Branched Oak Lake State Recreation Area

Area 4,406 acres, reservoir 1,800 acres. This is the biggest of the reservoirs in the county, and one that seem to attract many rare birds (gulls, waterfowl, loons) during fall, winter and early spring. Vast flocks of snow geese visit it in early March, as well as Canada and greater white-fronted geese.

Bald eagles are common (up to 40) during the spring when the ice is breaking up, and ospreys may also be seen on migration. Many species of ducks as well as cormorants and white pelicans are common during migration. The shorebirds are best during fall, and flooded timber at the northern end of the lake often attracts cormorants. Rarities such as snowy owls and black-billed magpies sometimes turn up here, and the brushy vegetation supports wintering American tree sparrows and Harris” sparrows among many others. State park entry permits are needed for some parts of the area.