Visit the Center and discover the beauty of winter!
Schlitz Audubon in winter is a feast for the senses, like a natural theater. It’s where you have a front row seat to experience the drama of the season. Hear the crash of the waves on our icy shores and watch them fall in a glittering cascade down onto massive ice structures. Each drop of water freezes over to build higher and higher, forming white peaks along the shoreline.
Beyond this magnificent display on the open water, you can find winter visitors, migratory ducks peppering the surface of the water. Their bodies are covered in dense insulating feathers to keep them warm. An outer layer of slick oily feathers to keep them dry. View them with binoculars and watch them suddenly disappear as they dive underwater to catch fish. Then, find them resurfacing meters away. Some species to look for are Scaup, Merganser, Goldeneye, and Bufflehead.
Along the edge of our beach, the waves splash bare trees and shrubs. Layers of ice freeze over them to create a dazzling effect. Branches are encased in ice, like shining glass, to create elegant ice sculptures. Visit after a particularly cold and windy day for the most pristine ice formations.
Look for Hidden Owls
Away from the cacophony of waves crashing on ice, you can search the silent woods for Great Horned Owls along the trails. In the day, they perch in trees and blend in with the forest like a knot on a branch. But, in the evening, they come alive. You can hear them calling for a mate throughout winter, and as early as January they can begin to brood. By February and March, the fluffy owlets will be visible near their parents. The parents will watch over their young for months after they hatch.
Our owls, winter migrants, and ice sculptures are reminders that there are many fleeting sights during winter. Come join us in seeing the unrivaled beauty the Center has to offer during this season.