New Year's Sunrise at Faville Grove
Jan
1
6:55 AM06:55

New Year's Sunrise at Faville Grove

  • Buddy’s Place at Faville Grove Sanctuary (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

There is simply no better way to start the New Year. We will enjoy the pre-dawn light as we meander through the prairie, arriving at the marsh overlook by 7:25 a.m. to see the sun rise over the Faville Marsh. We will spend the early morning exploring the winter marsh and surrounding uplands.

If there is good snow and you have snowshoes, bring them along. Otherwise, sturdy boots for uneven terrain will do. 

Led by Roger Packard, David Musolf, and Drew Harry

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Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey
Jan
6
10:00 AM10:00

Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey

Come out and start your New Year’s resolution to get more exercise and do more birding by counting wintering Bald Eagles on Lake Mendota with the Madison Audubon Society!

The Mid-winter Bald Eagle Survey is federal count that has been going on since 1979 to survey the overall health of population in the lower 48 states.  

Bring your binoculars, cameras, scopes, and dress warmly for about a two-mile walk. 

Event is rain or shine. Meet at the entrance to Picnic Point (free weekend parking lot is across the street).

Contact Drew Cashman at drcashman11@yahoo.com or 850-7264 to register or for more information. 

 

Bald eagle family in nest, photo by Arlene Koziol

Bald eagle family in nest, photo by Arlene Koziol

WANT MORE BALD EAGLE OBSERVATION FUN?

Check out our new citizen science program, Bald Eagle Nest Watch! Adopt a bald eagle nest, watch a bald eagle family grow!

 

Header photo by Monica Hall

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Mid-Winter Snowshoe at Faville Grove
Feb
11
9:00 AM09:00

Mid-Winter Snowshoe at Faville Grove

Bring your snowshoes and join us for an excursion through the recessional glacial terrain at Faville Grove Sanctuary. We will explore a diversity of habitats including woodland, savanna, prairie, and wetland as we search for animal tracks and enjoy the landscape. In the event that there is insufficient snow cover for snowshoes, come prepared for an interesting hike.

Led by Drew Harry, David Musolf, and Roger Packard

Header photo by Jeff McDonald

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Explore Our Winter World
Feb
24
9:00 AM09:00

Explore Our Winter World

  • UW Arboretum (Meet at the Visitor's Center) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Come enjoy our beautiful winter world and look for signs of animals that are active. Learn to identify the tracks of common Wisconsin animals including white tailed deer, coyote, fox, squirrel, rabbit, and turkey. Also learn to identify woodpecker holes and other bird signs. The walk will be on even trails at a leisurely pace so bring the whole family! We will have binoculars that you may borrow during this trip.

Led by Carolyn and BJ Byers

Note: This trip limited to 20 people - registration is required! Please contact Carolyn  (carolyn.byers@madisonaudubon.org or 608-255-2473) to reserve your spot.

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Evening Owl Prowl
Mar
8
6:30 PM18:30

Evening Owl Prowl

Enjoy the nighttime woods on this evening Owl Prowl at Picnic Point. Meet at Lot 129 at the entrance to Picnic Point, and bring a headlamp or flashlight if you like. We will begin birding as dusk falls, and continue our Owl Prowl until 9:00 p.m. Great horned and barred owls are regularly seen in this area, and we may get lucky and find screech owls as well! We will have binoculars for loan.

Led by Carolyn and BJ Byers

Note: This trip is limited to 20 people - registration is required! Please contact Carolyn (carolyn.byers@madisonaudubon.org or 608-255-2473) to reserve your spot.

Cover photo by Monica Hall

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Evening Owl Prowl
Mar
10
6:30 PM18:30

Evening Owl Prowl

Enjoy the nighttime woods on this evening Owl Prowl at Picnic Point. Meet at Lot 129 at the entrance to Picnic Point, and bring a headlamp or flashlight if you like. We will begin birding as dusk falls, and continue our Owl Prowl until 9:00 p.m. Great horned and barred owls are regularly seen in this area, and we may get lucky and find screech owls as well! We will have binoculars for loan.

Led by Carolyn and BJ Byers

Note: This trip is limited to 20 people - registration is required! Please contact Carolyn (carolyn.byers@madisonaudubon.org or 608-255-2473) to reserve your spot.

Cover photo by Arlene Koziol

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Spring Migrants at Lake Farm County Park
Mar
31
8:00 AM08:00

Spring Migrants at Lake Farm County Park

This field trip focuses on birding the Lake Farm County Park area and nearby open water. Lake Waubesa and Upper Mud Lake should have a variety of ducks. On the trails we may find yellow-rumped warblers, phoebes, thrushes, and a variety of sparrows. We will walk part of the new Capital City Trail and check Lake Waubesa and Upper Mud Lake for ducks, loons, and other birds. Bring a scope for viewing the lake, if possible.

Led by Pat Ready

Header photo by Phil Brown

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Woodcock and Snipe Walk
Apr
5
6:30 PM18:30

Woodcock and Snipe Walk

Meet at the kiosk along Prairie Lane for an evening enjoying delightful spring displays of woodcock and snipe. Be prepared to be dazzled by the woodcock’s flight, and to learn about the natural history of one of Aldo Leopold’s favorite birds. Binoculars are recommended.

Led by Drew Harry, David Musolf, and Roger Packard

Header photo by Arlene Koziol

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Beyond Backyard Birding
Apr
18
7:30 AM07:30

Beyond Backyard Birding

This morning trip is especially for backyard birders looking to grow their skills! Come to have your bird questions answered and get help identifying all of those small streaky brown birds, and other early spring migrants. The walk will be on even trails at a leisurely pace so bring the whole family! We will have binoculars for loan.

Note: This trip limited to 20 people - registration is required!. Please contact MAS office (bmarsicek@madisonaudubon.org or 608-255-2473) to reserve your spot.

Led by Kenny Younger

Header photo by Kelly Colgan Azar

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Beyond Backyard Birding
Apr
25
7:30 AM07:30

Beyond Backyard Birding

  • UW Arboretum (Meet at the Visitor's Center) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This morning trip is especially for backyard birders looking to grow their skills! Come to have your bird questions answered and get help identifying all of those small streaky brown birds, and other early spring migrants. The walk will be on even trails at a leisurely pace so bring the whole family! We will have binoculars for loan.

Note: This trip limited to 20 people - registration is required!. Please contact MAS office (bmarsicek@madisonaudubon.org or 608-255-2473) to reserve your spot.

Led by Kenny Younger

Header photo by Phil Brown

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Birding at Wyalusing State Park
Apr
28
5:00 AM05:00

Birding at Wyalusing State Park

Wyalusing State Park overlooks the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. The Mississippi is a major migration route for numerous birds and the rugged bluffs make this breathtaking scenery a beautiful spot for a spring adventure. Observe hawks, warblers (including yellow-throated), lots of other birds, and a few spring wildflowers. Bring a lunch, as this trip will last until mid-afternoon. Carpool from the Verona Park & Ride (2565 Old Co Rd PB) at 5:00 a.m. or meet the group at 7:00 a.m. by the Wyalusing park office.

A Wisconsin State Park sticker is required to enter Wyalusing State Park.

Led by Quentin Yoerger

Header photo by Madison Audubon Society

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Spring Birds and Wildflowers of  the Baraboo Hills
Apr
28
8:00 AM08:00

Spring Birds and Wildflowers of the Baraboo Hills

  • Devil's Lake State Park (South Shore) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

We will explore the birds, wildflowers and the Baraboo Hills ecology in action at Devil's Lake SP. We will decide our route the morning of, depending on the weather and phenology: perhaps Messenger Shore and Creek, Burma Road, bluff trails, Red Oak State Natural Area, or Roznos Meadow. We’ll likely find breeding Louisiana waterthrush, winter wren, migrant waterbirds and songbirds, grand geology, and rich displays of wildflowers. Bring water, snack, and appropriate foot-wear for a mile-long hike on rugged terrain.

A Wisconsin State Park sticker is required to park at Devil’s Lake. Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Middleton Park & Ride (4340 Parmenter Street, Middleton) to carpool, or meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking area for the boat landing on the southwest shore of Devil’s Lake.

Led by Mike Mossman

Header photo by Joshua Mayer

 

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Warbler Walk: UW Arboretum
May
1
6:00 AM06:00

Warbler Walk: UW Arboretum

With over two dozen warblers moving in and through Madison this time of year, we always have fun tallying up how many we can find! Come enjoy the sunrise from the Arboretum and listen to the morning chorus. We will meet at the Visitor Center parking lot at 6:00am.

Led by Chuck Henrikson, Kenny Younger, and Shawn Miller

Header photo by Arlene Koziol

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Warbler Walk: Cherokee Marsh
May
2
6:00 AM06:00

Warbler Walk: Cherokee Marsh

With over two dozen warblers moving in and through Madison this time of year, we always have fun tallying up how many we can find! Join us for an early morning walk to look for colorful warblers and other spring migrants. Co-sponsored with Friends of Cherokee Marsh.

Follow N. Sherman Ave. north to the parking lot at the end of the gravel road.

Led by Kyle Lindemer and Tim Baker

Header photo by Arlene Koziol

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Warbler Walk: Turville Point
May
3
6:00 AM06:00

Warbler Walk: Turville Point

With over two dozen warblers moving in and through Madison this time of year, we always have fun tallying up how many we can find! The walk will last about two hours, and will go on unless there is heavy rain or lightning. 

Meet at the south parking lot for Olin-Turville Park (where Olin Ave. meets John Nolen Dr.) at 6:00 a.m.

For any concerns or questions, please contact Peter Fissel at 608-226-0260 or peter.fissel@wisc.edu

Led by Peter Fissel, Marty Evanson, and Quentin Yoerger

Header photo by Phil Brown

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Evening at Nine Springs
May
4
6:30 PM18:30

Evening at Nine Springs

With marsh and pond habitats and frequently good mud flats, this is an interesting and overlooked birding spot to search for shorebirds, herons, cranes, terns, swallows, and waterfowl. Meet at the E-Way parking lot along the Capital City Bike Trail on Moorland Road. Bring a scope if you have one! This trip is co-sponsored by Friends of Capitol Springs Recreation Area.

Led by Peter Fissel and Dan Doeppers

Header photo by Arlene Koziol

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Birding Madison School Forest
May
6
7:00 AM07:00

Birding Madison School Forest

Join us as we walk the trails of this mature hardwood forest, much of which is part of the Olson Oak Woods State Natural Area, looking for a variety of migrating warblers, thrushes, tanagers, orioles, and others.  There will be some up- and downhill hiking, although we will move at a leisurely pace.

Meet at the parking lot at 7:00 a.m. From Hwy 151 south of Verona, take Hwy 69 south for one mile to Riverside Rd. Take Riverside west for two miles to Fritz Rd., then south for 0.9 miles to the parking lot just before the curve in the road. Wear sturdy footwear, and bring water and a snack in case you want to keep birding after the trip, which will last about 2 hours.

Led by Chuck Henrikson (ckhenrikson@charter.net) and Peter Fissel (peter.fissel@wisc.edu, 608-226-0260)

Header photo by Kelly Colgan Azar

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Explore Faville Grove West
May
6
7:30 AM07:30

Explore Faville Grove West

Buddy’s Prairie features restorations in various stages from a recent planting to a well-developed 20+ year old prairie. There are many habitat features as well: a shallow pond, open water marsh and tamarack bog complex, black oak savanna, and dry-mesic prairie. Join us for a walk as we discuss the site’s history, stages of restorations, bird and plant identification, and more. Parking is located at Buddy’s old farmstead and along Highway 89.

Led by Drew Harry and David Musolf

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Warbler Walk: UW Arboretum
May
8
6:00 AM06:00

Warbler Walk: UW Arboretum

With over two dozen warblers moving in and through Madison this time of year, we always have fun tallying up how many we can find! Come enjoy the sunrise from the Arboretum and listen to the morning chorus. We will meet at the Visitor Center parking lot at 6:00am.

Led by Chuck Henrikson, Kenny Younger, and Shawn Miller

Header photo by Kelly Colgan Azar

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Warbler Walk: Turville Point
May
10
6:00 AM06:00

Warbler Walk: Turville Point

With over two dozen warblers moving in and through Madison this time of year, we always have fun tallying up how many we can find! The walk will last about two hours, and will go on unless there is heavy rain or lightning. 

Meet at the south parking lot for Olin-Turville Park (where Olin Ave. meets John Nolen Dr.) at 6:00 a.m.

For any concerns or questions, please contact Peter Fissel at 608-226-0260 or peter.fissel@wisc.edu

Led by Peter Fissel, Marty Evanson, and Quentin Yoerger

Header photo by Phil Brown

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Warbler Walk: Cherokee Marsh
May
16
6:00 AM06:00

Warbler Walk: Cherokee Marsh

With over two dozen warblers moving in and through Madison this time of year, we always have fun tallying up how many we can find! Join us for an early morning walk to look for colorful warblers and other spring migrants. Co-sponsored with Friends of Cherokee Marsh.

Follow N. Sherman Ave. north to the parking lot at the end of the gravel road.

Led by Kyle Lindemer and Tim Baker

Header photo by Phil Brown

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Birds and History of the Former Badger Army Ammunition Plant
May
19
8:00 AM08:00

Birds and History of the Former Badger Army Ammunition Plant

Come explore the birdlife of the expansive grass- and shrubland of what was once the world’s largest ammunition plant, and now an Important Bird Area. The site is well known for its populations of grassland and shrub-loving birds like bobolink, eastern meadowlark, Bell's vireo, and many sparrow species such as Henslow's, grasshopper, field, and clay-colored. We’ll see management that has been undertaken by the various landowners, and discuss its effects on the breeding birds, as well as the changes that have occurred here since the field trip leader began studying them in 1998.

We’ll meet in the parking area south of the entrance, by the historical museum at 8:00 a.m., then carpool through the area. Note that the roads here are rough. Expect some short walks along roads and easy trails. To carpool, meet at  7:10 a.m. at the Middleton Park & Ride (4340 Parmenter Street, Middleton).

Led by Mike Mossman

Header photo by Bunny and Norm Lenburg

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Birding at Baxter's Hollow
May
27
6:30 AM06:30

Birding at Baxter's Hollow

  • Baxter's Hollow (meet in Middleton to carpool) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Baxter’s Hollow is one of the most scenic areas in the Baraboo Hills. We will search for breeding species like the winter wren, worm-eating, mourning, cerulean, and hooded warblers, Louisiana waterthrush, both cuckoos, and any migrants passing through. The trip will depart from the Middleton Park & Ride at 6:30 a.m.

Led by Peter Fissel

Header photo by Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren

 

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Birding Devil's Lake
Jun
2
6:00 AM06:00

Birding Devil's Lake

  • Devil's Lake State Park (Meet in Middleton to carpool) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

We’ll scour the southern half of Devil’s Lake State Park looking for a variety of species, including yellow-throated vireos, Acadian flycatchers, scarlet tanagers, blue-winged warblers, and possibly cerulean and worm-eating warblers. We will extend the trip to include Baxter’s Hollow if time permits.

A Wisconsin State Park sticker is required to park at Devil’s Lake. Meet at 6:00 a.m. at the Middleton Park & Ride to carpool, or meet at 6:45 a.m. in the parking area for the boat landing on the southwest shore of Devil’s Lake.

Led by Chuck Heikkinen and Delia Unson

Header photo by Jeff Bryant

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Rocky Run Oak Savanna SNA
Jun
6
9:00 AM09:00

Rocky Run Oak Savanna SNA

  • Rocky Run Oak Savanna SNA (Meet at Goose Pond to carpool) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The 455-acre Rocky Run Oak Savanna contains bur, white, and black oak savanna, a box canyon, and more than 100 plant species along with a diversity of reptiles and butterflies.   Rocky Run contains the highest density of whip-poor-wills in Columbia County and hosts many other savanna bird species. Over 30 years ago Madison Audubon volunteers assisted the DNR in removing red cedar trees from the site. Join us in exploring a state natural area with a diversity of habitats, plants, and wildlife.

We will meet at W7503 Kampen Road, car pool to the site and return to Goose Pond for a picnic lunch.

Please note: This trip is limited to 16 people - registration is required! Please contact the MAS Office (bmarsicek@madisonaudubon.org or 608-255-2473) to reserve your spot.

Led by Mark Martin and Susan Foote-Martin

Header photo by Joshua Mayer

 

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Grassland Birds
Jun
10
8:30 AM08:30

Grassland Birds

We should see lots of grassland species here. Likely sightings include bobolinks, eastern meadowlarks, savannah sparrows, sedge wrens, and dickcissels. Other possible species are eastern kingbirds, grasshopper sparrows, and willow flycatchers.

Meet at the Middleton Airport parking lot on Airport Rd., about ¼ mile west of the Beltline intersection in Middleton. There are no trails, so bring waterproof footwear if it has rained recently.

Led by Curt Caslavka and Mike McDowell

Header photo by Kelly Colgan Azar

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Butterflies and Wildflowers of Pleasant Valley
Jun
16
10:00 AM10:00

Butterflies and Wildflowers of Pleasant Valley

Pleasant Valley Conservancy is a beautiful state natural area situated in the Driftless Area, with steep goat prairies, oak savanna, and a large, high-quality marsh. This time of year we hope to see Baltimore checkerspots, wetland skippers, swallowtails, silvery checkerspot, fritillaries, and blues. All of these butterflies will have many wonderful native plants to nectar on this time of year. Long pants, a hat, water, hiking shoes, and close-focusing binoculars are recommended. If you would like, bring along a bag lunch for after the field trip; beverages and dessert will be provided. Once on Pleasant Valley Road, drive past the buildings on the right to the state natural area sign; please park off the road near the sign. This trip is co-sponsored by the Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association and The Prairie Enthusiasts.

Led by Dan Sonnenberg, Karl Legler, and Tom and Kathie Brock

Photo by Madison Audubon Society

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Butterflies of Cherokee Marsh
Jun
23
10:00 AM10:00

Butterflies of Cherokee Marsh

We will observe a variety of butterflies as they take nectar from wildflowers, and learn about their identification, behavior, and lifestyle. Bring binoculars if you have them—close-focusing ones work best; we will have a few extras available. Long pants and a hat are recommended. This trip is co-sponsored by the Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association and Friends of Cherokee Marsh.

Led by Karl and Dorothy Legler and Jan Axelson

Header photo by Arlene Koziol

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Evening at Rettenmund Prairie
Jul
11
6:30 PM18:30

Evening at Rettenmund Prairie

Join us for a summertime trip to this high-quality prairie remnant. A spectacular display of butterfly milkweed, leadplant, and coreopsis should be at its peak on this summer evening. Park on the right (north) side of Fesenfeld Road. This site is a State Natural Area owned by The Prairie Enthusiasts. This trip is co-sponsored by The Prairie Enthusiasts.

Led by Kathie and Tom Brock

Header photo by Madison Audubon Society

 

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Bumble Bees on the Prairie
Aug
4
9:00 AM09:00

Bumble Bees on the Prairie

Bumble bees are key pollinators, aiding fruit and seed production in native plants as well as food crops. During the summer months, their colonies reach peak size, and they forage in fields, gardens, prairies, savannas, and wetlands. Learn about the diversity, life history, and identification of bumble bees at Goose Pond, and see a variety of bee-friendly flowers, such as gray-headed coneflower, rattlesnake master, nodding onion, sunflowers, hoary vervain, white false indigo, and many others in full bloom. If you'd like, bring a camera to this field trip to capture images to upload and share.

Rain date: August 5

Note: This trip is limited to 25 people - registration is required! Please contact the MAS office (bmarsicek@madisonaudubon.org or 608-255-2473) to reserve your spot.

Led by Susan Carpenter and Maddie Dumas

Header photo by Arlene Koziol

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Swift Night Out
Sep
1
6:30 PM18:30

Swift Night Out

Hundreds of chimney swifts use the brick chimney at Cherokee Heights Middle School for their nightly roost. "A Swift Night Out" is a continent-wide effort to raise awareness about chimney swifts and their need for roosting habitat. Bring a lawn chair and binoculars to observe and count swifts as they gather at communal roosts before fall migration to South America.

Note: Swifts have been known to change their preference for chimneys, so please check back for location changes.

Led by Sandy Schwab

Header photo by Steve Benoit

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Pleasant Valley Conservancy Labor Day Hike
Sep
3
1:00 PM13:00

Pleasant Valley Conservancy Labor Day Hike

Pleasant Valley Conservancy State Natural Area is a 140 acre natural area in western Dane County near the town of Vermont. The property contains prairie remnants, wetlands, and extensive oak savannas and has been under intensive management for the past 20 years. Hiking will be partly across steep bluffs, and long pants with sturdy hiking shoes are recommended. At the end of the three-hour trip, light refreshments will be served at the small cabin on site.

Park on Pleasant Valley Road fire number 4609 along the south side of the driveway.

Led by Tom and Kathie Brock

Header photo by Madison Audubon Society

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Birding at Zeloski Marsh
Sep
9
9:00 AM09:00

Birding at Zeloski Marsh

Zeloski Marsh in western Jefferson County has become a major stopover for shorebirds and is also frequented by waterfowl and wading birds. This tour during fall migration includes about 1.5 miles of walking to get good views of these birds. Bring binoculars and spotting scope if you have them. Wear good walking shoes! A snack and water bottle are recommended.

Meet at the DNR parking lot at W9054 London Road.

Led by Brad Webb

Header photo by WisconsinKaasKop

 

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Fall Prairies at Faville Grove
Sep
16
9:00 AM09:00

Fall Prairies at Faville Grove

The prairie can be just as beautiful as the iconic northern forest in fall.  On this trip you will immerse yourself in the textures, colors, sounds, and smells of fall at Faville Grove. We will tour the Prairie Lane restorations and take note of the fall colors, late blooming wildflowers (such as gentians, asters, and goldenrods), talk about the role of seed collecting in our restorations, and more.

Meet at the sanctuary parking area next to the kiosk on Prairie Lane.

Led by Drew Harry, David Musolf, and Roger Packard

Header photo by Jeff Pieterick

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Beyond Backyard Birding
Sep
29
7:30 AM07:30

Beyond Backyard Birding

This morning trip is especially for backyard birders looking to grow their skills! Come to have your bird questions answered and get help identifying all of those small, streaky brown birds! We'll also be keeping our eyes out for fall migrants in the beautiful oak savanna along the Yahara River. The walk will be on even trails at a leisurely pace so bring the whole family! We will have binoculars for loan.

Please note: This trip limited to 20 people. Please contact MAS office (bmarsicek@madisonaudubon.org or 608-255-2473) to reserve your spot.

Led by Kristin Brunk and Maia Persche

Header photo by Kelly Colgan Azar

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Fall Colors and Birds in Hemlock Draw
Oct
20
8:30 AM08:30

Fall Colors and Birds in Hemlock Draw

Come in search of fall colors as we hike in Hemlock Draw, The Nature Conservancy State Natural Area. With maples, birches, hickories, oaks and other trees in various stages of autumn hews, the views of this mixed conifer, deciduous forest may be delightful. The fall migration could include thrushes, flycatchers, sparrows and hawks. The resident woodpeckers, finches, nuthatches, cardinals maybe calling. Part of the trip maybe off trail. Bring water, a snack to eat during the hike, if you want, and appropriate footwear for rugged terrain.

Led by Levi Wood

Header photo by Kelly Colgan Azar

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Birding Madison's Lakes
Dec
9
7:30 AM07:30

Birding Madison's Lakes

As winter sets in, smaller ponds and lakes in south-central Wisconsin freeze, causing migrating birds to become concentrated on Madison’s large lakes, which remain open longer. We will look for waterfowl, gulls, and winter birds. This trip has produced some unusual sightings in the past, including red-throated loons, so don’t miss it!

We will carpool and leave at 7:30 a.m. from the middle of UW Parking Lot 60 at the north end of Walnut Street. Dress warmly and bring a scope if you have one!

Led by Quentin Yoerger

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Lake Michigan Birding
Nov
11
6:30 AM06:30

Lake Michigan Birding

Please note: Due to weather, this field trip has been reschedule for Saturday, November 11.

Same time, same place -- see you then!

Join us as we bird Lake Michigan and its shoreline during the migration of waterfowl through Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Sheboygan Counties. We will be scoping the lake for surf, black, and white-winged scoter, long-tailed duck, harlequin duck, and red-throated loon. Rarities found on this trip over the years include pacific loon, western grebe, purple sandpiper, red phalarope, parasitic jaeger, Bohemian waxwing, Townsend’s warbler, prairie warbler, Nelson’s sparrow, and both crossbills.  

Dress for the weather and bring a scope if you have one. A high ratio of scopes to people will make this trip more enjoyable for everyone!

*We will return to Madison between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m.

Led by: Peter Fissel

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Natural History & Ecology at Leopold's Shack
Oct
14
10:00 AM10:00

Natural History & Ecology at Leopold's Shack

  • Aldo Leopold Foundation & The Shack (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

UPDATE! The weather looks quite rainy for our trip, but we called the Aldo Leopold Foundation and they are willing to host a tour rain or shine. So the fun is still on! Rain gear is recommended. And don't forget your $10 donation to the Foundation.  See you there!

Come visit the green-built Aldo Leopold Foundation building, as well as Leopold’s Shack, made famous in his book The Sand County Almanac. We will have a guided tour with Leopold Foundation staff and will be looking for early fall colors, late-blooming plants, and listening for birds along the way.

Bring your binoculars, clothing appropriate for being outdoors and indoors, bug spray and sunscreen if you wish, and a bag lunch.

A $10 donation to the Aldo Leopold Foundation is required for this trip.

Led by Aldo Leopold Foundation guides. Coordinated by Levi Wood & Matt Reetz (phone 608-886-2785).

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Beyond Backyard Birding
Oct
7
8:30 AM08:30

Beyond Backyard Birding

  • Pheasant Branch Nature Conservancy (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This morning trip is especially for backyard birders looking to grow their skills! Come to have your bird questions answered and get help identifying all of those small streaky brown birds, as we visit both prairie and woodland habitat. The walk will be on even trails at a leisurely pace so bring the whole family! We will have binoculars for loan.

*This trip is limited to 20 people - registration is required! Please contact Carolyn to reserve your spot.

Led by: Carolyn and BJ Byers

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Fall Prairies at Faville Grove
Sep
17
9:00 AM09:00

Fall Prairies at Faville Grove

The prairie can be just as beautiful as the iconic northern forest in fall.  On this trip you will immerse yourself in the textures, colors, sounds, and smells of fall at Faville Grove. We will tour the Prairie Lane restorations and take note of the fall colors, late blooming wildflowers (such as gentians, asters, and goldenrods), talk about the role of seed collecting in our restorations, and more!

Meet at the sanctuary parking area next to the kiosk on Prairie Lane.

Led by: Drew Harry, David Musolf, and Roger Packard

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Birding at Zeloski Marsh
Sep
10
9:00 AM09:00

Birding at Zeloski Marsh

  • Zeloski Marsh, Lake Mills Wildlife Area (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Zeloski Marsh in western Jefferson County has become a major stopover for shorebirds and is also frequented by waterfowl and wading birds. This tour during fall migration includes about 1.5 miles of walking to get good views of these birds.

Meet at the DNR parking lot at W9054 London Road. Bring binoculars and spotting scope if you have them. Wear good walking shoes! A snack and water bottle are recommended.

Led by: Brad Webb

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Pleasant Valley Conservancy Annual Labor Day Trip
Sep
4
1:00 PM13:00

Pleasant Valley Conservancy Annual Labor Day Trip

Pleasant Valley Conservancy State Natural Area is a 140 acre natural area in western Dane County near the town of Vermont. The property contains prairie remnants, wetlands, and extensive oak savannas and has been under intensive management for the past 20 years. The Brock family of Madison, WI took the initiative to restore the land to its natural state after purchasing it as a way to spend more time outdoors with their children. To better understand the history of the area, read this article that was written by the Journal Sentinel last week about the Brock family and their work at Pleasant Valley.  

Hiking will be partly across steep bluffs, and long pants with sturdy hiking shoes are recommended. At the end of the three-hour trip, light refreshments will be served at the small cabin on site.

Park on Pleasant Valley Road fire number 4609 along the south side of the driveway.

Led by: Tom and Kathie Brock

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Swift Night Out
Sep
1
6:30 PM18:30

Swift Night Out

Hundreds of chimney swifts have been using the brick chimney at Cherokee Heights Middle School for their nightly roost. "A Swift Night Out" is a continent-wide effort to raise awareness about chimney swifts and their need for roosting habitat. Bring a lawn chair and binoculars to observe and count swifts as they gather at communal roosts before fall migration to South America.

Led by: Sandy Schwab

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Evening at Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie
Jul
5
6:30 PM18:30

Evening at Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie

Join us for a summertime trip to this high-quality prairie remnant. A spectacular display of butterfly milkweed, leadplant, and coreopsis should be at its peak on this summer evening.

Park on the right (north) side of Fesenfeld Road. This site is a State Natural Area owned by The Prairie Enthusiasts.

This trip is co-sponsored by The Prairie Enthusiasts.

Led by: Kathie and Tom Brock

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Butterflies of Cherokee Marsh
Jun
24
10:00 AM10:00

Butterflies of Cherokee Marsh

We will observe a variety of butterflies as they take nectar from wildflowers, and learn about their identification, behavior, and lifestyle.

Bring binoculars if you have them –close-focusing ones work best; we will have a few extras available. Long pants and a hat are recommended.

This trip is co-sponsored by the Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association and Friends of Cherokee Marsh.

Led by: Karl and Dorothy Legler and Jan Axelson

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Butterflies and Wildflowers  of Pleasant Valley
Jun
17
10:00 AM10:00

Butterflies and Wildflowers of Pleasant Valley

Pleasant Valley Conservancy is a beautiful state natural area situated in the Driftless Area, with steep goat prairies, oak savanna, and a large, high quality marsh. This time of year we hope to see Baltimore checkerspots, wetland skippers, swallowtails, silvery checkerspot, fritillaries, and blues. All of these butterflies will have many wonderful native plants to nectar on this time of year.

Long pants, a hat, water, hiking shoes, and close-focusing binoculars are recommended. If you would like, bring along a bag lunch for after the field trip; beverages and dessert will be provided!

Once on Pleasant Valley Road, drive past the buildings on the right to the state natural area sign; please park off the road near the sign.

This trip is co-sponsored by the Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association and The Prairie Enthusiasts.

Led by: Douglas Buege and Tom and Kathie Brock

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Grassland Birds Trip
Jun
11
8:30 AM08:30

Grassland Birds Trip

We should see lots of grassland species here. Likely sightings include bobolinks, eastern meadowlarks, savannah sparrows, sedge wrens, and dickcissels. Other possible species are eastern kingbirds, grasshopper sparrows, and willow flycatchers.

Meet at the Middleton Airport parking lot on Airport Rd., about ¼ mile west of the Beltline intersection in Middleton. There are no trails, so bring waterproof footwear if it has rained recently.

Led by: Curt Caslavka and Mike McDowell

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Honey Creek State Natural Area
Jun
11
7:30 AM07:30

Honey Creek State Natural Area

The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Harold & Carla Kruse Honey Creek State Natural Area has a diverse bird and an unusual plant community. Over 60 species of birds have been recorded here in a day. The habitat varies from stream bottom through wetland, plus hardwood, pine, and hemlock woodlands.

Be sure to wear waterproof footwear appropriate for a small stream crossing. Bring binoculars, field guides, and a snack. Dress for the weather and to protect yourself from mosquitoes!

If desired, meet at 6:45 a.m. to carpool from the Parmenter Street Park and Ride next in Middleton.

Led by: Levi Wood

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Birding Devil's Lake
Jun
10
6:00 AM06:00

Birding Devil's Lake

We’ll scour the southern half of Devil’s Lake State Park looking for a variety of species, including yellow-throated vireos, Acadian flycatchers, scarlet tanagers, blue-winged warblers, and possibly cerulean and worm-eating warblers! We will extend the trip to include Baxter’s Hollow if time permits.

A Wisconsin State Park sticker is required to park at Devil’s Lake. Meet at 6:00 a.m. at the Middleton Park & Ride to carpool, or meet at 6:45 a.m. in the parking area for the boat landing on the southwest shore of Devil’s Lake.

Led by: Chuck Heikkinen and Delia Unson

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Exploring Faville Grove with Ernesto Reyes
May
31
7:00 AM07:00

Exploring Faville Grove with Ernesto Reyes

  • Buddy's Place at Faville Grove Sanctuary (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join Ernesto Reyes, Evenings with Audubon speaker, Cuban bird photographer and naturalist, and sanctuary staff for a field trip at Faville Grove Sanctuary. This is a great opportunity to spend more time getting chummy with Ernesto while exploring the wonderful diversity of plants, birds, mammals, insects and other life at one of the area's premier natural areas. We'll keep a special eye out for birds that migrate to or through Faville Grove from Cuba and nearby areas.

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Birding at Baxter’s Hollow
May
21
6:30 AM06:30

Birding at Baxter’s Hollow

  • Carpool from the Copp’s grocery store parking lot at 6800 Century Avenue, Middleton (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Baxter’s Hollow is one of the most scenic areas in the Baraboo Hills. We will search for breeding species like the winter wren, worm-eating, mourning, cerulean, and hooded warblers, Louisiana waterthrush, both cuckoos, and any migrants passing through.

The trip will depart from the Pick'n Save parking lot (6800 Century Avenue) in Middleton at 6:30 a.m.

Led by: Peter Fissel

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Explore Faville Grove West
May
20
7:30 AM07:30

Explore Faville Grove West

  • Buddy’s Place at Faville Grove Sanctuary (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Buddy’s Prairie features restorations in various stages from a recent planting to a well-developed 20+ year old prairie. There are many habitat features as well: a shallow pond, open water marsh and tamarack bog complex, black oak savanna, and dry-mesic prairie. Join us for a walk as we discuss the site’s history, stages of restorations, bird and plant identification, and more!

Parking is located at Buddy’s old farmstead and along Highway 89.

Led by: Drew Harry and David Musolf

 

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Explore Erstad Prairie & Schoenberg Marsh Waterfowl Production Area
May
10
9:30 AM09:30

Explore Erstad Prairie & Schoenberg Marsh Waterfowl Production Area

Explore the 780 acre prairie wetland complex that includes MAS's 60-acre Erstad Prairie and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 720-acre Waterfowl Production Area. We will tour the different habitats including prairies, wetlands, and savannas, and watch for wood ducks, ruddy ducks, red-necked grebes, American white pelicans, red-headed woodpeckers, marsh wrens, yellow-headed blackbirds, and eastern meadowlarks.

This walking tour follows an established path and boardwalk to a deck with benches overlooking the wetland. A permanent spotting scope located on the deck will aid us in our search for birds. Please bring a lunch if you'd like!

Directions:

GPS Location: 43°20'34.7"N 89°18'17.0"W

Drive North past the intersection of Priem Road and Harvey Road. Meet at the parking lot adjacent to the Erstad Prairie as indicated on the map below: 

 

This field trip is led by: Mark Martin, Sue Foote-Martin, and Maddie Dumas.

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Martin at 608-333-9645.

 

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Warbler Walk at Elver Park
May
8
6:00 AM06:00

Warbler Walk at Elver Park

Come look for warblers at Elver park, the largest community park in Madison. Elver park spans 250 acres of woodland and grassland in the southwest corner of Madison, just off of McKenna Boulevard. Meet at 6 am on Monday, May 8th in the westernmost parking lot next to softball diamond 1. Expect to see a wide variety of warblers and other migrants, including vireos, thrushes and flycatchers.

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Evening at Nine Springs
May
5
6:30 PM18:30

Evening at Nine Springs

With marsh and pond habitats and frequently good mud flats, this is an interesting and overlooked birding spot to search for shorebirds, herons, cranes, terns, swallows, and waterfowl.

Meet at the E-Way parking lot along the Capital City Bike Trail on Moorland Road. Bring a scope if you have one! This trip is co-sponsored by Friends of Capitol Springs Recreation Area.

Led by: Peter Fissel and Dan Doeppers

 

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Turville Point Warbler Walk
May
4
6:00 AM06:00

Turville Point Warbler Walk

  • Olin-Turville Court Madison, WI United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Meet at the south parking lot for Olin-Turville Park (where Olin Ave. meets John Nolen Dr.) at 6:00 a.m.  The walk will last about two hours, and will go on unless there is heavy rain or lightning.  

For any concerns or questions, please contact Peter Fissel at 608-226-0260 or peter.fissel@wisc.edu

Led by: Quentin Yoerger and Peter Fissel

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Warbler Walk (Friends of Cherokee Marsh)
May
3
6:00 AM06:00

Warbler Walk (Friends of Cherokee Marsh)

  • Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park North Unit, 6098 N. Sherman Ave (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join us for an early morning walk to look for colorful warblers and other spring migrants. 

Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park, North Unit, 6098 N. Sherman Ave. Follow N. Sherman Ave. north to the parking lot at the end of the gravel road. 

Sponsored by the Friends of Cherokee Marsh and Madison Audubon Society.

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Spring Birds and Wildflowers of  the Baraboo Hills
Apr
29
8:00 AM08:00

Spring Birds and Wildflowers of the Baraboo Hills

Come check out what’s happening on a spring day at Hemlock Draw, especially the display of spring wildflowers, which include some of the special northern species that thrive in these hemlock groves of the Baraboo Hills.  

The Louisiana Waterthrushes will be back, singing their long ringing melodies along the creek, phoebes should be nest-building on the shaded sandstone cliffs, and with luck we’ll find migrant birds in force. We’ll stop at the ancient quartzite sea-stacks and see how nature continues to heal the scars left by former human activities and more recent storm events.

Only part of trip will be on trails. Bring water, lunch, and appropriate footwear for rugged terrain. We’ll meet at the Mossman home and carpool.

Led by: Mike Mossman

 

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Beyond Backyard Birding
Apr
28
6:00 PM18:00

Beyond Backyard Birding

These evening trips are especially for backyard birders looking to grow their skills! Come to have your bird questions answered and get help identifying all of those small streaky brown birds, as we visit both prairie and woodland habitat. We may even hear some owls as dusk falls. Meet in Lot 129 at the base of Picnic Point. The walk will be on even trails at a leisurely pace so bring the whole family! We will have binoculars for loan.

*This trip is limited to 20 people - registration is required! Please contact Carolyn to reserve your spot.

Led by: Carolyn and BJ Byers

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Beyond Backyard Birding
Apr
20
6:30 PM18:30

Beyond Backyard Birding

These evening trips are especially for backyard birders looking to grow their skills! Come to have your bird questions answered and get help identifying all of those small streaky brown birds, as we visit both prairie and woodland habitat. We may even hear some owls as dusk falls. Meet in Lot 129 at the base of Picnic Point. The walk will be on even trails at a leisurely pace so bring the whole family! We will have binoculars for loan.

*This trip is limited to 20 people - registration is required! Please contact Carolyn to reserve your spot.

Led by: Carolyn and BJ Byers

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Evening at Cherokee Marsh
Apr
14
6:30 PM18:30

Evening at Cherokee Marsh

Join us for an evening at Cherokee Marsh! We are likely to see cranes, observe the courtship flight of woodcock and snipe, and see several spring migrants. Waterproof footwear is recommended. This trip is co-sponsored by Friends of Cherokee Marsh.

Led by: Levi Wood and Peter Fissel

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