birds

Focus on Loons
4:53 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Loon Symposium Highlights Role of Citizen Scientists

Citizens play an ever-important role in monitoring loons and gathering observational data.
Credit Mitch Mode

A conference on loons this weekend put the spotlight on citizen involvement in scientific research. 

Wildlife rehabilitator Marge Gibson of Antigo’s Raptor Education Group says the two-day Loon Symposium was unique in including citizens that collect observational data on loons.

“They are providing such a huge benefit to loon observation, and even giving this information back to the researchers.  And that to me was so exciting to see.” 

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Annual Migration Event
5:06 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Raptors Take Flight Through Midwestern Skies

Northern goshawks are some of the raptor species that migrate in October.
Credit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_goshawk#mediaviewer/File:AccipterGentilisJuvenileFlight1.jpg

As colder weather moves into the Northwoods, most birds are moving out.  The fall migration is well underway for raptors and many other species of birds. 

At the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth, researchers have counted tens of thousands of raptors passing overhead in the past several weeks. 

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Wildlife Matters
4:00 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Migrating Birds Take Flight in Fall

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are just some of the many birds that head south for the winter.
Credit Dick Daniels

Temperatures are dropping, and as we move closer to winter many species are migrating south.  

  In today’s Wildlife Matters, DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz talks about the different ways birds make the trip.

My mom always used to tell me that hummingbirds traveled south for the winter riding on the backs of Canada geese.  While this is a charming and compelling tale, the fact is that these little birds migrate the same way all other birds do – they fly. 

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Eagles Bounce Back
4:00 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Oneida, Vilas Counties Hotspots for Bald Eagle Recovery

Credit Michele Woodford / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

It’s no longer uncommon to see a bald eagle in the Northwoods. 

Oneida and Vilas counties have the highest number of pairs of bald eagles in Wisconsin, according to the most recent DNR survey in 2013.

After disappearing from most areas of the state in the mid-20th century, there are now more than 1300 pairs of eagles in Wisconsin. 

Ron Eckstein, a retired DNR Wildlife Biologist, worked on eagle conservation efforts for more than 25 years.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Eckstein to hear more about bald eagle success story.

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Federal Authorities Search for Suspect
7:02 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Bayfield County: Three Ospreys, One Owl Dead

Ospreys are federally protected, so shootings of them are rare.
Credit Public Domain Images

An Antigo wildlife rehabilitator says the recent case of several ospreys dead in Bayfield County is a rare situation.

Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group says last month her rehab center took in an adult male osprey that had been shot in the wing.  Authorities soon found the ospreys’ abandoned nest and its two chicks. 

“When the bird didn’t come back, the youngsters started calling loudly, doing food begging calls.  They were not old enough to leave the nest by themselves, and finally ended up jumping from the nest just in desperation to be fed.”

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Wildlife Matters
11:57 am
Tue August 5, 2014

A Woodpecker That Rarely Pecks Wood

Northern flickers are in the woodpecker family, but they act quite differently than many woodpeckers.
Credit Dick Daniels / http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Northern_Flicker_male_Yellow-shafted_RWD.jpg

Next, DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz talks about the woodpecker that doesn't act like a woodpecker...

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A Case of Bad Timing
6:25 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Loons Abandon Nests Facing Droves of Black Flies

Loons in the Northwoods are suffering due to high numbers of black flies pestering them while they try to nest.
Credit Mitch Mode

As many of us in the Northwoods are being driven crazy by mosquitoes, loons are being harassed by blackflies. 

High numbers of loons are having trouble staying on their nests this year due to a surge in a certain kind of black fly that only targets loons.  

Walter Piper, a researcher from Chapman University who has been studying loons in the Northwoods for twenty two years, says it’s the most abandoned nests he’s ever seen.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Piper about what that means for the loon population.

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Encased in Ice
3:35 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Loons Spared From Ice Storms This Year

Loons return to the Northwoods in late April to find a nesting site.
Credit Mike Baird via https://flic.kr/p/JAwGP

With the ice slowly melting, loons are starting to return to the Northwoods. 

Though this winter has been long, one wildlife rehabilitator says it’s been much better for loons than last year.

Marge Gibson from the Raptor Education Group remembers that last spring she treated dozens of loons that had been caught in ice storms while in flight. 

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Northwoods Splendor
2:14 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Slideshow: Spring Birds in the Northwoods

A great blue heron has taken a fish.
Mitch Mode WXPR News

On an early April morning north of Rhinelander, WXPR Contributor Mitch Mode captured images of several bird species returning to the Northwoods this spring.