Wabasha is taken from the Sioux “Wapasha,” or “red cap,” the names of three hereditary chiefs whose bands occupied the country along the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin. The first chief, it is told, visited Quebec in the late 1700s, receiving from the British a red hat and English flag. Upon his return he was lauded by his tribe for possessing these great gifts, and thus named.
Like the others, Lake Pepin’s level has been stabilized with control structures. In addition, its channel has been dredged to accommodate the barge traffic that courses the river today. Key birds: Tundra Swan (November), Bald Eagle (winter), Great Egret, Herring Gull, Willow Flycatcher, Orchard Oriole. Don’t miss: Swan migration (November). This eTrail provides information on birding strategies for this location, birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful maps.
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