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An open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond

Crex Meadows bird activity mostly waterfowl right now

A three-hour visit to Crex Meadows Wildlife Area just outside of Grantsburg, Wis., Thursday found mostly waterfowl, and two pairs of nesting Bald Eagles. Seen were hundreds of Canada Geese, 19 Trumpeter Swans, a couple of dozen Ring-necked Ducks, two pairs of Hooded Mergansers, and Mallards. Sandhill Cranes were present in small numbers. Best bird was a Belted Kingfisher. One lone songbird was seen, but not identified. The sand roads that offer excellent access to the 30,000-acre refuge were in good shape. Phantom Lake was 70 percent ice-free. That was true of other large impoundments as well. Potholes remained iced over. The present water level has created acres of excellent shorebird habitat. If only it stays in place until those birds migrate through the area.

Please use "chickadee checkoff" when you file your state tax form

Your state income tax form has a check-off box you can use to make a contribution to the DNR non-game wildlife fund. This is an important source of revenue for the single state department devoted to animals that are not hunted. Birds, for instance. This is as easy a way as you can find to make a donation. The money comes from your tax refund or is added to your tax bill. Contributions of any size can be made. One current project funded by the non-game department is the video cam feeding live pictures of the Bald Eagle pair raising three chicks.

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