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  1. Live chat: DNR experts to discuss spring birding

    Join DNR experts for an online chat at noon on Tuesday in which they'll discuss migratory birds in Wisconsin and the Great Wisconsin Birdathon.

    • Apr. 17, 2014
  2. This photo provided by The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota shows Julia Ponder, D.V.M., executive director of The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota, releasing a snowy owl Saturday April 19, 2014, just outside of Superior, Wis. AP Photo/The Raptor Center at the University of MN

    Post-rehab, injured snowy owl released into wild

    A rare snowy owl that was apparently hit by a bus in the nation's capital flew back into the wild on Saturday, after weeks of rehab in Minnesota and procedures to replace its flight feathers.

    • 8:28 AM
  3. These ospreys are nesting at Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Preserve, Two Rivers. Submitted

    Column: Waiting for ospreys to return to the area

    All the phenological wheels are in motion now that some warmer weather has come. Skunk cabbage flowers are popping up all over the swamps, and melting ice invites frogs and salamanders to their own special brand of cold water romance.

    • Apr. 19, 2014
  4. Turkey vultures play an important role in the food chain, and in cleaning up the dead stuff in nature. Photo by Larry Stone

    Blogger Emily Stone knows arrival of vultures signals start of spring

    What signs of spring have you spotted lately?

    • Apr. 18, 2014
  5. Injured snowy owl is ready for release into wild

    A rare snowy owl that was apparently hit by a bus in the nation's capital and sent to Minnesota for rehabilitation is scheduled to be released into the wild.

    • Apr. 18, 2014
  6. DNR outdoor report: Mother Nature is presenting many challenges for wildlife

    Heavy rains over the weekend in southern parts of Wisconsin resulted in significant flooding and greening grass. The recent cold weather has quieted the frogs, although some hardy spring peepers are still calling. Other frogs which had been vocal are chorus frogs and wood frogs.

    • Apr. 18, 2014
  7. DNR: Migratory birds start arriving

    Wisconsin's parade of migratory birds - although a little behind schedule due to cold spring temperatures - is starting to arrive and an April 22 live online chat with state birding experts will help people get ready for the big month ahead.

    • Apr. 17, 2014
  8. Audubon hosts area spring tours

    The Audubon Society of Fond du Lac County will host several nature outings this spring.

    • Apr. 14, 2014
  9. Birdscaping author to speak Sunday in Appleton

    Mariette Nowak, author of 'Birdscaping in the Midwest — A Guide to Gardening with Native Plants to Attract Birds,' will be in the Fox Valley Sunday as part of the Fox Cities Book Festival.

    • Apr. 11, 2014
  10. DNR outdoor report: Wildfire season underway with spring fish and wildlife hearings coming up

    What a difference a week can make in the Northwoods. Last week people were shoveling 12-plus inches of snow, and now roads are clear and the snow on the ground is rapidly melting. Snow cover now covers less than a third of the most northern part of the state.

    • Apr. 11, 2014
  11. Blogger thinks bird migration in Baraboo might be area's biggest 'event'

    Derrick Mayoleth of Skillet Creek Media in Baraboo previews the arrival of migratory birds to the area in a recent post on

    • Apr. 10, 2014
  12. Sunset and sunrise are the best times to explore the Tri Rivers Nature Area during spring. Rob Zimmer/For

    Rob Zimmer column: Journeys of migrant birds converge on Tri-Rivers Nature Area

    The amber glow of the rising sun gently spreads across the marshes and woodland edge, the morning air an explosive chorus of bird song. The loud bugling of sandhill cranes echoes over the marshland while the yelping of hundreds of tundra swans drifts through the skies as wedges of birds high overhead slowly circle down to the open water.

    • Apr. 9, 2014
  13. Crossroads at Big Creek column: Birds rely on fruits to get through harsh conditions

    'Eat more fruit and vegetables,' the news stories tell us. Seven portions a day will increase health and prolong life.

    • Apr. 7, 2014
  14. Readers share their photos of birds in Wisconsin

    The backyard paparazzi has been busy snapping and sharing dozens of photos of Wisconsin's variety of winged wildlife.

    • Mar. 25, 2014
  15. DNR outdoor report: Another major snowstorm headed for northern Wisconsin

    Residents of northern Wisconsin aren't appreciating April fools this year, as another major snowstorm is predicted this week. The National Weather Service Thursday issued winter storm watches and warnings for the northern half of Wisconsin, with up to 17 inches of heavy and wet snow forecast.

    • Apr. 11, 2014
  16. Adam Novey's artwork was chosen the 2014 Wisconsin Best of Show Junior Duck Stamp. Contributed photo

    Junior Duck Stamp winner named

    Artwork from Adam Novey, 13, of Pardeeville was chosen for the 2014 Wisconsin Best of Show Junior Duck Stamp.

    • Apr. 3, 2014
  17. Tundra swans have made the return flight across east-central Wisconsin as hundreds of the majestic, white birds begin to arrive in Outagamie County. Best spots to see swans are along State 54 from Oneida to New London, as well as on the west shore of Lake Winnebago. Rob Zimmer/For

    Rob Zimmer column: Tundra swans are back

    Over the past few days nearly 1,000 swans have been counted in the fields and wetlands in central Outagamie County from Black Creek to New London. Thousands more will pass through in several different waves over the next week or so.

    • Apr. 15, 2014
  18. Marge Gibson pushes a Snowy owl into the air as the Raptor Education Group Incorporated (REGI) of Antigo and Raptor Services of Stevens Point combined efforts to let two Snowy Owls back into the wild, Monday, March 31, 2014, near Marshfield. The two birds had been injured and were rehabilitated by REGI. Gibson is one of the co-founders of REGI. Raptor Services helped band the birds and took measurements of the birds before they were released. This year more Snowy Owls have been counted in the United States than at any other time since they have been counted (about 75 years). The birds spend their summers near or above the Arctic Circle and come south to spend their winters. Dan Young/Daily Herald Media

    Photos: Antigo-based organization releases pair of snowy owls near Marshfield

    See a photo gallery of the release of two Snowy owls by the Raptor Education Group of Antigo.

    • Apr. 1, 2014
  19. A bald eagle sits just above its riverside nest in the Fox Valley. Submitted by Patricia Fisher

    Rob Zimmer column: Bald eagles begin long breeding season

    It seems like it was only yesterday that bald eagles were gathering by the dozens along any open water they could find on the Fox and Wolf rivers.

    • Apr. 15, 2014
  20. Northern shrikes are predatory songbirds that often store extra food impaled on thorns or stuck in the fork of a tree. Photo by Emily Stone

    Blogger Emily Stone makes interesting discovery in a tree

    Let me take you back again to the sunny forest at the North End Trails near Cable. A colorful line of thirty students, several parents, and a couple of teachers – all on snowshoes purchased with a grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board – stretched out behind me on the trail.

    • Mar. 25, 2014
  21. DNR outdoor report: Winter continues in the north, but snowmobiling season nears end

    While winter is continuing in the north, the snowmobile season is coming to an end after this weekend. Many snowmobile trails are located on private lands with easements that allow them to be used through March 31. As a result, most counties officially close trails at the end of this month. Using the trails after they officially close is trespass and could result in the loss of easements in the future.

    • Mar. 28, 2014
  22. Necedah National Wildlife Refuge has received a $210,000 to study whooping crane nesting habits. Contributed photo

    Refuge gets whooping crane research grant

    Necedah National Wildlife Refuge will receive $210,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Cooperative Recovery Initiative, a highly competitive grant.

    • Mar. 26, 2014
  23. Someday soon the Museum will be able to use Theo the great horned owl as an wildlife ambassador like this one to teach people about owls. Ronald Laubenstein, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    Blogger Emily Stone hears a 'who'

    “Who’s awake? Me, too ...” I love to hear the deep, powerful hoots of a great horned owl billowing through a snowy forest. Their stuttering rhythm -- hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo – seems to ask the question, then offers a conspiratorial answer.

    • Mar. 18, 2014
  24. DNR outdoor report: Winter holds on in the north, spring advances in the south

    Spring may have officially began with the arrival of the vernal equinox on Thursday this week, but at least in northern Wisconsin old man winter is not ready loosen his grip. Some areas of the north received between 8 to 12 inches of new snow in the last week, and about the northern third of the state continues to report that snowmobile and cross-country ski conditions are in good to excellent condition on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report.

    • Mar. 20, 2014
  25. Watch orioles as part of Great Wisconsin Birdathon

    The Great Wisconsin Oriole Count hopes to engage young bird watchers in observing and learning about the Baltimore Oriole.

    • Mar. 20, 2014
  26. The long-term effects of the severe cold are being seen along the Lake Michigan shoreline, where hundreds of diving ducks, such as this goldeneye, are slowly succumbing to the effects of our near record winter. Rob Zimmer/For

    Rob Zimmer column: Harsh reality of winter

    As winter draws to a close, the harsh reality of our near-record cold is now being seen up and down the shores of Lake Michigan as hundreds, if not thousands, of diving ducks succumb to the consistent cold stretches that have locked much of the big lake in ice.

    • Mar. 10, 2014
  27. Bald eagles are concentrating in huge numbers along open water on both the Fox and Wolf rivers in our area. Menasha's Jefferson Park recently boasted more than 80 eagles, creating an amazing sight along the edge of ice. Rob Zimmer/For

    Rob Zimmer column: Number of large birds of prey in the state unprecedented

    The morning of March 4 began just like many others this winter. A moderate snowfall gently tumbled from the gray clouds while the landscape was blanketed in white. Temperatures were hovering right around zero, with little to no wind.

    • Mar. 6, 2014
  28. The Fox River and Winnebago lakes are already beginning to show signs of spring with patches of open water and a swift current slowly eating away at the thick shield of ice. With larger patches of open water, ducks, such as these goldeneyes, are gathering, watched over by hungry gulls and bald eagles. Rob Zimmer/For

    Nature Calling column: Temps aside, wildlife and plants sense spring

    It seems to me that not enough people get excited about the first robins of spring anymore.

    • Mar. 4, 2014
  29. A young sharp-shinned hawk rests near several backyard birdfeeders. Patrick Durkin/For

    Just accept them: Feeders will attract hawks, too

    If you put out seeds to attract songbirds, don't be surprised if you accidentally turn your backyard into a target-rich environment for Cooper's hawks and sharp-shinned hawks.

    • Mar. 2, 2014
  30. Rob Zimmer column: Hunting tundra swans in Wisconsin?

    The state of Wisconsin is considering creation of a tundra swan hunt in our state, posing the question to attendees at the annual Wisconsin Conservation Congress spring county meetings.

    • Feb. 25, 2014
  31. Rob Zimmer column: Beauty or beast, swans to take center stage in 2014

    The clear, icy waters of Green Lake seemed to boil with a thick steam, rising in ghostly plumes of billowing white in the crisp winter morning. Scores of ducks, along with a few holdout Canada geese, drifted on the calm waters. Among them, gleaming in bright snow white, a half-dozen trumpeter swans reigned over the small bay.

    • Feb. 25, 2014
  32. Catch the eagles in Winneconne as they congregate along open water on the Wolf River. Up to a dozen or more eagles have been spotted on the river, dancing through the skies over downtown and resting on the ice, waiting to snatch a careless duck or passing fish from the current. Along with the eagles, hundreds of diving ducks can be seen here, along with gulls and even a swan that occasionally makes an appearance. Rob Zimmer/For

    Rob Zimmer column: Winneconne eagle show is one to remember

    While the Fox River has remained frozen in many areas for much of winter, limiting the number of eagles congregating in the Valley compared to previous years, open water along the Wolf River in Winneconne has been a big draw for eagle watchers locally.

    • Feb. 24, 2014
  33. The compact body, pointed wings, and long tail of this little owl make it look somewhat hawk-like. Hence the name, Northern Hawk Owl. Photo by Skip Perkins

    Blogger Emily Stone explores bog for winged rarities

    With photos of snowy owls on our memory cards, and sore necks from searching for the great gray owl, we turned onto a side road to a place we knew we’d find treasure.

    • Feb. 18, 2014
  34. Alan Harrington grins after adding the snowy owl to his life list of birds. Kathy Zuelsdorff takes a closer look through the scope, while Tom Matthias uses binoculars. We all had a great time at the Sax-Zim Bog! Photo by Emily Stone

    Blogger Emily Stone searches for and finds snowy owl

    The van rolled slowly past snowy fields, snowy roofs, and the sparse trees of a northern bog. We were on a treasure hunt. We weren’t searching for your typical treasure, though; our quarry was alive and elusive. “There it is! Pull over!” came the urgent command. Within seconds, we all stood on the gravel shoulder of a rural road, binoculars trained on a snowy owl.

    • Feb. 15, 2014
  35. Look for snowy owls perched on top of silos or power poles in open areas. These birds are residents of wide open spaces, seeking out agricultural fields, grasslands, airports and beaches, similar to their tundra home. Rob Zimmer/For

    Owls of winter: These birds are right at home in Wisconsin's worst

    Against a crisp, blue winter sky, a pair of snowy owls danced in the February sun. Buoyed in flight by long, thin wings stretching nearly 6 feet across in the largest females, snowy owls have a distinct, moth-like motion.

    • Feb. 11, 2014
  36.  Contributed photo

    Blogger Emily Stone appreciates partnership found in lichens

    The noiseless glide of soft, gray wings caught my eye. Then, stillness. No matter how hard I squinted, I couldn’t resolve the dark shape into a branch and the owl I knew had just landed there. Fading light under gray skies, combined with the owl’s pattern of light and dark bars on its chest, created perfect camouflage.

    • Feb. 7, 2014
  37. Volunteer opportunities are available for those interested in watching and monitoring bald eagles along the Fox River during February and March. Monitoring is open to all ages and is done from half an hour before sunrise for 90 minutes after. Rob Zimmer/For

    Rob Zimmer column: Bald eagle monitors wanted

    Every winter, scores of bald eagles descend upon our area to spend the winter feeding along the flowing waters of the Fox River. From Lake Winnebago to the mouth of the river at Green Bay, there may be hundreds of eagles present at one time during winter, gathering in large numbers in areas near sections of open water where they feed on winter killed fish, waterfowl and other prey.

    • Jan. 30, 2014
  38. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Technician Steve Easterly holds an eaglet to band from a bayside nest north of Carlsville. The eaglet hatched about a month and a half before. Submitted

    Bald eagles make a comeback

    Eagles are back in Door County. At least a dozen active eagle nests were scattered around the lakeshore when the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources did a count last year.

    • Jan. 25, 2014
  39. Live chat: DNR experts answer questions about bald eagles

    Join us for a live chat with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources experts to discuss bald eagles in Wisconsin on Thursday at noon.

    • Jan. 14, 2014
  40.  Gary Engberg/For

    Gary Engberg celebrates the arrival of Eagle Days

    This coming weekend is one of the best weekends of the year in our area because it’s the 27th Annual Bald Eagle Watching Days in Sauk Prairie.

    • Jan. 13, 2014
  41.  Gary Engberg/For

    Gary Engberg reflects on the winter's cold

    Earlier this week when I woke up and looked out my window it didn’t look so bad with the sun shining off the glistening snow. But, I checked the temperature and it was 22 below zero! I looked out my office window and the Wisconsin River was frozen solid with the exception of a few open spots where you still can see the water flowing down river. The last time that I remember this much ice on the river was (I’m pretty sure) 1996.

    • Jan. 10, 2014
  42. Kevin Naze column: Wildlife feeding an enjoyable winter pastime

    If this winter ends as cold and snowy as it began, thousands of white-tailed deer across Wisconsin will not make it to see spring.

    • Dec. 28, 2013
  43. Rob Zimmer column: Spectacular snowies surge south

    I watched as a spectacular snowy owl perched high upon a telephone pole along a rural country road in eastern Outagamie County. Constantly shifting eyes scanned the open field below for prey as the huge bird sat motionless against the buffeting winter winds.

    • Dec. 27, 2013
  44. A cardinal searches for food in the winter. Gary Engberg/For

    Gary Engberg reminds readers to care for birds in winter

    So far, this has been a tough winter for wild birds and small animals. The cold weather started in November and basically has continued through the whole month of December.

    • Dec. 24, 2013
  45.  Steve Meurett/For

    Blogger Steve Meurett reports on snowy owl invasion

    It seems that the winter of 2013-2014 is starting with a bang.

    • Dec. 22, 2013
  46. Kay Kavanagh of rural Aurora in Florence County is one of Wisconsin's most serious birdwatchers. Patrick Durkin/For

    Patrick Durkin column: Kavanagh is one rare birder

    When talking to Kay 'The Bird Lady' Kavanagh, don't be hurt that she's more interested in the chips, chirps, tweets and songs of nearby birds than anything you might say.

    • Dec. 21, 2013
  47.  Gary Engberg/For

    Gary Engberg doesn't mind an early winter

    It’s hard to predict what the rest of winter will bring to Wisconsin, but the winter of 2013-2014 has started out as a very cold one to say the least!

    • Dec. 20, 2013
  48. Live chat: DNR experts answer questions on winter birding

    Wisconsin wildlife officials are planning to hold an online chat this week on winter birding.

    • Dec. 3, 2013
  49. Rob Zimmer column: Bald eagles return to winter along the wild Fox River

    The roar of the rapids filled the valley, echoing between the trees in the lowlands at 1000 Islands Environmental Center in Kaukauna.

    • Dec. 4, 2013
  50.  Gary Engberg/For

    Gary Engberg enjoys the return of bald eagles

    Sunday was the first day that the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council began its annual winter count of bald eagles. The eagles come to this Sauk County area because of the open water on the Wisconsin River and the many wooded valleys which give the eagle’s ideal habitat and protection from the cold and snow of winter.

    • Dec. 3, 2013

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