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Early Spring Migrants


Mid- to late February, in most years, is a great time to experiece the first bird migrants of the year.  Horned Larks appear in greater numbers; look for them flitting away from your vehicle on back roads.


Warmer winters permit some species that formerly wintered much farther south to spend time in the upper Midwest. Barring deep snows or extremely cold winters, such as 2013-14, February can see a tremendous migration of a few species. Foremost among these hardy watefowl is the Canada Goose. Mixing in with these common denizens are White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Mallard and an occassional Sandhill Crane.


The best place to see these early migrants on on the ice and fields in southern Wisconsin, where they are abundant during other times of the year. Look for these species in the Arlington area of Columbia County, on or near Horicon Marsh, fields and marsh in southern Dodge and Jefferson counties, near open water in Rock and Walworth counties, anywhere along the Mississippi River, and field and parks near Oshkosh. Explore other locales, because these geese will follow the food, foraging on waste grains in farmer's fields.

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