A special treat in the fall at Goose Pond is to see swirling clouds of mallards above recently picked corn fields. This was Maddie’s first fall of seeing this amazing sight and she could hardly believe these large flocks were comprised of the familiar mallard! Mark and Sue have seen clouds of mallards hundreds of time but always enjoy watching them.
We are fortunate to have a flock of 17 snow geese visiting Goose Pond since October 22nd. On the water the flock (16 snows and 1 blue goose) is easy to pick out within the larger number of waterfowl including 3,000 Canada geese and 2,000 mallards. Snow and blue geese use to be listed as two species, but in 1972, they were combined into one species. The blue morph Snow Goose is controlled by a single gene, with dark color being partially dominant over white.
Island Girl, a female peregrine falcon and a celebrity in the falcon world, flew over Goose Pond on September 28th, on her migration south from Baffin Island in the high Arctic to her wintering area along the coast of Chile. She began the day near Munising, MI along Lake Superior, and flew 398 miles with northeast winds before ending the day east of Davenport, IA. We wondered if she took a lunch break hunting ducks and coots at Goose Pond.
Mourning doves are one of Wisconsin’s most abundant and widespread bird species, with the continental population estimated to be over 400 million. Goose Pond Sanctuary provides ideal habitat for mourning doves. They are common throughout the year and are one of our most numerous winter bird species. Counts over 100 are not uncommon.
Some consider the purple martin "America’s most wanted bird." They are also one of our favorite birds! North America's largest swallow is dependent on humans for nesting boxes. Before european settlement, Native Americans set out gourds for purple martins. It's as simple as this: people like martins--and martins like people.