See Whooping Crane and Kirtland’s Warbler in the wild this May

2/14/2014 | 0

Whooping Cranes at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Decatur, Alabama, January 10, 2013, by Lew Scharpf.

Whooping Cranes at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Decatur, Alabama, January 10, 2013, by Lew Scharpf.

Early in 2013, we published a list of 240 bird species that occur in the United States and Canada and asked you and other readers to choose the 10 that you wanted to see most.

The resulting list included three owls, a handful of endangered species, a clown-faced puffin, a blue-footed seabird that is rarely spotted in the United States, and America’s one and only condor.

Kirtland’s Warbler in Ogemaw County, Michigan, by woodsongphoto.

Kirtland’s Warbler in Ogemaw County, Michigan, by woodsongphoto.

The poll results also made clear one surprising fact: that the best place to spot two of the most-wanted birds — Kirtland’s Warbler, which was seventh most-wanted, and Whooping Crane, which came in second — was in Wisconsin, my home state.

That’s why we’re delighted to be cooperating with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin on a unique two-day field trip that promises to put you in the right spot at the right time to see not just the warbler or the crane, but, amazingly, both species on the same day.

The field trip will take place in central Wisconsin May 23-24, 2014.

Participants will tour Adams County, where Kirtland’s Warblers have nested since 2007, and Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, in the Whooping Crane’s core nesting area in adjacent Juneau County.

Three top-notch biologists will lead the outing:

NRF_Logo_220x182Kim Grveles, avian ecologist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Kim has coordinated Wisconsin’s Kirtland’s Warbler monitoring program since the birds were discovered nesting in the state in 2007.

Jeb Barzen, director of field ecology, International Crane Foundation. Jeb led the science team at the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership from 2012-13 and oversees ICF’s crane research in Wisconsin, southeastern Asia, and China.

Anne Lacy, International Crane Foundation. Anne coordinates the foundation’s research and monitoring activities for Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes in Wisconsin.

The trip will conclude Saturday night with a special presentation about Project Passenger Pigeon by the renowned ornithologist Stan Temple. Stan is the Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and senior fellow and science advisor with the Aldo Leopold Foundation. He has helped develop educational programming across the country related to the centenary of the bird’s extinction.

Don’t miss this great birding opportunity. – Chuck Hagner, Editor

Whooping Crane and Kirtland’s Warbler in the wild

When: From 7 p.m., Friday, May 23, to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, May 24

Where: Meet at the AmericInn Lodge and Suites, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

Cost: $300/person. Includes transportation during Saturday’s field trip, Saturday lunch, and a tax-deductible donation of $200. Does not include transportation to Wisconsin Rapids, evening meals, or lodging.

Group size: 24 people

To register, go to www.wisconservation.org or call (608) 266-1430. Register by April 21 to get group rate at the AmericInn.

For more information, contact the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin at (866) 264-4096 or info@WisConservation.org.