Saturday, September 13, 2008

searching in the mist...


I spent Friday doing a bird survey in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, northeast of Fountain City. These Driftless Area hills and valleys were partly shrouded in mist for much of the morning. But many raptors, woodpeckers, flycatchers, bluebirds, swallows, thrushes and other songbirds were eventually seen and heard among these magnificent valleys. Among them were three individuals of a species I now seldom find in most of the rest of Wisconsin: the Red-headed Woodpecker. RHWO have declined greatly in many areas, to perhaps only 30% of their numbers of a century ago.

Read more about these birds here. Although some habitat restoration in certain Midwestern areas has led to local increases in this species population, much remains to be done. Declines are still evident, proof of which is simply shown in a graph of breeding bird survey data for WI - see the graph here.

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