Wisconsin’s Flying Terrors: The 5 Most Dangerous Animals in the State’s Skies

Written by Boone Kinney
Published: July 21, 2023
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Wisconsin, known for its picturesque landscapes and diverse wildlife, is home to an array of fascinating creatures. While many people associate danger with predators on the ground such as bears and wolves, the skies above also host some formidable aerial threats. From falcons with razor-sharp talons to swarming insects with potent stings, Wisconsin’s flying animals can pose real risks to humans and other creatures alike. In this article, we will dive into the world of Wisconsin’s most dangerous flying animals, exploring their characteristics, habitats, and potential risks to residents and visitors.

1. Bald Eagles

Bald eagle in flight with a sockeye salmon in his claws

Bald eagles typically avoid human interaction and nest upwards of 50 feet up in trees.


The iconic national symbol, the bald eagle, is a majestic bird of prey found throughout Wisconsin. With a wingspan of up to 7 feet, these impressive raptors are top-of-the-food-chain predators. While they primarily feed on fish, they have been known to snatch small mammals and birds, including pet dogs and cats near bodies of water. Despite their powerful beaks and talons, bald eagles typically avoid human interactions and pose a minimal direct threat to people. However, they have been known to scavenge near roadkill, so drivers should exercise caution when spotting these magnificent birds near highways.

2. Peregrine Falcons

Peregrine falcon in flight

Peregrine falcons are one of the fastest animals in the world.

©Harry Collins Photography/Shutterstock.com

Known for their incredible speed and aerial prowess, peregrine falcons are one of the fastest animals in the world. They can reach speeds of up to 240 miles per hour when executing a diving hunting technique called the “stoop.” Fortunately, peregrine falcons were once endangered but have made a remarkable recovery due to conservation efforts. These birds primarily prey on smaller birds, such as pigeons and songbirds. Peregrine falcons are typically found in urban areas near tall buildings, where they use their impressive hunting skills to catch unwary prey. While they may be a threat to local bird populations, they pose no significant danger to humans.

3. Bats

Big Brown Bat

Bats may carry diseases which can be transmitted to humans.

©Jay Ondreicka/Shutterstock.com

Wisconsin is home to a variety of bat species, including the little brown bat and big brown bat. While bats are generally harmless and play a crucial role in insect control, they can carry diseases such as rabies. These diseases may be transmitted to humans through bites or other forms of contact. It is important to avoid direct contact with bats and to take precautions, such as sealing off entry points to prevent them from roosting in homes or buildings.

4. Red Tailed Hawk

A Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) perched on a pole

Red-tailed hawks become much more defensive and territorial during nesting season.

©Richard G Smith/Shutterstock.com

Wisconsin is home to several species of hawks, including the red-tailed hawk. These birds of prey have strong talons and beaks, which they use to capture and kill their prey. While attacks on humans are extremely rare, it is advisable to avoid approaching or disturbing them, especially during nesting season when they may become more defensive.

5. Canada Geese

A canada goose, frame right, looking left, is standing with its wings folded on ice, a frozen pond/lake. The goose is mostly gray/taupe with a long dark neck and a white throat. Its feet are not visible.

Canada geese are known to charge and attack humans who get too close.

©Rogney Piedra Arencibia/Shutterstock.com

Canada geese are a common sight in Wisconsin, often gathering in large flocks near bodies of water. While they might seem harmless, their aggressive behavior during nesting season can pose a threat to people, especially if they feel their offspring are at risk. Male geese, known as ganders, are particularly territorial and may hiss, flap their wings, or charge at perceived threats. Additionally, their droppings can create unsanitary conditions in public spaces. It is advisable to maintain a respectful distance from nesting geese and to avoid feeding them, as it can lead to dependency and more aggressive behavior.

Summary of the 5 Most Dangerous Flying Animals in Wisconsin

Here is a list of the most dangerous flying animals live in Wisconsin.

1Bald Eagle
2Peregrine Falcon
4Red-Tailed Hawk
5Canada Goose

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Karel Bock

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About the Author

I'm a lover of all animals, especially my dog, Griffey. I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BBA in marketing. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, reading, and cheering for the Tennessee Titans.

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