Necedah National Wildlife Refuge Tour, September 8th.

  • Saturday, September 8, 2018, 9:00am–8:00am
  • Free Event

Meet at 9:00 A.M. in the parking lot of the visitor center. We will carpool from there. Please come prepared to share a ride, we will want to limit the number of cars in the caravan! The tour will last from 9:00 to approximately noon. We may go longer if circumstances require it. You may wish to bring a picnic lunch as restaurants are few in the village of Necedah. Binoculars, spotting scopes, and a camera with a long lens are good to have along. There will be very little hiking though we will be getting out of the vehicles for better views. We will have a family channel walkie-talkie in use during the tour so you may wish to bring one if you have one.

The itinerary may change depending on weather and scouting but is planned as follows: We will begin with a visit to the large area managed for Red-headed Woodpeckers. Seeing these beautiful birds is virtually guaranteed in this section of the refuge. We should be able to see them flying, visiting nests, and interacting. There should be juvenile birds at this time as well as adults.

Next stop will be at the Sprague-Mather Flowage. We will check the Goose and Sprague pool for waterfowl. Various duck species, Trumpeter Swans, Great Blue Herons and Canada Geese are frequent here. It is also possible to find Whooping Cranes in the area. It’s a fairly long drive to the flowage so we may stop along the way depending on what we see.

Our third planned stop takes us back south to the observation tower. This overlooks a wide, open area of the refuge. Wetlands and waterways are in view. From here we have frequently seen large flocks of Sandhill Cranes, Whooping Cranes, Bald Eagles, other raptors and most late summer / early autumn waterfowl. We have even – very rarely! - spotted the resident wolves.

As we travel about, we will keep a watch out for other birds. We have spotted Ruffed Grouse and other less often seen birds while traveling.

We will return to the Visitor Center after the tour. Necedah features a beautiful new Visitor Center that you may wish to visit when the tour is over.

If making a day of it, there are many other roads to explore in the refuge. There is also the Sandhill Wildlife Refuge several miles north of Necedah. It features a self-guided road tour, hiking trails, and a variety of habitats. There is a fee, on the honor system, to use the refuge. A wide variety of birds can be seen at this location and just possibly a herd of bison.

The Necedah Wildlife Refuge and environs are a true treasure of Wisconsin birding. We hope you will be able to join us in exploring it!

Jeff Bahls

Michael Edmonds will discuss his new book, Taking Flight: A History of Birds and People in the Heart of America.

  • Thursday, September 20, 2018, 7:00pm–9:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

In this illustrated talk, author Michael Edmonds will discuss his new book, Taking Flight: A History of Birds and People in the Heart of America.

Edmonds, Director of Programs and Outreach at the Wisconsin Historical Society and a long-time birder, will explain how and why people in the nation’s heartland worshipped, feared, studied, hunted, ate, and protected the birds that surrounded them over the last 12,000 years. From ancient American Indian shamans to modern conservationists, our predecessors thought about and acted toward birds differently than we do. Edmonds will share stories from his 30 years of research among unpublished manuscripts, rare books, archaeological reports, and historic places that led to Taking Flight. Whether you’re a casual bird-watcher, a hard-core life-lister, or simply someone who loves the outdoors, you'll encounter new ways of thinking about birds, people, and the extraordinary history that connects them.
Michael Edmonds is Director of Programs and Outreach at the Wisconsin Historical Society and the author of several books on Wisconsin history including Taking Flight: A History of Birds and People in the Heart of America; Warriors, Saints and Scoundrels: Brief Portraits of Real People Who Shaped Wisconsin; The Wisconsin Capitol: Stories of a Monument and Its People; Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer Reader; and Out of the Northwoods: The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan. He is a 1976 graduate of Harvard University and has taught part-time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1986 in addition to his work at the Historical Society. For more than a decade he wrote the weekly column, “Odd Wisconsin,” which was syndicated in newspapers around the state. His work has won national awards from the American Folklore Society and the American Association for State and Local History.

Field trip Big Sit

  • Saturday, October 6, 2018, 5:00am–4:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Palmatory Street Overlook

Big Sit
October 6
5AM - late afternoon
Palmatory St Observation deck, Horicon.
Anyone one can join!
The Big Sit! is like a Big Day or a bird-a-thon in that the object is to tally as many bird species as can be seen or heard within 24 hours. The difference lies in the area limitation from which you may observe.
Some people have called it a “tailgate party for birders.” Find a good spot for bird watching—preferably one with good views of a variety of habitats and lots of birds. Next, create a real or imaginary circle 17 feet in diameter and sit inside the circle for 24 hours, counting all the bird species you see or hear. That’s it. Find a spot, sit in it, have fun. Then submit your findings.
Participants are allowed to come and go from the circle—especially for the purpose of bringing food back into the circle—and the circle need not be occupied for the entire 24 hours.

Field Trip Horicon Marsh -Waterfowl

  • Saturday, November 3, 2018, 8:00am–12:00pm
  • Free Event
  • Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Jeff Bahls

Meet at 8AM at Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. From there we will car pool to various spots around the marsh to see ducks, geese, swans and who knows what else.