Sauk Prairie Migratory Bird Day

It was Migratory Bird Day in Sauk Prairie this past Saturday, the official kickoff to Migratory Bird Week.  The week’s events will culminate with the Great Wisconsin Birdathon May 4.

Sauk Prairie first got involved with Migratory Bird Day (now week) when the villages applied for and were awarded Bird City Wisconsin status in 2012.  Our Bird City designation was recently renewed at the Sustained flight level.  The Bird City Wisconsin initiative is modeled after the Tree City USA program developed by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The goal of Bird City Wisconsin is to “Make our communities healthy for birds … and people.”  The focus is on improving urban bird habitat and reducing threats to birds.

I wanted to lay a little ground work for what led up to the events  this past weekend.

I was stationed Saturday at the canoe launch south of Sauk City.  This launch is maintained by the DNR on land that is considered a prime example of sandy barrens and an ideal spot for migrating birds.

Lueders Road Canoe Launch

Lueders Road Canoe Launch

The weather was perfect.  A little cool as we set up around 7:00 but the temps steadily increased as the morning went on.  Beautiful blue sky.   Migratory Bird Day is all about bird watching.   A couple of expert birders were on hand to help people identify birds either by sight or sound.  We identified a good number of birds in a four hour period:

Canada Goose

While Pelican

Sandhill Crane

Killdeer

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Robin

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

Northern Flicker

Crow

Tree Swallow

House Wren

Brown Thrasher

Yellow Rump Warbler

Chipping Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Red Wing Blackbird

Brown Headed Cow Bird

American Gold Finch

Coot

Spotted Sandpiper

Bald Eagle

Kingfisher

White Breasted Nuthatch

Mourning Dove

Bluebird

Grackle

Downy Woodpecker

Palm Warbler

House Sparrow

Bluejay

Turkey

Mallard

Pied Billed Grebe

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Barn Swallow

My favorite moment Saturday was when six white pelicans flew overhead.  They were so close we could see their black tipped wings.   You can’t help but watch in awe when you’re so close to such beautiful birds.

I’m including a list of resources about birding for anyone interested in learning more.

eBird
http://bit.ly/166UC2F

All About Birds, Cornell Laboratory of Orinthology
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1189

Landscaping with Native Plants
http://www.wildones.org/landscap.html

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