August 7th – Chimney Swift Survey – Club members met downtown and fanned out to observe area chimneys to count the number of chimney swifts that entered. A total of 408 swifts were reported with an estimated 330 swifts observed entering the large chimney at Thom Field Sports complex on Bridge Street and 10th Avenue. Watch the video to see over 330 swifts enter the chimney in a two minute period.
Ken helped the club in many ways, including the construction of two chimney swift towers – he knew about cement. Last summer Ken helped install bluebird houses for the bluebird trail at the Eastbay Sports Complex.
Ken will also be remembered for all of his work with the Friends of the Library where sorting books and book sales were his pride and joy. He spent countless hours with this project. A memorial service was held Saturday, July 22 at the Marathon County Public Library.
July 10, 2017 – The July meeting was held at Fern Island Park and a walk through the park offered up 30 species of birds including American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos, Baltimore Orioles among others.
June 1, 2017 – Wausau Bird Club member Dan Belter was featured in the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology’s Breeding Bird Atlas II newsletter for his volunteer work in gathering data of Wisconsin’s breeding birds. Follow the link to view the article.
May 12 – The Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2017 – Wausau Bird Club’s team “Wausau Bird Nerds” raised donations by traveling throughout central Wisconsin as they identified as many birds as they could in a 24 hour period. The club team included Dan Belter, Mary Backus, Myles Hurlburt and Sarah Sabadke with additional help from Ken Luepke, Jon Zellmer and Jim Peck.
Team Wausau Bird Nerds started at 2:00am in the morning on Friday, May 12. They visited Dewey Marsh in northern Portage County hoping to identify nocturnal birds. They also searched for birds in Portage county, Adams County before returning to Marathon County.
Highlights of the Birdathon were; sedge wren, Barred owl, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Red-shouldered hawk, Whooping crane, Orchard oriole, Upland sandpiper, Brewer’s blackbirds, Tufted Titmouse, Scarlet tanager, a variety of warblers, and many sparrow species, including the Harris’s sparrow in Western Marathon County.
We thank Wausau Bird Nerds for identifying over 140 birds in their 16 1/2 hour trek around Central Wisconsin and raising funds for the Wausau Bird Club and other Wisconsin organizations that support our natural heritage.
Wausau Bird Club met it goal of $2,000 thank to everyone who donated. A special thanks goes out to Bob and Yvonne Firary whose contribution pushed us over the top.
April 25, – Earth Day Bird Walk – Wausau area naturalist, Dan Belter lead a bird walk at Bluegill Bay Park this morning. The group of 17 area birders viewed just over 40 species. “Highlights were; Green Heron, House Wren, Belted Kingfisher, many Yellow-rumped Warblers, Palm Warblers, and White-throated Sparrows. The fly over White Pelican was also a nice surprise.” said Dan Belter in his Facebook post.
April 16, Wausau Named High Flyer City by Bird City Wisconsin – The city of Wausau has once again received the highest honors from Bird City Wisconsin, a Milwaukee based organization for being a bird friendly community. Wausau joined Bird City Wisconsin in 2012. You may view the seven-page application form by following this link. To date, there are 101 Wisconsin Cities that have joined Bird City Wisconsin
One of the biggest challenges Wausau faces to maintain their High Flyer City status is encouraging people to keep their cats on leashes or indoors as a means to control the amount of predation of wild birds by cats. We also struggle with finding an agreeable solution to deal with feral cats that kill wild birds in staggering numbers each year.
Saturday, April 8, WSO Field Trip – Mead Wildlife Area –
Jeff Moore lead a carpool group from Wild Birds Unlimited’s parking lot to the George W. Mead Wildlife Headquarters. They met up with WSO members on this field trip led by Myles Hurlburt of Wausau and Rob Pendergast of Stevens Point. Trip highlights include an assortment of waterfowl, Prairie-Chickens, longspurs, as well as some early spring passerines like the Winter Wren, various sparrows and other songbirds.
Saturday, June 25, 2016, Bluebird Trail, Mosinee
Kent is coordinator of the Audubon Bluebird Trail ABT headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, led a field trip exploring cavity nesting habits of the bluebird. This is the 15th season for the Trail. During that time, the trail has produced 68,000 songbirds, 52,000 of which were Eastern Bluebirds. The trail is not only the “all-time” leader for Bluebird production in Wisconsin, it is the largest and most productive trail in North America.
Currently, the ABT has 1,380 nest boxes in 7 counties and is monitored by 80 persons. Kent showed the group houses with Bluebird as well as Tree Swallow nests with eggs and chicks in them. He demonstrated data recording techniques. Field monitors Tom and Lynn Grimes were on hand to explain the procedures as well. They have monitored the Bluebird Trail for the past six years.
Saturday, June 11, 2016 Kestrel Chick Banding, Buena Vista Grasslands
Club members joined field biologist, Janet Eschenbauch, of the Central Wisconsin Kestrel Research program to learn about their kestrel monitoring program and what they do to ensure a diverse and healthy population in central Wisconsin. After retrieving kestrel chicks and adults from their next boxes, Janet showed how she measured and weighted each bird before banding it and placing it back in it’s nest box. Club members were able to hold kestrel chicks and get to see these incredible creature up close.
June 2 – 5, 2016 – Wausau Bird Club’s Annual Campout
This year’s camping trip to Governor Dodge State Park was a great success. There were twenty participants and the weather and birds cooperated well (63 species). The group managed to find a restaurant in Dodgeville to accomodate everyone on a Friday evening. The rains held off on Saturday evening until the cookout was over. The half-hour of rain was just what our group needed to encourage everyone to take care of after-dinner cleanup chores. After the rain, it was time for S’mores.
May 22, 2016 – Wausau Bird Club’s Spring Migration Count
Club members were assigned designated areas on a grid and asked to identify as many birds as they can in a 24 hour period. The results were shared with the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology’s spring migration count. The Wausau Bird Club had 30 members participating and counted 173 species including 15 count week species and a total of 6,790 birds in total. Highlights include: 23 warbler species but no Palm Warblers – perhaps too late in the season. Lynn Ott identified a Northern Mockingbird in the north central area of the county. The count also included 18 Pine Siskins, 5 Vireo species, 8 variety of Flycatchers, and 7 Woodpecker species. There were 30 Eastern Bluebirds counted which is thought to be down from the previous year.
May 21, 2016 – International Migratory Bird Day Celebration, Monk Botanical Gardens, Wausau, Wisconsin
Wausau Bird Club president, Susan Haug led a bird walk through Monk Botanical Gardens on May 21 to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. The group saw or heard 24 different species of birds, including Palm and Common Yellowthroat Warblers, the Brown Thrasher and Gray Catbird with their melodic songs, as well as Indigo Buntings and the Ovenbird.