Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial – Bird of the Month

Ice and snow? Not a problem for the Common Goldeneye.

Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)
Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)
Wisconsin DNR
Wisconsin DNR

Madison, WI -(Ammoland.com)- In 1916, the United States and Canada signed the Migratory Bird Treaty to protect birds across state and national borders.

To celebrate 100 years of bird conservation, each month in 2016 will feature a native Wisconsin bird species that has benefited from the protection and cooperative conservation set forth in the Migratory Bird Treaty.

February’s Bird of the Month is the Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). Even during the coldest winters these ducks can often be found in open spots of water throughout Wisconsin, but are seen more frequently on open rivers and Lake Michigan. Common Goldeneye breed in the boreal forest of the northern US and Canada and during migration can be found from California to Florida and migrate as far south as Mexico. The Common Goldeneye population is currently holding steady at about one million birds but with new threats to boreal habitat in Canada there is cause for concern.

Common Goldeneyes are also known as “Whistlers,” because in flight their wings make a loud whistling sound. An extremely hardy bird, so long as there is open water available Goldeneyes can be found in Wisconsin when temperatures dip well below zero, providing a unique sight during winter.

Prior to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, ducks including Common Goldeneye were harvested at such high rates for market hunting that they would have disappeared in just a short time. However with the initiation of the act, hunting seasons and bag limits were limited to restore and conserve duck populations as well as the waterfowl hunting culture.

Learn more about the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial in Wisconsin: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/mbtcentennial.html.

About The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WIDNR):

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is charged with sustaining and enhancing Wisconsin’s natural resources and environment. A cornerstone of our mission is providing for outdoor recreation in our state. The WIDNR Facebook page is a place for the outdoor recreating community to share information about fun in Wisconsin’s outdoors.

For more information, visit: http://dnr.wi.gov.