Latest Area Bird Sightings
From Dan Jackson (12/6/17):
From Dan Jackson (5/17/17):There were 3 Cattle Egrets hanging out with a flock of gulls in a partially flooded farm field on Brice Prairie NW of La Crosse. They were viewed from the parking area adjacent to an electrical substation on the east side of County Road Z / ZN. This is about ¼ mile north of the entrance to the Visitor Center for the La Crosse District of the Upper Mississippi NWR on Brice Prairie.
From Dan Jackson (1/28/16):I checked to see if the Short-eared Owls were still flying at Goose Island last night and did see at least 2 and perhaps more.
From Dan Jackson (5/14/15):Here is the list for this morning's walk in the Hixon Forest. A few also saw a Black-billed Cuckoo.
From Dan Jackson (5/12/15):This morning 15 people braved the chill, wind and eventual mist to check out the birds in the Myrick Marsh. The cold definitely slowed down the activity and singing which made the birds harder to find. We had several species of warblers, a very cooperative Virginia Rail, and many swallows among the other birds.
From Dan Jackson (5/7/15):This morning, 13 of us took part in the second of three Hixon Forest Bird Hikes. There were many more migrants and new arrivals including 9 species of warblers - the best of which was a singing male Black-throated Blue Warbler. This bird was in the bottom of the valley behind the tee box that is north of the roadway going along the north edge of the golf course.
From Dan Jackson (5/5/15):Twenty people braved the light rain to go on the second Myrick Marsh Bird Walk of 2015. With the rain, things were a little slower but we still ended up with 47 species of birds (a few people saw a Green Heron that I missed).
From Dan Jackson (4/30/15):This morning was our second "May" bird walk of the spring - this time at the Hixon Forest.
From Dan Jackson (4/28/15):We had a beautiful morning for our first Myrick / Hixon bird walk of the year. As a group, we saw at least 50 species including nesting behavior by Canada Geese, Tree Swallows, and American Robins.
From Dan Jackson (4/17/15):Doug Stratton found a Red-necked Grebe on Lake Onalaska this morning and I was able to see it on my way to work at about 7:45 AM. When I saw it, I had parked at the overlook with the big Sunfish on the west side of Hwy 35 in Onalaska. At that time, the bird was hanging out with a flock of 10 Horned Grebes and some Lesser Scaup near one of the middle runway light stands that extend out into the lake northwest of that overlook. It was too far out to be seen with binoculars, but there is a scope there that should allow it to be seen.
From Dan Jackson (4/3/15):I saw an eBird alert for a Snowy Owl at the La Crosse airport and checked it out. The bird is still there.
From Dan Jackson (3/23/15):I headed out at lunch today in search of Horned Larks, Lapland Longspurs, and Snow Buntings. In my experience, they are easiest to find right after a snow since they often head to the road sides in search of seeds and grit once the fields have a new layer of snow.
From Dan Jackson (5/19/14):The field trip to Wyalusing and the Birdathon birding that Scott and I did afterwards on Sunday, May 18th were spectacular! Scott and I ended the day with 29 species of Warblers (28 seen and heard on the field trip - most seen by all participants. We added a Northern Waterthrush later outside the park). We ended the day with close to 130 species of birds. Interesting misses were both Cuckoos. The slow weather has really delayed their arrival in the state.
From Dan Jackson (5/12/14):The last Myrick Marsh and Hixon Forest bird walks of the year will be held this week.
From Dan Jackson (5/8/14):I found a small but nice group of shorebirds off of County ZN west of Onalaska over the lunch hour. I parked in a lot on the west side of a power substation that is just past the Upper Mississippi Refuge visitor center on the right (East) side of the road. In the small area of flooded field between that substation and the RR tracks, there was 1 Short-billed Dowitcher, 5 female Wilson's Phalaropes (females are the pretty one in that species), a few Least Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeer, and a pair of Brewers Blackbirds. Further down the road, I also heard my first Bobolink of the year.
From Dan Jackson (5/7/14):Today is a big migration day in the La Crosse area. I birded at Goose Island County Park for about 1/2 hour before work and along the bike trail in northern Onalaska during my lunch hour. Between these two locations, I have seen 20 species of warblers, Blue-headed, Yellow-throated and Warbling Vireos, Great-crested Flycatchers, Indigo Buntings, Grey-cheeked Thrush, and more. There are relatively few Yellow-rumped Warblers so the warbler watching has been pretty spectacular.
From Dan Jackson (5/2/14):Over the lunch hour, I took a walk on the bike trail starting in Midway (at the west end of OT off of Hwy 35 in north Onalaska). I only walked for about ½ mile.
From Dan Jackson (5/1/14):Hummingbirds were seen in a couple of locations in WI today. Orioles have been reported for a couple of days.
From Dan Jackson (4/29/14):During my lunch hour, I found a Harris’ Sparrow and other good birds along Fishermen’s road (on the east side of the La Crosse Airport). Other birds seen by me or Scott included: White-throated, White-crowned, Lincoln’s, Lark, Savannah, Song, Swamp, and Chipping Sparrows, Cliff, Barn, Bank, Tree, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Purple Martins, Spotted Sandpipers, Orange-crowned, Palm, and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Brown Thrashers, and more.
From Dan Jackson (3/31/14):On Saturday, March 29th, a nice sized group met at Goose Island to look for waterfowl and other spring migrants. We saw 47 species of birds which included most of the species of ducks that are typically seen on the river during the early part of the spring migration (missed Green-winged Teal, Black Ducks, Redheads, Greater Scaup, and Red-breasted Mergansers.
From Dan Jackson (2/7/14):Paul and Bernadette Hayes found a Snowy Owl just south of Westby on Wednesday afternoon and saw it again yesterday. His description of the location is:
From Dan Jackson (5/21/13):Chris West spotted a Western Grebe on the west side of the main channel below the blue bridges yesterday. It was still present over the lunch hour today and was diving just downstream from the entrance to the Pettibone Marina (and therefore in WI waters).
From Dan Jackson (5/21/13):There were 10 species of shorebirds in the first 2 ponds on the east side of the bike trail just north of Midway at noon today.
From Dan Jackson (5/20/13):On Saturday, 23 of spent 6 hours birding the Wyalusing State Park. We did end up seeing or hearing all of the park specialties, but they weren't super cooperative and we also did not see as many species of warblers as I hoped. Despite that, it was a great trip with lots of great birds.
From Dan Jackson (5/15/13):I stopped at Goose Island this morning on my way to work and only had time to bird about 100 yards of trail at the flag pole parking area. There was definitely a big movement of birds into the area last night!! In just 20 minutes, I found 15 species of warblers including:
From Dan Jackson (5/3/13):I was at the Myrick Hixon EcoPark last night for the press announcement for La Crosse’s attainment of Wisconsin Bird City certification. While talking to everyone, someone mentioned seeing lots of Horned Grebes east of the main trail. I checked it out after the press conference and counted 212 Horned Grebes!! Most were gone this morning but there were still a dozen in that area.
From Dan Jackson (4/29/13):Jordan Heeter spotted a male Black Scoter just before lunch above the spillway off of Fishermen's Road. I stopped by at lunch and couldn't find that bird, but did find Lark Sparrows along the road just north of the northern-most pump house that Larry Johnson reported to me yesterday.
From Dan Jackson (4/25/13):Two White-faced Ibises were found south of La Crescent by Dedrick Benz yesterday. They are being seen in a flooded field on the north side of the Root River south of La Crescent on the way to Brownsville off of Hwy 26.
From Dan Jackson (4/24/13):I will be presenting a Warbler ID class in the basement meeting room at the Ho-chunk Nation building at 810 Main Street in La Crosse at 7:00 this evening. The Ho-Chunk building is directly across 8th street from the main branch of the La Crosse Public Library. The presentation will take just over an hour.
From Dan Jackson (4/13/13):Scott Puchalski and I found a Mountain Bluebird at the Trempealeau NWR at about 2:40 today. When we first found it, it was on the north side of the road on the west side of the small knoll on the main road into the refuge. This is about ¼ mile west of the entrance to the north wildlife loop.
From Dan Jackson (4/8/13): The gull flocks on the Black River continue to get bigger. There is a huge winter kill of shad.Today, we found all of the birds that have been reported recently:
From Dan Jackson (4/1/13):There are hundreds of gulls feasting on a winter kill of shad on the Black River. They are mostly Ring-billed (90 %) and Herring Gulls (9.9 %), but there are also some other goodies thrown in for good measure. Doug Stratton found a couple of Franklin’s Gulls off of Fishermen’s Rd (on the east side of the La Crosse Airport) yesterday. Scott Puchalski and I found 1 there today as well as a juvenile Thayer’s Gull. We also found another Franklin’s Gull on the ice at the boat landing on the south side of Clinton St.
From Dan Jackson (3/25/13):A small group did show up for the Mississippi Waterfowl field trip so we did look for birds. It turned out that although the numbers weren’t very high, there was a good selection of waterfowl and other birds to be seen.
From Dan Jackson (2/8/13), a reminder about the 2013 GBBC:Just a reminder that the Great Backyard Bird Count is only a week away and will take place from Friday, February 15th through Monday, February 18th. Unlike the Christmas Bird Count, you can now participate in this count at any location in the world. I hope that you will try it out!!
From Dan Jackson (2/4/13), a summary of the Northwoods Birding Trip:On Saturday, Scott Puchalski and I led a Coulee Region Audubon Society field trip to northern WI. I was a little nervous about the trip since I have always done that trip on my own. However, my worries turned out to be unfounded as we had a great day. It started out rough with quite a bit of snow that slowed us down at the start. However, once we got north of I-94, the snow disappeared and it ended up being a sunny day.
From Dan Jackson (1/22/13):Several Coulee Audubon members took part in the Golden Eagle Survey that was held last Saturday. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I had a great time in the coulees.
From Dan Jackson (11/15/12):This might be the year to see rare winter finches in this area. Pine Grosbeaks, Evening Grosbeaks, Red Crossbills, White-winged Crossbills, Bohemian Waxwings, Redpolls, and Red-breasted Nuthatches are all being seen well south of their normal wintering areas this fall. This might be "The Year" for finding some of these northern specialties in this area.
From Dan Jackson (10/31/12):Over my lunch hour, I scoped part of Lake Onalaska from the base of the dike at the west end of Spillway Drive (on French Island west of the La Crosse airport).
From Dan Jackson (7/6/12):A family of Loggerhead Shrikes was discovered about a week ago on the Trempealeau Mountain Golf Course. The center of their territory seems to be the 3rd hole which is along the east side of the course (along Schubert Road). I saw the birds on 7/4 from that road. Loggerhead Shrikes are listed as Threatened/endangered in WI so treat them with care. This species, especially a nesting pair, is extremely rare in WI (this is the second that I have seen in WI).
From Dan Jackson (5/15/12):The May meeting of the Coulee Region Audubon Society will be held tomorrow night (Wednesday, May 16) at 7:00 PM in the basement meeting room of the Ho-chunk Nation building at 810 Main Street in La Crosse. That building is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Main and 8th streets and is across 8th street from the main branch of the La Crosse Public Library.
From Dan Jackson (5/2/12):After a very quick and early start, migration slowed tremendously over the last couple of weeks. However, over the past couple of days, that appears to have changed. Many species of Warblers, Vireos, shorebirds, Flycatchers, and Terns as well as Grosbeaks, Hummingbirds, Tanagers, Buntings, and many other types of birds are being seen throughout the southern half of the state and many observers reported many First of Year (FOY) sightings yesterday and today.
From Dan Jackson (4/23/12):Al Sheldon found a pair of White-faced Ibis in Trempealeau on the Mississippi River about 20 miles north of La Crosse. They are hanging out in a small pond on the north side of the access road to the Trempealeau Lock & Dam. The pond is about 100 yards east of the dam and between the Burlington Northern Railroad tracks and the dam. There were also Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, a Solitary Sandpiper, a Spotted Sandpiper, and a Sora feeding on the edges of the pond.
From Dan Jackson (3/28/12):The last 10 days have brought even more new arrivals into the state. Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned and Gold-crowned Kinglets, Swamp, Fox, Chipping, and Field Sparrows, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Bonaparte’s Gulls, Common Loons, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pied-billed Grebes, and Great Egrets have all been reported in this area in the last week. Song Sparrows, Northern Flickers, Eastern Phoebes, Eastern Bluebirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Common Grackles, and American White Pelicans are now becoming relatively routine sightings.
From Dan Jackson (3/21/12):The last week has brought unseasonably warm weather to the state and region and there have been more early arrivals. I have received reports of Tree Swallows, Northern Flickers, American White Pelicans, Pied-billed Grebes, Ruddy Ducks, and more in the La Crosse Area and other really early reports of Chipping Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, Eastern Towhees, and other species are being reported in Southern Wisconsin.
From Dan Jackson (3/12/12):The waterfowl migration has hit full stride on the Mississippi in the La Crosse area. Over the weekend, a few of us were out looking at waterfowl and at this point we are seeing all of the regular species of ducks that are normally found on the river except for Ruddy Ducks and Red-breasted Mergansers (the latest of the migrating ducks).
From Dan Jackson (3/7/12):Today, over the noon hour, I was able to re-find one of the Franklin’s Gulls that were seen yesterday. There was a fairly good sized flock of gulls feeding on a big supply of dead shad directly in front of the waterskiing beach on Fishermen’s Road on the east side of the La Crosse Airport.
From Dan Jackson (3/6/12):Scott Puchalski found an adult Franklin’s Gull at the Black River beach (just upstream from the Clinton Street Bridge and behind Powerhouse Marine and the Perkins Restaurant on Rose Street. It was loafing on the ice with a flock of Ring-billed Gulls. There are also dozens of eagles in that area as well as a few Herring Gulls.
From Dan Jackson (3/5/12):The waterfowl migration has picked up on the Mississippi in the La Crosse area. A few people were out this weekend and everyone had similar results:
From Dan Jackson (3/1/12):Today, while scouting for the bus trip that I will help to lead on Sunday for the Festival of Owls, I found a juvenile male Snowy Owl on the north side of County Road 3 a few miles west of Brownsville. When I first spotted it, it was on the bank of a stock pond. After I stopped, the bird got nervous and moved a little farther away. It was at that point, that I realized that it had something fairly large in its talons. The prey item turned out to be a Muskrat.
From Dan Jackson (2/28/12):Tom and Mary Jo Clark had a Northern Saw-whet Owl calling at their house last night. They said that last year, the first one heard that they heard was on 3/14. This year’s mild weather may have them moving early this year. They have a toot-toot-toot-toot call that sounds somewhat like the backup alarms on work vehicles. If you hear a dump truck backing up in your woods at night, you are more likely hearing a Saw-whet Owl.
There will be a WMBD event at Myrick Park on Saturday, May 6, 2023. Events will include a bird walk at 6:30 AM, a family bird walk at 9:30, a bird presentation by River Valley Raptors at 10:30, and many other bird-related activities that make this a great family event.