Lake Michigan Birding
Nov
4
6:30am 6:30am

Lake Michigan Birding

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

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

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 Grove 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 Drew Harry

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Natural History & Ecology at Leopold's Shack
Oct
14
10:00am10:00am

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
8:30am 8:30am

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
9:00am 9:00am

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
9:00am 9:00am

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
1:00pm 1:00pm

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
6:30pm 6:30pm

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
6:30pm 6:30pm

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
10:00am10:00am

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
10:00am10:00am

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
8:30am 8:30am

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
7:30am 7:30am

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
6:00am 6:00am

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
7:00am 7:00am

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
6:30am 6:30am

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
7:30am 7:30am

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
9:30am 9:30am

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
6:00am 6:00am

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
6:30pm 6:30pm

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
6:00am 6:00am

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
6:00am 6:00am

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
8:00am 8:00am

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
6:00pm 6:00pm

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
6:30pm 6:30pm

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
6:30pm 6:30pm

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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Woodcock & Snipe Spring Walk
Apr
6
6:30pm 6:30pm

Woodcock & Snipe Spring Walk

Meet at the kiosk along Prairie Lane for an evening spent 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

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Evening Owl Prowl
Mar
11
6:30pm 6:30pm

Evening Owl Prowl

*We're sorry, this Owl Prowl is full!*

We're offering a second owl prowl for those who just can't get enough of owls. 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 Owl are regularly seen in this area, and we may get lucky and find Screech Owl as well! We will have binoculars for loan.

Led by: Carolyn and BJ Byers

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