Spring Migration Has Begun in Wisconsin

Submitted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

With the warm weather and south winds there has been a significant increase in spring migrants sighted this week, including Red-winged Blackbirds, Killdeer, robins, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, bluebirds, Turkey Vultures and more. Other early migrants returning to breeding territories include American Woodcock, Great Blue Herons and Eastern Meadowlarks. There was a heavy waterfowl migration across the southern half of the state, including Common Goldeneyes, all three Mergansers, Green-winged Teal, Pintail, Wood Ducks, and many others. Greater White-fronted Geese are moving through in numbers, as are large flocks of Canada Geese and occasional Cackling, Snow, and Ross’s Geese. Canada Geese are staking out territory and will begin nesting soon. Sandhill Cranes are courting and dancing. Bald Eagles are incubating eggs and some Great Horned Owls already have chicks.

Maple syrup season has gotten off to a very slow start due to mild temperatures, especially overnight lows staying above freezing. One producer placed out 670 taps late last week and harvested 370 gallons of sap on Monday. The 10-day forecast does not show any significant changes to overnight lows. The concern is that trees will bud out soon, resulting in an early end of the season.

A number of observers reported seeing Leopard Frogs, Spring Peepers have been heard in the south and salamanders were active with the warm temperatures. Unfortunately the warm weather has also brought out reports from shed hunters and maple tappers finding the first ticks crawling around on them.

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