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Sillouette of a Kirtland's WarblerWisconsin Kirtland's Warbler Update

June 13, 2012

PDF Version

Stand of young red pine where three Kirtland's warblers established territories.

At least three male Kirtland’s warblers have established territories in this young stand for the first time in 2012. Adams County, WI. May 17, 2012.

Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick

Adams County Report

Since our previous update, our second monitor for the 2012 field season Emily Lind began work, and has been assisting Shaun in monitoring the Adams county breeding sites. For the past few weeks, Shaun and Emily have been spending time with each of the individual males as they settle into their home territories for the breeding season. To date, we have identified at least 19 male and five female Kirtland’s warblers present, and at least three females have established nests and begun incubation.


This year, the birds are more spread out than ever before, with four birds now taking up residence in two new and younger stands that are just beginning to enter the age when they are suitable for occupation. This bodes well for the future, and we are hopeful that they will be successful in these new stands. Only a few of the other sites in Adams County have been thoroughly checked, so additional birds may be found in Adams county as well as other counties.


Statewide Surveys

Within the past week, volunteer surveyors have stepped up their search for Kirtland's warblers in suitable habitat in about a dozen counties. Since our previous update we have received several new observations from Douglas and Marinette counties. First, volunteer Erik Collins found singing males at two Douglas county sites about ½ mile apart on June 2. Volunteer Steve LaValley checked these sites on June 5 and saw at least two birds at one of the sites and a single bird at the other, but given their proximity, could not be sure there were more than 2 birds. On June 8, volunteer Patrick Hager found a bird at a site about 3 miles east of the other two sites. Erik Collins revisited the area on June 9, when only one bird could be found.


Another Marinette county bird was also reported by volunteer Tim Collins on June 5, and was reported to be unbanded. A follow-up visit on June 9 failed to relocate the bird.


The official Kirtland's Warbler Singing Male Census period began Wednesday, June 6. Any males observed prior to June 6 must be relocated during the Census period (June 6-20) in order to be counted in the Census.


Male Kirtland's warbler color banded in 2011 and seen in the same area in 2012.

This Marinette county male Kirtland’s warbler, the same bird we banded at this site in 2011, has been present since at least May 16. Marinette County, WI. June 5, 2012.

Photo by Jack Swelstad


With all of the birds seen in Douglas county, we were hopeful that a small core of breeding birds were being established in this area, which is rich in suitable habitat. On June 12, we organized a banding effort, and Ron Refsnider traveled up to the area to attempt to band the birds observed over the past week. Unfortunately, despite the scouting provided by Emily beginning the day before, we were unable to re-locate any of the birds. It appears that these birds have traveled on to other sites in search of females, similar to other birds in Vilas and Marinette counties.



To date, we have confirmed at least 19 different male and five female Kirtland’s warblers in Adams County. Volunteer surveyors Jack Swelstad, Jim Baughman, Dan Jackson, Erik Collins, Steve LaValley, Patrick Hager and Tim Collins have reported at least five additional males, at sites in Marinette, Vilas, Bayfield and Douglas Counties. With the exception of a Marinette County bird that was previously banded, and the bird we banded in Bayfield County, none of these birds have remained at the locations where they had been observed.


Cowbird Trapping

USDA Wildlife Specialist Barry Benson reports that last week, he removed an additional 13 cowbirds from the three cowbird traps. Through June 8, a total of 202 cowbirds have been captured and removed from the traps at the Adams County Kirtland’s warbler site.



Joel A. Trick
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
2661 Scott Tower Drive
New Franken, WI 54229

Kim Grveles
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
101 S. Webster Street - ER/6
Madison, WI 53703





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Last updated: February 13, 2017