Wildlife Update: May 1, 2023

Summer Visitor Center Hours

Weekdays from 8:00 am-4:30 pm

Weekends 10:00 am-4:00 pm

Spring has sprung in the Grantsburg area. The sun is getting stronger, the days are getting longer, and more birds are returning every day! Ice is completely gone from the flowages and all the snow has melted from the ground. We have had several days of rain in the past week, making the roads on Crex Meadows and Fish Lake extremely muddy. There are some roads that visitors without 4-wheel drive should not attempt to drive on. It is a good idea to call or stop in the visitor center to find out which routes are best to take.  

Waterfowl species continue to return and pass through the area, including Canvasback, Common Goldeneye, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Redhead, Ruddy Duck, and more. A great place for viewing most of these species has been Grettum Flowage down on Fish Lake Wildlife Area.

We have also had several of our warblers and sparrows returning to the area within the past week. A few highlights include Clay-colored Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler, Palm Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow.

A few other bird highlights include Sharp-tailed Grouse (currently participating in their spring mating dances), American White Pelican, Bonaparte’s Gull, Common Loon, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Forster’s Tern, Herring Gull, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, and Solitary Sandpiper. Both grebe species (and also the Pied-billed Grebe) have been consistently sighted near one another on Phantom Lake (closer to the south end of the flowage).

Visitors should be aware that we are getting close to the time where wood ticks and deer ticks will become abundant. Be sure to wear the appropriate clothing and utilize permethrin or other deterring sprays on your clothing to minimize risk.

Mammals seen in the area within the last week:

13-Lined Ground SquirrelGrey Wolf (tracks)Red Fox
BeaverMinkRed Squirrel
Black BearMuskratRiver Otter
CoyotePorcupineStriped Skunk
Grey SquirrelRaccoonWhite-tailed Deer

Bird sightings within the last week on Crex Meadows, Fish Lake, Amsterdam Sloughs, and surrounding area:

American BitternEastern PhoebePurple Finch
American CootEastern TowheePurple Martin
American CrowEastern Whip-poor-willRed-bellied Woodpecker
American GoldfinchEuropean StarlingRed-breasted Merganser
American KestrelField SparrowRed-breasted Nuthatch
American RobinForster’s TernRedhead
American Tree SparrowFox SparrowRed-necked Grebe
American White PelicanGadwallRed-tailed Hawk
American WigeonGolden-crowned KingletRed-winged Blackbird
American WoodcockGreat Blue HeronRing-billed Gull
Bald EagleGreat EgretRing-necked Duck
Barn SwallowGreater ScaupRing-necked Pheasant
Barred OwlGreater YellowlegsRock Pigeon
Belted KingfisherGreen-winged TealRuby-crowned Kinglet
Black-capped ChickadeeHairy WoodpeckerRuddy Duck
Blue JayHermit ThrushRuffed Grouse
Blue-winged TealHerring GullRusty Blackbird
Bonaparte’s GullHooded MerganserSandhill Crane
Broad-winged HawkHorned GrebeSavannah Sparrow
Brown CreeperHorned LarkSharp-tailed Grouse
Brown ThrasherHouse FinchSolitary Sandpiper
Brown-headed CowbirdKilldeerSong Sparrow
BuffleheadLark SparrowSpotted Sandpiper
Canada GooseLesser ScaupSwainson’s Thrush
CanvasbackLesser YellowlegsSwamp Sparrow
Chipping SparrowMallardTree Swallow
Clay-colored SparrowMourning DoveTrumpeter Swan
Common GoldeneyeNorthern CardinalTurkey Vulture
Common GrackleNorthern FlickerVesper Sparrow
Common LoonNorthern HarrierWhite-breasted Nuthatch
Common MerganserNorthern PintailWhite-crowned Sparrow
Common RavenNorthern ShovelerWhite-throated Sparrow
Cooper’s HawkOrange-crowned WarblerWild Turkey
Dark-eyed JuncoOspreyWilson’s Snipe
Double-crested CormorantPalm WarblerWood Duck
Downy WoodpeckerPied-billed GrebeWood Thrush
Eastern BluebirdPileated WoodpeckerYellow-bellied Sapsucker
Eastern MeadowlarkPine WarblerYellow-rumped Warbler