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4/5/2022
Please connect with this link to read all of On Wisconsin Outdoors reporting on the wolf issue over 2021/22.  We will continue our work and our commitment to bring you nothing but the truth to the best of our ability. To have a PDF of our work e-mailed directly to you, please e-mail us at ellis@onwisconsinoutdoors.com. You are welcome to share this link or our PDF with anyone concerned with wolf management in Wisconsin or the future of ...
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Weekly birding report

Birding and bird conservation

Evening Grosbeak

Wisconsin ranks 2nd in the nation in percentage of residents who birdwatch, and it’s easy to see why as evening grosbeaks and hundreds of other species put on a show. Photo by Ryan Brady.

Wisconsin is home to over 300 species of birds and has thousands of people who enjoy birds. Explore the links below for information on birds, bird identification, birding locations and how to get involved in bird conservation efforts.

Statewide Birding Report as of January 30, 2020

Weekly birding report

This red-throated loon, now in its nonbreeding plumage, has been enjoyed by many birders over the past two weeks at the Port Washington harbor. Photo by Kym George.

The calendar still says January but we’ve turned a corner in the birding world. Nesting season is underway! The first great horned owls were found incubating eggs in southern counties. This species has a long nesting cycle and utilizes old nests of other species such as crows or raptors so it needs to get started early. Resident bald eagles may also be seen in pairs now, renovating nests, or even about to lay eggs as well. Farther north, a pair of red crossbills was found nest building this week in a snow-covered black spruce swamp just a few miles from Lake Superior. This nomadic finch feeds almost entirely on conifer tree seeds and will nest whenever cone crops are plentiful. Birders around the state also reported northern cardinals, house finches, and a few black-capped chickadees beginning to sing, as well as increased drumming activity from woodpeckers and calling barred, screech, and northern saw-whet owls.

In the north, goldfinches are becoming more regular feeder visitors, pine siskins are more prevalent (at conifers, not feeders), and a few white-winged crossbills have arrived. Blue jays remain prevalent and red-breasted nuthatches relatively scarce at feeders. Northern shrikes are showing better than average statewide, while snowy owls continue in modest numbers. Horned larks, snow buntings, and American tree sparrows were reported in good numbers at fields across the south, along with a few meadowlarks and killdeer. Other notable birds lingering there included yellow-rumped warblers, eastern towhees, and brown thrashers at several locations, and an eastern phoebe in Washington county.

The week’s best find was a northern hawk owl photographed in Rusk county. A Ross’s goose continues in Racine, as does a varied thrush in Dunn, harlequin duck in Dane, and red-throated loon in the harbor at Port Washington. Relatively mild, dry weather in the week ahead should mean more of the same on the birding front. Don’t expect a lot of feeder activity and take advantage of the comfortable conditions to go find some birds. As always, help us track bird populations by reporting your sightings to www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding!

– Ryan Brady, DNR Natural Heritage Conservation Program biologist

Last revised: Thursday January 30 2020
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