Wildlife Update: September 29, 2023

Fall Visitor Center Hours

Weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Weekends 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

As October nears, the Grantsburg area is certainly experiencing fall weather! Many days are cool in the morning and have had highs in the 60s and low 70s. We have also had several days of MUCH needed rain, after our second summer in drought conditions. Flowages that have been dry are now starting to have a bit of standing water in them.

Fall migration is in full swing, with many species on our list this week! We have migrating warblers, shorebirds, hawks, waterfowl, and some of our early Sandhill Cranes as well.

Dikes 4 & 5, and Refuge Extension Flowages are great places to look for shorebirds. The Rest Area and the trail behind the Visitor Center are great places to find warblers. and waterfowl can be found all over the place, but a couple of viewing hotspots are the north end of Phantom Lake, North Fork Flowage, and Dike 1.  

Sandhill Crane viewing season is in its early stages. Numbers of cranes will continue to build throughout October, with our peak numbers typically being present the last week of the month.

Trumpeter Swans are also plentiful on the properties this time of year, with numbers close to 100 in some areas!

Species highlights from this week include: American Golden-plover, American Pipit, Bay-breasted Warbler, Black-bellied Plover, Lapland Longspur, Merlin, and Stilt Sandpiper.

PLEASE NOTE: There are now several hunting seasons open, including waterfowl and black bear. Please stay aware while out on the properties in the coming months (especially while hiking).

Mammals seen in the area within the last week:

BeaverMuskratRiver Otter
Grey SquirrelRed FoxWhite-tailed Deer
Grey WolfRed Squirrel

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

American BitternEastern TowheeRed-bellied Woodpecker
American CootEastern Wood-peweeRed-breasted Nuthatch
American CrowField SparrowRed-headed Woodpecker
American Golden-ploverGray CatbirdRed-tailed hawk
American GoldfinchGreat Blue HeronRed-winged Blackbird
American KestrelGreat EgretRing-billed Gull
American PipitGreater YellowlegsRing-necked Duck
American RobinGreen-winged TealRing-necked Pheasant
Bald EagleHairy WoodpeckerRock Pigeon
Barred OwlHooded MerganserRuby-crowned Kinglet
Bay-breasted WarblerHorned LarkRuffed Grouse
Belted KingfisherKilldeerRusty Blackbird
Black-and-white WarblerLapland LongspurSandhill Crane
Black-bellied PloverLeast SandpiperSavannah Sparrow
Black-capped ChickadeeLesser YellowlegsSedge Wren
Blue JayLincoln’s SparrowSemipalmated Plover
Blue-headed VireoMagnolia WarblerSemipalmated Sandpiper
Blue-winged TealMallardSolitary Sandpiper
Canada GooseMerlinSong Sparrow
Cedar WaxwingMourning DoveSora
Chipping SparrowNashville WarblerStilt Sandpiper
Common GrackleNorthern CardinalSwamp Sparrow
Common LoonNorthern FlickerTennessee Warbler
Common RavenNorthern HarrierTrumpeter Swan
Common YellowthroatNorthern PintailTurkey Vulture
Cooper’s HawkOspreyWhite-breasted Nuthatch
Dark-eyed JuncoPalm WarblerWhite-throated Sparrow
Double-crested CormorantPectoral SandpiperWild Turkey
Downy WoodpeckerPied-billed GrebeWilson’s Snipe
Eastern BluebirdPileated WoodpeckerWood Duck
Eastern PhoebePine WarblerYellow-rumped Warbler