Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Bird Effigy Mound
Erected 1975 by Madison Landmarks Commission. (Marker Number 34.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native Americans • Notable Places. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin, Madison Landmarks Commission series list.
Location. 43° 6.13′ N, 89° 22.029′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker can be reached from Burrows Road 0.1 miles west of Sherman Avenue, on the left when traveling west. The marker is just south of the shelter at Burrows Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Madison WI 53704, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Burrows Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Sherman Avenue Crossing (approx. half a mile away); Tenney Park Lock and Dam (approx. half a mile away); Tenney Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); Tenney Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); East Side High School (approx. ¾ mile away); Burr Jones Field (approx. 0.8 miles away); Steensland Bridge (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison.
Regarding Bird Effigy Mound. According to a 1996 survey by Robert A. Birmingham and Katherine H. Rankin entitled Native American Mounds in Madison and Dane County, "This Late Woodland straight-winged bird effigy mound has a wingspan of about 128 feet. A running fox mound used to exist to the north of the bird. The bird effigy was restored in 1934 by removing tree stumps, repairing mutilations caused by vandals, and restoring sod. The mound is located on a rise just east of the Burrows Park parking lot on Burrows Road off of Sherman Avenue."
According to the Madison Landmarks Commission, it is now believed that the mounds date from 700-1200 A.D., and "The bird, in the religious beliefs of the mound builders, probably symbolized sky spirits; mounds described in the past as 'lizards' may have represented water spirits, and bears and other animals may have represented people and other creatures that lived on the earth's
"Wisconsin has the highest concentration of effigy mounds in the United States and the Madison area has one of the highest concentration of effigy mounds remaining. Most mounds were lost to 19th century agricultural practices and city development. The mound builders were farmers who also engaged in hunting and gathering. They lived in small villages and migrated from one to another based on the seasonal availability of natural resources. The mounds often, but not always, have burials associated with them, but their exact purpose is not entirely understood. Mounds tend to have been built in places with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The mounds are considered sacred by modern Native Americans and should be treated with respect."
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 2, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,191 times since then and 17 times this year. Last updated on July 24, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 2, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. 5. submitted on July 24, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.