Signs of Early Spring


Spring bird migration is underway along the eastern flyway and some really early arrivals have shown up in the Lake Wingra watershed.  Since last Friday (February 24th) , sandhill cranes and red-winged blackbirds have been seen in, and over, the UW-Madison Arboretum.   Both species are here earlier than normal, the average arrival date for cranes and red-winged blackbirds is between March 7 and March 15th.

Sandhill crane pair and chick in UW-Madison Arboretum in summer 2010. Photo by Stephen B. Glass.

Also spotted yesterday (by Chuck Henrikson) was a turkey vulture soaring over Gallistel Woods in the Arboretum.  Although I don’t have an average arrival date for this species, February 26 seems a bit early.

Also, Chuck Henrikson has reported all winter on a Great Blue Heron that he has regularly seen hanging out at the Wingra Big Spring.  The Great Blue Heron does not normally arrive in the area until about March 27th.

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About Steve Glass

The blogger is a restoration ecologist practicing and writing in the Midwestern United States.
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