Wisconsin Ecological Services Field Office

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2661 Scott Tower Drive
Green Bay, WI 54229-9565
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Sillouette of a Kirtland's WarblerWisconsin Kirtland's Warbler Update

May 24, 2010

PDF Version


Bird watchers looking through spotting scopes.

Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin members view a singing Kirtland's warbler.

Photo by USFWS: Joel Trick

Female Arrival

As of last Thursday, at least two female Kirtland’s warblers had arrived at the Adams county breeding site. The first female was confirmed on Tuesday, and on Thursday a second female was found. Also on Thursday, both females were observed building nests.


In our last report, we indicated that as of Friday, May 14, we had 4 birds on site. Monday the 17th saw the arrival of 4 more banded birds, and up to 3 unbanded males. More birds arrived as the week progressed, and by the end of the week there were a minimum of ten, and probably 13 males present at the Adams County site where nesting has occurred each of the past three years. We are unable to be sure how many are there until we band all of the males, as some birds are moving around the site a lot and could have been counted more than once.


Incredibly, of the nine banded males present at the site in 2009, at least eight have been confirmed so far in 2009. A ninth banded bird is also present that has only three bands instead of the expected four. The three bands he carries match up with the color combination of our 9th bird from 2009, but we will need to capture him to confirm his identity. We plan to mobilize our banding operation next week.



Cowbird Trapping

USDA-Wildlife Services has had three cowbird traps in operation at the Adams county site since April 19. Wildlife Specialist Barry Benson reports that through May 21, a total of 167 cowbirds have been trapped so far this year.

NRF Field Trips

After offering field trips to Wisconsin Society for Ornithology members the past two years, this year we decided to try something new and offer a similar experience to members of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. NRF has provided the bulk of the funding for Kirtland’s warbler work in Wisconsin since the beginning of the project, and it was gratifying to be able to give back to NRF members.


We held field trips to see Kirtland’s warblers on both Friday and Saturday, and as in previous years, our events were very successful. Participants learned about Kirtland’s warbler ecology, forest management on Plum Creek Timber Company lands, and the details of cowbird trapping.


Biologist, Nick Walton, being interviwed by staff from Wisconsin Public Television.

Liz Koerner and Frank Boll of Wisconsin Public Television interview our 2010 Kirtland’s warbler monitor, Nick Walton.

Photo by USFWS: Joel Trick

All attendees were also led to a singing male Kirtland’s warbler that had set up a territory not far from the road. Field trip participants on the Friday trip had to put up with light rain and wet vegetation, but the weather was much more cooperative on Saturday, with light winds and generally clear skies. Though the bird was sometimes difficult to locate as he moved through the dense pines, all field trip participants were able to successfully observe the bird.


On Saturday, a film crew from Wisconsin Public Television was on site, to film a segment on the Kirtland’s warbler project for the program In Wisconsin. They got some great video of NRF members enjoying views of the Kirtland’s warbler, as well as outstanding footage of the very cooperative singing male.






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