Thursday, May 8, 2014


Well, it's that time again! My warbler list so far...
  • orange-crowned
  • Nashville
  • northern parula
  • yellow
  • chestnut-sided
  • magnolia
  • cape may
  • yellow-rumped
  • black-throated green
  • palm
  • pine
  • bay-breasted
  • black-and-white
  • prothonotary
  • American redstart
  • northern waterthrush
  • common yellowthroat
  • Wilson's

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lake Ice

At least on the south shore of the lake, large chunks of ice have shattered and are moving out from the center. Notice the difference in the picture below vs. the prior pics of the ice sheet on Mendota in earlier posts.
view from Lakeshore Path
The ice is now inhabiting the "opposite" parts of the lake! The open water in the middle held Bonaparte's gulls and horned grebes today.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


This is a photo taken from about the same spot as a few days ago. The ice pack is now broken up, so there are some channels in the middle.
Lake Mendota
Coolest lake list addition today was common loon!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Open Water

The lake opens more day by day! The ice is thinning and receding quickly.
Today's new bird of the day was northern shoveler.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Today's additions from Lake Mendota...
  • redhead
  • ring-necked duck
  • ruddy duck

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lake Mendota

This is the status of the lake thaw this spring. The ice is gradually receding, though as you can see, leaves are still absent from the trees.
rain rolling in

Open water has brought some ducks: bufflehead, wood duck, gadwall, canvasback, lesser scaup, common goldeneye and hooded merganser so far.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring is Springing!

Today, I walked from my office up to Class of 1918 marsh to find my FOY sandhill cranes and common grackle!

Monday, February 3, 2014

UW Campus

Yesterday, I took a walk around campus and an adjacent neighborhood. New birds were: hairy woodpecker and brown creeper!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rusty Blackbird Blitz

Hi green birders,

I'm coordinating the Rusty Blackbird Blitz for Wisconsin this year, and the good news is, this can overlap with your BIGBY! Between mid-March through April, keep your eyes out for rusty blackbirds (RUBL) and report them via eBird. Actually, if you're not already doing so, report all of your birding efforts through eBird! The more complete the list, the better, and 0s can be as important as finds. Thanks for your help in pinpointing migration stopovers and numbers for this species. If you need any more motivation than helping in a conservation effort, BIGBY, patch list, and/or any type of list, we will also be competing with Minnesota for highest overall RUBL tally, biggest hotspot discovered, and potentially other categories (suggest in the comments!). So, take your Wisconsin pride, and your eco-ethic, with you in your search for rusty blackbirds this spring.

email me at:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Story So Far...

For my wanderings around the near west Madison and campus, here's my list so far...
  • mallard
  • Cooper's hawk
  • red-tailed hawk
  • rock pigeon
  • mourning dove
  • great horned owl
  • downy woodpecker
  • American crow
  • black-capped chickadee
  • white-breasted nuthatch
  • American robin
  • European starling
  • American tree sparrow
  • dark-eyed junco
  • northern cardinal
  • house finch
  • American goldfinch
  • house sparrow

Monday, January 20, 2014

My BIGBY + Patch Area

As mentioned in the prior post, there is a Wisconsin Local Patch Challenge going on this year. I figured I'd post mine here, because this is pretty much where all my BIGBY happens too! I'm still on foot, so it would be quite a task for me to wander outside of this circle (though not impossible...).
Make your own circle!

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Patch Challenge

This year, your BIGBY efforts might count twice! The state is now hosting a local patch challenge, that will probably coincide with your favorite local spots. The idea is to draw a 7.5 mi radius around your house, and find as many species as possible within that area. This is yet another way to promote green birding and encourage birders to do more ground work within their "home turf."

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Hello all! Let the games begin! I'm excited to promote another year of green birding in Wisconsin. This has been the most fun birding challenge I've participated in, and gives you a great excuse to get to know your neighborhood like never before. Like I mentioned last year, I saw so many things I'd never noticed driving by. The adventures continue, as do the birds along the way!