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.
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.