descriptions and directions
Mines of Spain SRA - Dubuque County
GPS Coordinates: 42.466433, -90.6478629
Description: If you have several hours and want to experience a diversity of habitats and birds dependent on those habitats, head directly for Mines of Spain SRA. In just a few square kilometers of area, Mines of Spain will lead you from oak-hickory forest, to oak savanna, to tallgrass prairie, to wetland and riparian habitats. Well-maintained trails traverse the park, and are accessible throughout the year. Specialty breeding species here include Broad-winged Hawk, Barred Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker, Acadian Flycatcher, and Cerulean Warbler. The park is spectacular during spring and autumn songbird migration; summer and winter are less productive, although it is still possible to see 30-40 species during these times. The interpretive center maintains stocked bird feeders year-round and is a good place to start a birding trip to pick up the more common resident and wintering species. A Broad-winged Hawk pair usually nests along the Catfish Creek trail. Cerulean Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher usually are easy to pick up along the Cattese Hollow trail and the bottom of the Sauk Fox trail near the wetland, where Red-headed Woodpecker usually is found. The Cedar Ridge trail winds around extensive prairie habitat and harbors grassland-dependent species such as Sedge Wren, Henslow’s Sparrow, and both meadowlarks. Bell’s Vireo may be heard singing near the parking area at the trailhead.
Habitat: Deciduous forest, savanna & prairie.
Directions: Directions to the interpretive center, where you can pick up a map of the park: From city center, take US Hwy 52/60/151 south to Key West. Turn left on US 52 south (toward Bellevue), then immediately take the next left on to Bellevue Heights Rd. Follow this road appx. 0.5 miles to the parking lot of the interpretive center (on the left).
Public Hunting Area
Search for area boundary information on the DNR interactive atlas
Important Bird Area: IBA Entry for Mines of Spain SRA