A rare bird that ornithologists are trying to attract to Vilas county has been de-listed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced recently its plans to remove Kirtland's Warbler from the list.
DNR conservation biologist Davin Lopez says the warbler is a success story. At one point there were just a couple hundred birds living in Michigan, now more than 2,000 are known to exist in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario.
Lopez says Vilas county has the right habitat to attract a viable population...
"....there's definitely habitat there and we have been utilizing and will again utilize this year playback units which are basically recorded songs of the bird. Males tend to establish territories next to established territories, so we're trying to trick them into thinking there are already birds in the area...."
The first nest was confirmed in Wisconsin in 2007.
Besides Vilas county, Forest and Marinette County foresters continued their habitat management efforts that benefit Kirtland's warblers. Wisconsin's population has grown from only 11 Kirtland's warblers and three nests documented in 2007 to 53 birds and 20 total nests in 2017.