Eagle Day along the Fox River

1000 Islands Environmental Center

Adult Bald Eagle soaring over the Fox River. Photo by Karl Kaufman

EAGLE DAYS at 1000 Islands Environmental Center is an all day event. Join us for the annual celebration of the Bald Eagle on January 26, 2019. Activities will include eagle observations, presentations, hands-on activities and a craft for the kids.

Plan to join us also on January 26, 2019 for an opportunity to see a live Bald Eagle up close. Learn all about eagle biology, ecology, natural history and cultural connections in an engaging and entertaining presentation by a naturalist interpreter from the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota. No admission or advance registration is required. Daily programs are scheduled for 10AM, 1PM and 3PM.

Watch our Facebook page and website for more details.

The 1000 Islands Environmental Center is located at 1000 Beaulieu Court in Kaukauna.

Kaukauna Public Library

The Kaukauna Public Library will also be hosting Eagle Day events on January 26, 2019.

  • Eagle Day Crafts from 9am to 1pm
  • Eagle Day Storytime from 10:30am to 11am
  • Raptor Rehab: The Trials and Tribulations of Protecting American Bald Eagles and other Raptors” from 11:30am to 12:30pm – Wildlife rehabilitators from Wildlife of Wisconsin (WOW) will teach us about some of the common threats to our area raptors, meet. Plan to attend and hear stories about some of WOW’s educational raptors as well as to learn how rehabilitators and even you can protect the magnificent animals yourself.

The Kaukauna Public Library located at 207 Thilmany Road will also be hosting a wide variety of activities that day.

Paper Discovery Center

Wapaha the Golden Eagle with Dianne Moller anxiously getting ready for a take-off during Eagle Day 2018. Photo by Donna VanBuecken

We’ll also be celebrating Bald Eagles on January 26 at the Paper Discovery Center (PDC).

  • Hoo’s Woods Raptor Center will be doing a live raptor show that will include a Golden Eagle, Snowy Owl and a flight demo with an owl.
  • Robert Rosenfield, Professor of Biology at UW Stevens Point, will be presenting his research on Cooper’s hawk and bringing his Great Horned Owl.

In addition to the two speakers, we will have information on Bald Eagles, an owl craft and who could forget the guests of honor: The Bald Eagles on the Fox River. Meet some raptors and learn more about Bald Eagles with us.

Tickets purchased in advance by January 25 are $5 for adults, children and seniors. Each ticket is good for general admission to the PDC from
10:00 AM-4:00 PM, as well as seating at ONE of the live animal shows. Limited seats available. No one will be admitted without a ticket.

Tickets can be purchased at Purchase Tickets.

For more information, go PDC website.  The PDC is located at 425 W Water St, Appleton, Wisconsin.

 

Common Goldeneyes

Common Goldeneye ducks floating along the Fox River in Appleton Wisconsin’s Lutz Park. Photo by Donna VanBuecken

There are a number of us who participate in the eagle monitoring program hosted by WDNR. We count the eagles we see along the Fox River for 90 minutes during sunrise, once a month during November through March. We often see other wildlife, especially waterfowl. This past Saturday, December 8, 2019, it was 10 degrees at sunrise; fog was rising from the water’s surface. As the sun rose higher in the sky and before I left my monitoring site, the fog was so dense you could hardly see across to the other side of the river.

Common Goldeneye Ducks

The distinct coloring of the male goldeneye is shown beautifully in the photo below. With their white body and black back and their greenish-black head with a white spot on each side of their face, the males stood out even in the fog.

A pair of Common Goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula). Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In the video below I’ve recorded a flock of Common Goldeneye ducks lifting off the water. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the whistling of their wingbeats. They would fly west down the river and then float back. Ah! The life of a duck!!

“Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) is a Special Concern species in Wisconsin. It is a medium-sized diving duck with a chunky body and a large head. The males are white with a black back. The head is greenish-black with a white spot on each side of the face. The females have a light-brown head. They have a white belly, breast and flanks, interfaced with a gray back, wings and tail. Both sexes have a distinctive bright yellow to pale yellow eyes.

The species is an uncommon breeder in Wisconsin that nests in cavities with most individuals seen here (in Wisconsin) during migration or winter. During the breeding season, it is found near ponds, lakes, and rivers in woodland areas. The clutch size varies from 5 to 16 eggs that are incubated by the female for 28 to 32 days. The species is threatened by the impacts of pesticides, deforestation, as well as decreased water quality. The recommended avoidance period for this species is April 10 – July 10.” (WDNR)

Added note: Common Goldeneyes can reach speeds of 40 mph in flight.

June 20, 2018 – American Eagle Day

Photo from the Gulkana Wild and Scenic River in Alaska by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management – Alaska (@mypubliclands).

Today, June 20, 2018 is the day America celebrates its national bird, the bald eagle, for American Eagle Day. On June 20, 1782, the bald eagle was placed at the center of the Great Seal of the United States and remains an inspiring symbol of our country. After a dramatic recovery, following the banning of DDT, bald eagles are now found in every state but Hawaii, soaring high and inspiring the nation.

For more on the fight to get rid of DDT, go to Banning DDT.

Wisconsin’s Eagle License Plate

The following is reprinted from the WDNR Weekly On-Line News, dated April 10, 2018:

Celebrate eagles’ comeback by buying a license plate to fund the next conservation success

Eagle plate - Photo credit: DNR
Wisconsin residents can celebrate the continuing comeback of bald eagles and help fund the next conservation success by buying a bald eagle license plate.

Wisconsin residents can celebrate the continuing comeback of bald eagles and help fund the next conservation success by buying a bald eagle license plate. License plate sales and donations to the Endangered Resources Fund account for 25 percent of funding for work by DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation staff with endangered species and natural areas.

Learn more about Endangered Resources Fund and the on-the-ground conservation work it supports at dnr.wi.gov, keywords “Endangered Resources Fund.”

Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearings – Neonics

2018 Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearings flyer. (WDNR)

Each second Monday of April, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress holds their spring hearings. There are 54 questions this year concerning a myriad of conservation issues. One of great importance to natural landscaping enthusiasts is advisory question 45 on the use of neonicotinoids:

“Should the Conservation Congress work with the DNR, NRB and Wisconsin Legislature to take up the ‘Saving Wisconsin Pollinators Act,’ and include specific language to ban the use of neonicotinoid insecticides (dinotefuran, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) regardless of application method on all state owned agricultural and forest lands, and establish limited use guidelines for continued use on commercial and private agricultural lands? Yes or No?”

“The question relates to banning the use of neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) on state owned agriculture and forest land. “Neonicotinoids are a widely used class of insecticides. They are neurotoxins that are present throughout all parts of the plant once applied, including the leaves, pollen, and nectar. They can also contaminate water resources and soils as well. Studies show that pollinators are endangered through acute poisonings by coming into contact with these toxins. It has been widely reported that we are currently experiencing a large loss of pollinators.”

Doug Tallamy says a Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) pair brings 390-570 caterpillars to their young per day for 16 days. Photo by Doug Tallamy.

In essence, although neonics are effective against a variety of insect pests, they also kill non-target insects such as pollinators, and can have an equally unhealthy indirect effect on birds, bats and other insect-eating wildlife in the chain of life.

Wisconsin Conservation Hearings

The hearings will be held in each county of Wisconsin on April 9, 2018 at 7:00PM. Everyone attending has a chance to speak on behalf of any of the questions — pro or con. Everyone attending has the opportunity to cast their vote — yes or no — on each question. These citizen advisory ballots are then presented to the Natural Resources Board (NRB) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

If you are not able to attend the hearings personally, your comments should be submitted to the Wisconsin DNR no later than April 9, 2018. Send your comments to:

•Fisheries Rule Coordinator, Scott Loomans, 101 South Webster St. PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, (608) 266-5206, scott.loomans@wisconsin.gov

•Wildlife Rule Coordinator, Scott Karel, 101 South Webster St., PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, (608) 267-2452, scottr.karel@wisconsin.gov

Please send your comments to the WDNR. Let’s get the use of neonics under control here in Wisconsin.

Hearings Questionnaire

Hearings Locations

Background on Neonic Insecticides by Wisconsin Society for Ornithology

New Idea to Save Birds from Tall Objects

As part of research conducted by Auburn University, trainers and a veterinarian are trying to develop radar and visual systems to help stop birds from striking wind turbines. In one experiment, researcher Jason Roadman and veterinarian Seth Oster release a Bald Eagle from a lift to track how it flies toward turbines. The work is being done with U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Photo: Dennis Schroeder and John de la Rosa/NREL/Flickr CC (BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

According to the USGS, wind turbines collisions kill between a quarter to a half million birds annually. Researchers from the College of William and Mary, however, have built a warning system they call the Acoustic Lighthouse. This invention emits a high-pitched sound which warns birds to look ahead and slow down or stop before they impact with the wind turbine. This device could be used on tall buildings and other towers like those used for storm warnings and cell phones.

Geeese taking off from Horicon pond in spring. Photo by Jack Bartholmai

I for one would be grateful to have these devices placed on the 86 wind turbines that stand just two miles from the 11,091 acres that make up Horicon Marsh here in Wisconsin.

See also Save the Eagles International