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Wisconsin Kirtland's Warbler Update
May 31, 2009
More Kirtland’s warblers have arrived since the previous update, with another unbanded male arriving by mid-week. When found, he was already paired with another female. As of Friday, this brought our total of Kirtland’s warblers at the Adams County breeding site to eight male and five female Kirtland’s warblers. On Saturday, a sixth female was found (see below), associating with the Bahamas-banded male that was also here last year.
WSO Field Trip
On Saturday, May 30 we held our second annual Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Kirtland’s warbler field trip, and it was a rousing success. Participants learned about Kirtland’s warbler ecology, forest management on Plum Creek Timber Company lands, and the details of cowbird trapping. All participants also had an opportunity to observe a singing male Kirtland’s warbler. This week we had chosen an unmated male that was singing frequently within a small area to show to field trip participants. Although the first small group taken to the bird saw the singing male sitting low, by the time the next group arrived, the bird was constantly moving and singing infrequently. Nick finally determined the problem - the bird was now mated, and would not leave his female. We decided to go to plan B, and move to an alternate site, where an unbanded, unmated male sang loudly and repeatedly for the duration of the tour. We were then able to show the bird to all who braved the long hike through dense pines to get to the bird.
USDA Wildlife Specialist Barry Benson reports that over the past week, he removed an additional 25 cowbirds from the three cowbird traps. Through May 29, a total of 248 cowbirds have been captured and removed from the Adams County Kirtland’s warbler site.
As in 2008, Kim Grveles has again organized a large group of volunteers to survey for Kirtland’s warblers in suitable habitat areas that we have identified in selected counties. The survey will begin this next Saturday, June 6, to coincide with the census that has been conducted continuously in Michigan for nearly 40 years. Anyone finding a Kirtland’s warbler is asked to contact either Joel or Kim at the e-mails and telephone numbers listed below.