Wisconsin DNR

Some of Wisconsin's most beloved birds - purple martins, chimney swifts, tree and barn swallows, Eastern whip-poor-wills, and common nighthawks - are in trouble.

Residents can learn more about why and how to help these birds around their home during an early September conference in Waukesha.

A conservation biologist says the bird loss might have a direct link to a mysterious loss of insects.

Piping Plover Newly Threatened in Proposed Changes to Endangered Species Act

Jul 25, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin News Connection is here.

MADISON, Wis. - Bird enthusiasts and conservation groups say the Trump administration's plans to change the Endangered Species Act would make it more difficult to recover threatened or endangered birds.

The proposal, announced last week by the Interior and Commerce departments, would end the practice of extending similar protections to species regardless of whether they are listed as "endangered" or "threatened."

Wikimedia Commons Andrew C

A coalition of 180 Wisconsin organizations dedicated to conserving birds is celebrating 15 years of accomplishments, unveiling a new strategic plan to guide the next five years. They're also researching declining populations of purple martins, chimney swifts, whip-poor-wills, and other insect-eating birds.

One of the collaborators is the DNR. Bird expert Craig Thompson says they hope citizens in and near important bird populations will come forward to help preserving state bird populations.

The Nicolet Bird Club of Three Lakes is celebrating World Migratory Bird Day this Friday night and Saturday and the public is invited.

Birdfest's goal is to foster bird conservation and education and to introduce the public to migrating birds. Friday night is a meet and greet at the Three Lakes Center for the Arts. Here's club president Bill Lamon... skeeze

Millions of migratory birds have flooded into Wisconsin in the last week and more are on their way, so bird lovers will want to grab their binoculars.

Ryan Brady, a conservation biologist with the DNR and bird monitoring coordinator for the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, says migration is catching up thanks to warmer south winds..

Wisconsin DNR

A rare bird that ornithologists are trying to attract to Vilas county has been de-listed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced recently  its plans to remove Kirtland's Warbler from the list.

DNR conservation biologist Davin Lopez says the warbler is a success story. At one point there were just a couple hundred birds living in Michigan, now more than 2,000 are known to exist in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario.

Lopez says Vilas county has the right habitat to attract a viable population...

Organizers of a comprehensive survey of birds that nest in Wisconsin have identified more than 300 locations where volunteers are needed to help gather information for the survey, many of them north of Highway 29. george B2

An annual event is coming up in several days across the country called the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.

WXPR's Ken Krall turned to our own bird expert, Laura Erickson of "For The Birds", who has studied at the Cornell Lab, to talk about the bird count and how Northwoods residents can join in on a little bit of science and a little bit of fun...

Wisconsin DNR Joel Trick

Ten years after Kirtland's warblers were first documented in Wisconsin, populations of the rare songbird have increased and their range is expanding including into Vilas county.

According to the recently released 2017 nesting season report, the number of Kirtland's warblers grew from eleven birds and three nests in 2007 to 53 birds and 20 total nests in 2017.

Wisconsin DNR

A visitor from the far north of Canada is visiting Wisconsin from now into our springtime.

Ornithologists are noting a large influx, or an 'irruption' of snowy owls into the Northwoods. The heaviest of all North American owls, tipping the scales at 3 to 6 pounds, their bright white plumage, large yellow eyes, massive feathered feet attract attention.

Wisconsin is among the leaders for citizens reporting bird sightings to an international bird observation website.

Birding has become an increasingly popular pastime in the Northwoods and elsewhere, and a DNR biologist says this is eveident in the recent report on citizen participation on the 'eBird' website.

The DNR's Nich Anich says observations from Wisconsinites are many....

2016 is the centennial year of a significant treaty between the U.S. and Canada to protect birds and their migratory paths.

The North American neighbors will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Tuesday August 16.This historic agreement established bird protection measures across state and international borders.

Ken Krall spoke with the DNR's Meredith Penthorn about how an international treaty signed 100 years ago is significant today and into the future....

Cranes Return to Northwoods In Time for Midwest Crane Count

Mar 31, 2015
Mitch Mode / WXPR News

As the days get longer many migratory birds are returning to the Northwoods.

Geese and robins have been reported, and birder Bob Dall says sandhill cranes have been back for a few weeks now. 

“They don’t need open water, they are more likely in search of open fields or areas where they can find food.  Some of them come back when there’s still snow and ice.” 

The annual spring Midwest Crane Count happens in a few weeks, on April 18th. 

Loon Symposium Highlights Role of Citizen Scientists

Oct 27, 2014
Mitch Mode

A conference on loons this weekend put the spotlight on citizen involvement in scientific research. 

Wildlife rehabilitator Marge Gibson of Antigo’s Raptor Education Group says the two-day Loon Symposium was unique in including citizens that collect observational data on loons.

“They are providing such a huge benefit to loon observation, and even giving this information back to the researchers.  And that to me was so exciting to see.” 

Raptors Take Flight Through Midwestern Skies

Oct 9, 2014

As colder weather moves into the Northwoods, most birds are moving out.  The fall migration is well underway for raptors and many other species of birds. 

At the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth, researchers have counted tens of thousands of raptors passing overhead in the past several weeks.