IBA Site Information

Spirit Lake/Kettleson Wildlife Area
State IBA
Dickinson County  
Spirit Lake/Kettleson Wildlife Area
Directions:  Big Spirit Lake is located immediately north of the City of Spirit Lake and is encircled by hard-surfaced roads for easy access. Kettleson Hogsback Wetlands Complex is accessed from Iowa Highway 276, which follows the west shore or Big Spirit Lake. Woodland trails leave from the Marble Lake and Sunken Lake parking areas, just off 276. To reach the DNR Wildlife Area headquarters, follow 125th Street west one mile from 276 and the Marble Beach State Campground. Trail brochures and area maps are available here.
Description:  Because of its extremely diverse habitats, Spirit Lake and the Kettleson Hogsback Wildlife Area offer some of northwest Iowa's greatest bird species diversity. The lake and wetlands are staging areas for major waterfowl, shorebird,pelican and gull/tern migrations. Rookeries may be found for Great Blue Herons and Black-crowned Night Herons. Several rails are known to nest or migrate through the area. Three species of loon use Spirit Lake for migration stopovers, as do several species of grebes. Woodland at Kettleson Hogsback host at least 25 species of migrating warlbers, and the entire area hosts Trumpeter Swans being re-introduced by DNR.
Criteria for this site
Endangered or threatened species habitat
High conservation priority
Rare or unique habitat
Significant species concentrations
Research and monitoring
Habitats found in this site