Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Birding Calendar

I've added a little tool to side where you can find some suggestions about birds to watch for in Wisconsin in any given month. The list isn't exhaustive, and it's largely based on when we've had different species active in our own yard. Feel free to take a look, all you have to do is select a month and click "Get Birds".


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Midwest Crane Count 2015 - The Plan

Each year the International Crane Foundation organizes the Midwest Crane Count as the cranes complete their return migration. Any day now, folks in Central and South Central Wisconsin should expect to hear migrating crane calls as the Sandhill and Whooping Cranes return.

Whooping Crane hunting at the ICF.

In preparation for the event, I spent part of yesterday afternoon scouting the Sugar River Wetlands to find the best place to observe the cranes. I didn't actually see much any wildlife while out their yesterday, but hopefully my luck will be better in a month's time.

The crane count is on April 18 and runs in theory from 530 to 730 am. Noting that sunrise isn't until 606 and the state recreational areas do not up until 600; I think I'll end up with a slightly delayed start.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Upcoming Bird Counts

There are two upcoming birds in which I plan to participate. Here are the details in case you interested.

The 2015 Midwest Crane Count

This count is done all over the Midwest, it's a pretty major event. Results of the count are logged in Ebird.org. The event is intended to count the number of Sandhill and Whooping Cranes and to help identify the number of breeding pairs.

My plan is to get up early and head out to a local DNR run wetland to participate in the count.

The 2015 International Crane Foundation Bird-A-Thon

The bird-a-thon is a fundraiser for the ICF. The idea is pretty simple, a bird or a team of birders spends a 24 period looking for different bird species. They document each one. Before the bird-a-thon begins they look for people to donate to cause. Folks can donate money per species identified, for example if someone donated $1.00 per species and a team found 40 species, the total donation would be $40.00.

My plan is to use a day in mid-May to do my counting starting with my backyard and then spending most of my day in a local county maintained prairie.

2014 Species Diversity in Review

Each year, we count the number of different birds, mammals, reptiles & amphibians, as well as bees & butterflies which we can identify in the yard.

We started doing this hoping to see that as we planted more native plants, we'd expect to see the yard become more diverse.

Here's what we saw in 2014.

YearBirdsBees & ButterfliesMammalsReptiles & Amphibians

2015 has frankly gotten off to a slow start, but perhaps things will pick up in the spring.