Bob Dall

Mitch Mode / WXPR News

As the days get longer many migratory birds are returning to the Northwoods.

Geese and robins have been reported, and birder Bob Dall says sandhill cranes have been back for a few weeks now. 

“They don’t need open water, they are more likely in search of open fields or areas where they can find food.  Some of them come back when there’s still snow and ice.” 

The annual spring Midwest Crane Count happens in a few weeks, on April 18th. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Birders were out before dawn this weekend for the annual Midwest Crane Count.  


“We’ll it’s about 6 oclock in the morning.  The rain is coming down lightly, but we’re out here counting cranes, or trying to.  Listening for their territorial calls or their guard calls.” 

Oneida County Coordinator Bob Dall explains that every spring, volunteers spread out to document sandhill crane populations, as well as rare sightings of whooping cranes.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Volunteers are getting ready to count Wisconsin’s cranes.  The Midwest Crane Count happens April 12th, organized by the International Crane Foundation.

The count happens early in the morning, between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m.  Oneida County coordinator Bob Dall says volunteers look and listen for a crane’s call at about 40 known nesting sites in the county.   

“Some of our local wildlife areas like Thunder Marsh, areas near open flowages and wetland bogs.  Cranberry marshes are very popular for cranes, they love to feed or nest there.”