Wisconsin Kirtland's Warbler Update
June 14, 2010
Nesting season is in full swing at the Adams County site, and Nick has confirmed that at least one nest has hatched, with a second expected to hatch any day now. He has also confirmed the arrival of another new female, bringing the total number of females known to be present to seven. One of the males banded in 2009 that had not been seen for about 3 weeks has now returned, bringing the total number of males on site to 18. This same male was also observed carrying food, suggesting the presence of at least one other female. Including the pair at the other Adams County site, we know of at least 19 males and 8 females in Adams County as of today.
The male Kirtland’s warbler that we captured and banded last week was subsequently observed with a female. Despite rechecking the other sites where birds were previously observed, no other birds were reported from Marinette County this week
Bayfield and Douglas Counties
The big news this week is the discovery of several male Kirtland’s warblers in Bayfield and Douglas Counties. On Sunday June 6, Ohio-based photographer Bob Royse found a singing male Kirtland’s at a site in Bayfield County, and captured some excellent images (below). A follow-up visit by Wisconsin DNR biologist Steve LaValley confirmed the presence of at least two males and one female. On the same date, Steve also found a single Kirtland’s male at another site in Douglas County. We have sent Paul Schilke up to check on these birds this week, and hope to get more details in the days ahead.
USDA Wildlife Specialist Barry Benson reports that over the past week, an additional three cowbirds were captured in the three cowbird traps. Through June 11, a total of 204 cowbirds have been captured, consisting of 139 males and 65 females. This compares to 293 captured after 8 weeks of trapping in 2009 (214 males, 79 females). As most Kirtland’s females are probably already incubating, we plan to end our cowbird trapping efforts after this week.
Annual Kirtland’s Warbler Survey
The survey season (and official census period) ends on Tuesday, June 15. To date, we have had three volunteers and two staff report possible Kirtland’s warbler sightings in the following counties: Marinette (3 different sites), Jackson (1 site), Bayfield (1 site) and Douglas (1 site). The Bayfield, Douglas, and Marinette County observations were confirmed. The Jackson County bird has not been re-located and remains unconfirmed.
Females found include one in Marinette County and another at the Bayfield County site. Field staff are working to determine how many males and females may be present at the Bayfield site and whether nesting is underway. We hope to have more details to share in the near future.
Many volunteers have taken the time to provide immediate feedback on their survey sites by phoning and sending emails. We appreciate their extra effort which helped us to direct staff efficiently for follow up activities. Anyone finding a Kirtland’s warbler is asked to contact either Joel or Kim at the e-mails and telephone numbers listed below.
Joel A. Trick
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
101 S. Webster Street - ER/6
Madison, WI 53703