report and plan for this area can be found here.

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