Heron Lake and Vicinity Professional Review and Guide
"Jackson County’s Heron Lake owns a storied past when it comes to birds and birders. The Sioux referred to this lake as “Hokabena,” “the nesting place of herons.”
In addition to Trumpeter Swans, Heron Lake once boasted nesting Whitefaced Ibis and American White Pelican. Those species persevered into this century, but eventually ceased breeding at the lake. This was also a fabled migratory stop for great flocks of Canvasbacks for many decades. Although still a great birding site, Heron Lake has suffered from habitat alteration. Water is both channeled into and pumped out of the lake, causing water levels to fluctuate with the weather.
Key birds: American White Pelican, Black-crowned Night Heron, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Franklin’s Gull, Forster’s Tern, Marsh Wren. Don’t miss: Duck Lake, Lindgren-Traeger Bird Sanctuary."