Wisconsin Birding Report

As expected, cool northerly winds translated to a slow week for bird migration across the state.
Most notable were exceptional numbers of greater white-fronted geese continuing in the southeastern quarter, where thousands were reported from Columbia, Dane, Rock and adjacent counties.
Relatively few white geese (snow and Ross's) were found, however. Speaking of white birds, the first whooping cranes have arrived, while the departure of some snowy owls has commenced. In other owl news, some pairs of great horned owls have already hatched young in the south, and farther north saw-whet owls have begun tooting in their coniferous haunts.
Reports of starving barred owls are on the rise in the north woods as deep, crusty snow and a long winter combine to take a toll. Consult our wildlife rehabilitation directory for owls and other critters you think may need help.
To the west, hundreds of bald eagles are staging on the Mississippi River south of La Crosse. One notable report came from Gremore Lake north of Prairie du Chien where 300-plus eagles and 200-plus American white pelicans were simultaneously observed.
Rarities spotted this week included a black-backed woodpecker in Polk County, a boreal owl in Ashland, a varied thrush in Door, and a Townsend's solitaire in Dane.
This weekend should provide good conditions for both migrating birds and birders that seek them, but then northerly or easterly winds forecast for the remainder of the week are likely to suppress arrivals of new birds until a more southerly flow returns the following weekend.
As always, track migration progress by species at http://bit.ly/2oznJKK and put your sightings on the map by submitting them to www.ebird.org/wi.
Good birding!

SOURCE: Ryan Brady, NHC conservation biologist in Ashland