Statewide Wisconsin Birding Report: More Unusual Birds Alight

Wisconsin Bird
Wisconsin Bird

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

USA -( June is here, and with it the unofficial start of summer. Accordingly, bird migration – while definitely not over – is finally winding down across Wisconsin.

A few migrant landbirds continue statewide, such as blackpoll, Wilson’s and other warblers, olive-sided flycatchers, Philadelphia vireos, Swainson’s and gray-cheeked thrushes, common nighthawks, white-crowned sparrow, and even rough-legged hawk, but in general numbers of migrants are low now.

A great diversity of shorebirds were also on the move this week, highlighted by American avocet, hudsonian and marbled godwit, whimbrel, red knot, red-necked phalarope and more! You may have also noted flocks of Canada geese moving north as if it were early spring.

This phenomenon, which occurs annually from mid-May to mid-June, is called “molt migration” and typically consists of nonbreeding or failed breeding individuals that are flying north to the Canadian tundra, where resources are plentiful and predators fewer, to molt (replace) their feathers.


The list of unusual birds seen this week is a long one. Among them were western kingbirds in Ashland, Bayfield, and Door counties, Franklin’s gulls in Bayfield and Manitowoc, white-winged dove in Winnebago, a snowy owl in Fond du Lac, western tanager in Outagamie, Mississippi kite in Brown, and king rail in dodge.

Northern mockingbirds continue to abound this spring statewide, with too many reports this week to detail here.

The Atlas needs your sightings!

As true migration wanes, attention shifts to Wisconsin’s wonderful assemblage of breeding species, so it’s never a bad time to visit your favorite grassland, wetland, woodland, or even urban habitat. Along the way consider participating in the volunteer-based Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas by submitting your observations of nesting behavior or volunteering to survey a priority area.

Learn more on their website.

Good birding!