Wednesday, September 10, 2014

excellent video of Chimney Swifts at autumn roost in Janesville WI

To see the evening pre-roost behavior of Chimney Swifts at and near their roost chimney at an elementary school, go to this link. Thanks to Jodi Denker of Janesville for sharing this video. Total number of swifts entering the chimney: 860.

Friday, September 5, 2014

wind power and wildlife

An updated summary of wind power and wildlife information is available at the website of the American Wind - Wildlife Institute. 

 Summary of Wind-Wildlife Interactions -Wind Turbine Interactions with Wildlife and their Habitats: A Summary of Research Results and Priority Questions

 can be found at:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

a favorite long-distance migrant

Black-bellied Plover & American Golden-Plover - Wikim. Commons, D. Sherony

I had one of my favorite long-distance  migrants, (pictured at right in the photo), the American Golden-Plover, this morning on Hwy P north of Port Washington. Looking back in my records, I realized that I had not seen any individuals of this species in Ozaukee County in 28 years! And what an amazing species it is: the tremendous numbers we had before 1850 never fully recovered from the market-hunting days. Their long distance migration is staggering, with some birds traveling 8,000 miles +, one way. The Cornell "All About Birds" species account contains this fact: "Some adults arrive on the wintering grounds in southern South America before the last juveniles have left the Arctic." (

Thursday, July 31, 2014

my bird of the week - Winter Wren

Ph - Wikim. Commons - Ron Knight
In the forest on some of the Apostle Islands, this bird expresses the spirit of the place with its song:

Here's a great description of the Winter Wren's habitat, from the Bent life histories series: "To see it, or rather to hear its tinkling, rippling song, to best advantage, we must visit its summer haunts in the cool, shady northern forests, where the sunshine hardly penetrates, where rotting stumps and fallen tree trunks are thickly covered with soft mosses, where dampness pervades the atmosphere near babbling woodland brooks, and where a luxuriant growth of ferns springs from the accumulation of rich leaf mold to nearly hide the forest floor".

And it IS a spectacular song.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"to provide birds the best fighting chance of surviving threats, at least half of the boreal forest should be protected"

Worth reading, from the Boreal Songbird Initiative:

"To provide birds the best fighting chance of surviving the dual threats of habitat loss and climate change, at least half of the boreal forest should be protected from industrial development."

Saturday, June 21, 2014

WGLBBO Waterbird Watch results for spring of 2014

The Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory conducted another season of its Waterbird Watch this spring (2014).

Some results: Waterbird Watch Technician Jonathan Stein was present at the watch location at Harrington Beach State Park in Ozaukee County, on 55 dates. He started on March 7, and ended on May 23.

103,592 individuals of 168 species were counted. The top 13 species with their totals are listed below:

Red-breasted Merganser: 26,173
Greater Scaup: 16,286
Long-tailed Duck: 11,306
Bonaparte's Gull: 9,768
Double-crested Cormorant: 8,220
Herring Gull: 7,698
Common Goldeneye: 1,729
Redhead: 1,688
Ring-billed Gull: 1,625
Tree Swallow: 1,586
Mallard: 1,335
Canada Goose: 1,239
Red-winged Blackbird: 1,163

The Waterbird Watch will start again on September 1st.