This bird effigy mound is located on the campus of Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. It measures 80 feet long with a wingspan of 260 feet. The mound is nestled between two buildings and the adjacent street, with a rope barrier surrounding its perimeter.
Native peoples had been building burial mounds in Wisconsin up until about 1,000 years ago, with a particularly high concentration in the four lakes region. The term “effigy mound” specifically denotes an animal or spirit-shaped structure. All burial mounds are thought to have been sacred to the native inhabitants.1
Lake Wingra, where the Edgewood campus is located, is home to “at least 233 mounds on the elevations around the small lake, creating a vast part of the Four Lakes ceremonial landscape and covering several square miles.”2 One of the most recognizable mounds is the bird mound on the southwest edge of campus, due to its size and proximity to buildings.