Thielke Lake WMA
|Description: Thielke Lakes lies within a complex of shallow lakes and wetlands where east meets west near Minnesota’s border with South Dakota. This landscape is a hotspot for migratory birds and is part of the Lac Qui Parle-Big Stone Important Bird Area.|
Wildlife to Watch: Thielke Lake is well known as home to a nesting colony of western grebes. Each spring, western grebes perform a mating display in which pairs rise up and run across the water. With neck curved and wings partially flared, the pair, in almost perfect unison, runs across the surface of the water for I00 yards or more.
After hatching, chicks often ride their parents’ backs to rest, stay warm and be protected from predatory fish. You can hear grebes' sharp, screechy whistle as they announce to begging chicks that a captured a meal of fish.
Spring is one of the best times to visit Thielke Lake and the surrounding wetland areas of Big Stone County, where you may also observe a variety of other birds including Clark’s grebes, waterfowl, great blue herons, great egrets, American white pelicans, black terns, Forster's terns and ring-billed gulls.
Early August is a great time to scope migrating shorebirds flocking to the shores of Thielke Lake and nearby wetlands.
Special Tips: When visiting Thielke Lake, be sure to seek out nearby WMAs and federal Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) to see additional wetland and grassland birds.
Ownership: MN DNR
Size: 357 acres
Closest Town: Clinton
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: