Welcome to the world eagle chick!

On Sunday, the Minnesota NonGame EagleCam caught just a glimpse of the broken egg and the chick arrived! 
Both parents sat tightly and didn't leave the bole open for more than a few seconds, so we didn't get a clear view of the chick, but we confirmed the hatch at 9 p.m. Monday. Thanks to the night vision of the infrared, we could see the fuzzy body being rolled around the nest bole. The new microphone even picked up the chick's peeping and the local coyote pack howling! Not to worry - they sound closer than they are and coyotes don't climb trees.

Healthy chick
During incubation, the chick has been absorbing the fluid from the egg sac, so by the time it hatches it is healthy and doesn't need food for the first several hours. This chick has already been fed three times within the first 24 hours! With only one chick to raise, the odds of survival are increased significantly. There will be no sibling rivalry, nor food competition.
The male has been bringing in lots of prey for the the female, and the deliveries increased today to help feed the chick. A fish, a duck and a squirrel were on the menu today. The eagles will leave nothing to waste, setting aside or burying the prey remains in the nest for future consumption. As we've witnessed before, white-footed mice who also use the nest as a home will consume any tiny leftover scraps.

What to expect
Bald eagle chicks are one of the fastest growing species on the planet. Thanks to the work of Gary Bortolotti and Jon M. Gerrard in Saskatchewan in the 1970s and 1980s, we have reliable information on the development of eagle nestlings from hatch to fledge (take flight), including weight and growth of the critical beak, feet and wing feathers. Beak and feet grow faster than other body parts because they are essential tools for survival and take several weeks to be fully developed. The “gangly” and “clownish” look of young eaglets is largely due to the disproportionate growth of feet and beaks.
Hatched with thin natal down, eaglets gain a thicker second set of down starting a week or so after hatching, and soon thereafter their body (contour) feathers begin to grow. These feathers will become the juvenile (first-year) eagle’s smooth covering by the time it fledges. They take several weeks to reach full length, especially the wing feathers which are not yet fully grown until after fledge. (source: Elfruler.com)

Watchers from over 180 countries
You are part of a large family of dedicated fans around the world! At peak today, there were over 1,700 people watching the EagleCam at once! This doesn't account for the many classrooms, waiting rooms and community rooms with multiple students of nature learning about our regal national symbol. We are grateful for every one of you and thrilled to be sharing in the joy of the natural world.
Thank you for your continued support and for watching the EagleCam!
Donate to EagleCam at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/nongame/donate/index_eagle.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery and visit the DNR EagleCam at mndnr.gov/eaglecam.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

DNR webinars cover backyard bird feeding, turkey calling

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in wildlife and outdoor skills to tune in to upcoming webinars that feature discussions about backyard bird feeding and turkey calling techniques.
The first webinar is Wednesday, March 29. Lori Naumann, nongame wildlife outreach specialist with the DNR, will discuss bird feeding best practices, actions people can take to benefit birds and tips for attracting different birds to feeders.
The second webinar is Wednesday, April 5. With turkey season right around the corner, DNR staff will discuss calling techniques, types of turkey calls and tips to get that shy gobbler to approach while hunting.
The webinars are part of the DNR’s Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series. The webinars are free, but registration is required. More information is available on the outdoor skills and stewardship page of the DNR website at mndnr.gov/discover.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

We and nature, begin clearing ‘glacial winterscat’

We see the unsightly messes when snow mounds melt leaving rows and mounds of “glacial drift,” or as some call it “winterscat.”
Limbs, whole trees, damaged buildings and nest boxes, old nests of birds and beasts, deer carcasses, ruts, white pine demolition, spent cones, messy catkins and other debris clutter the outdoors.
I knew it couldn’t be, but had to find out what. Atop a high white elm stump sat a fresh sulphur fungus. No, a spent blaze orange t-shirt from a November past. Still no, but a collapsed and now-deliquescing pumpkin fruit (pictured), which survived five months of winter’s wrath, sat as a mess left there as a joke.
Clean it up? No, nature will continue working on the stump and pumpkin. Some living mushrooms, maybe golden oysters, might spring anew and hasten the process. Move on.
Most of nature’s fatalities are taken care of with fungi, bacteria and time, but for some we don’t have time to watch it all happen and still walk, hike, hunt, bird, and gawk.
Winter was particularly hard on white pines, a weak-wood evergreen. The snow was right for damage this winter.  Heavy, wet, and sticking to the drooping limbs, not sliding off as designed. Limbs up to four inches snapped from water weight. Some limbs even slid through the tree and ended on the forest floor.
Most hung up to brown or be taken down with fear of creating more damage. No wonder so many ‘Pinus strobulus’ trees have multiple-stemmed tops.
Pileated woodpeckers make fine work of dead aspens. If the tree is not right for the bird’s nest cavity, ants move in, big, black ants and are then removed along with all the soft wood of the tree. Chips and bark fall to earth, which assists a forest burial.
Other dead trees we cut for firewood or drop them to decompose or let stand until wind brings them down. Treeless ecosystems, some marshes, and oak woods are burned to rid the area of invasives or trees and shrubs entirely, so they never climax into a forest. Prairies need fire cleanup, grazing, or mowing.
Bones and shed antlers, those not found to become art, are quietly gnawed to wear down rodents’ teeth. Larger bones may remain for years, sometimes carried away by carnivores.
An adult deer carcass lay roadside with chrome, glass and plastic nearby, and was called to someone’s attention. A research collar, transmitter and #5154 ear tags were all part of the heap. For fear the collar would “disappear” before the scientist got the data package, I removed the collar and called the phone number on the unit. They picked up the collar the next day.
The cause a death was obvious. Still, was the deer dieing of chronic wasting disease when hit by a vehicle?
A bird researcher claimed the body and placed it in a field for coyotes, crows, vultures, eagles and opossums. Science was able to salvage a gland or two, leaving the rest for the birds.
An adult red-tailed hawk got first dibs. Then came a bald eagle. The lead-free carcass was welcome food for a nesting pair of bald eagles.
We often rake our lawns and gardens not expecting nature to clean them for the next stage. Sometimes forests, fields, even marshes and shores could use a little assistance with broken and dead vegetation, ruts, invasive plants and even dead animals. If time is on our side, nature may do it for us or the next generation.
Then, some winter damage also can be dangerous to us or other animals using parts of the area.
Make the choice, but always leave something for rabbits to hide in, turkeys to nest with, fawns to conceal in, and scavengers, including eagles and hawks, to eat.

Contact Jerry Davis, a freelance writer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 608-924-1112

Grant-in-aid snowmobile trails close March 31

The statutory end of the Minnesota snowmobile riding season on grant-in-aid trails is midnight, March 31, when permits with private landowners expire.
Snowmobile trails will remain open on public land while weather and snow conditions permit. Riders should be aware that trail grooming operations will cease when conditions are too warm to effectively groom.
“We have had great snowmobiling this year. We are so appreciative of the many snowmobile club volunteers who made it possible by grooming Minnesota’s extensive system of grant-in-aid trails,” said Ann Pierce, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “They worked long and hard this winter to keep trails in good riding condition for so many Minnesotans.”
Late season snowmobilers should keep safety in mind and be aware of changing conditions. As snow recedes, rocks and other obstructions can become a hazard to trail users.
“As the temperatures rise, riding conditions will deteriorate,” said Wade Miller, DNR trail and snowmobile program consultant. “We advise checking trail conditions before leaving home.”
The statewide snow depth map and state trail conditions are updated by 2 p.m. every Thursday on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/snow.
Even if snow conditions are good, the DNR reminds snowmobilers not to ride on grant-in-aid trails that cross private land after March 31. Starting on April 1, riding these trails without the landowner’s permission is trespassing.
For more information, visit the DNR’s snowmobiling page at mndnr.gov/snowmobiling or contact the DNR Information Center by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 888-646-6367 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Protect your valuable ash trees against emerald ash borer

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources encourages property owners with healthy, valuable ash trees to treat them with insecticide this spring to protect against the deadly emerald ash borer.
The pest is the most damaging threat to Wisconsin trees, killing more than 99% of the untreated ash trees it infests.
A common early sign of emerald ash borer infestation is woodpecker damage that is created when birds feed on emerald ash borer larvae beneath the bark of ash trees. Treatment of infested ash trees is more likely to succeed if the trees have low or moderate levels of woodpecker damage. Now is a good time to consider insecticide protection because the treatments are typically done between mid-April and mid-May.
In 2022, emerald ash borer was found in five additional northern counties and is now known to be present in 66 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. The insect is likely present in other locations but has not been detected. Treatments are worth considering statewide. The highest risk of infestation is in communities already known to be infested or within 15 miles of a known infestation. You can find more emerald ash borer detection information at emeraldashborer.wi.gov.
Treatments are applied every year or two depending on the product. Homeowners can apply some insecticide products, and others must be applied by a certified professional. Review the available options before selecting an insecticide and treatment method. Visit the Wisconsin Emerald Ash Borer website at https://datcpservices.wisconsin.gov/eab/index.jsp and Emerald Ash Borer Information Network website at http://www.emeraldashborer.info/ for more information about insecticides.
Property owners should consider a tree’s benefits – shade, view, wildlife habitat, reduced air conditioner use, property values, etc. – along with the financial cost of the treatments. Some ash trees are not worth treating due to pre-existing health or structure problems. Removal and replacement may be better options. You can search for a certified arborist on the Wisconsin Arborist Association website at https://www.waa-isa.org/find-certified-arborist/ and International Society of Arboriculture website at https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/findanarborist. Other businesses that conduct emerald ash borer treatments may be found online or in a phone book. Property owners are encouraged to arrange for treatments well in advance.

Stay informed and be on the lookout for emerald ash borer. Know where the pest has already been found and look for the signs and symptoms of emerald ash borer infestation. Watch ash trees for the following:
* Woodpecker damage called “flecking,” where pieces of bark have been removed while feeding on emerald ash borer larvae beneath the bark. It usually starts up in the canopy and progresses down the tree over the next few years if the tree is not treated.
* Sprouts growing from the base or trunk of the tree.
* Thinning canopy with smaller, pale leaves.
* Small (one-eighth inch), D-shaped exit holes in the bark.
* Green beetles crawling on the trunk of ash trees during the summer.
Visit the DNR emerald ash borer webpage at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/foresthealth/emeraldashborer for more information.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Wisconsin gets funding for boating infrastructure updates

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources today announced two projects in Wisconsin were awarded U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) funding for renovations at the High Cliff State Park Marina and South Bay Marina.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded more than $20 million to assist 22 states and territories in the construction, renovation and maintenance of marinas and other boating facilities for outdoor recreation. Wisconsin was one of only 8 states that received both a Tier 1 and Tier 2 Boating Infrastructure Grant in 2023.
Boating Infrastructure Grants are administered in two tiers. In Tier 1, federal funding provides a maximum of $200,000 per recipient annually. Tier 2 is nationally competitive, typically for larger-scale projects and provides a maximum federal funding of $1.5 million per application.
Wisconsin's Tier 1 project focuses on the High Cliff State Park Marina Culvert replacement and was awarded $200,000. With a capacity for about 100 vessels, this marina is exceptionally popular. An existing culvert delivering runoff from Butterfly Pond into the boat basin at the marina has degraded over time, leading to sedimentation and a decrease in draft depth and water clarity.
The DNR will use the Boating Infrastructure Grant Tier 1 funds to replace the culvert and replace outdated marina navigational lighting with more efficient fixtures.
Boating Infrastructure Grant Tier 2 project funding will be a sub-award from the DNR to the South Bay Marina in Green Bay. The South Bay Marina Transient Docks project was awarded $1.2 million and will focus on several improvements.
South Bay Marina is located at the mouth of the Fox River and the waters of Lake Michigan. The location of the facility puts the marina at the ideal location to service the popular cruising routes of boaters navigating Sturgeon Bay and the pristine waters of Door County.
The proposed project responds to the need for an increased number of dedicated transient slips in the Green Bay region of Lake Michigan in response to market demand. The proposed project includes 52 transient boat slips arranged to accept a wide variety of vessels 26 feet and longer, breakwater improvements to protect the marina and a toilet/shower building dedicated to transient boaters.
More information on the Boating Infrastructure Grant program can be found on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Boating Infrastructure webpage at    https://www.fws.gov/program/boating-infrastructure and on the DNR's BIG program webpage at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/aid/BIG.html.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

DNR asks for incidental take permit for Grant County

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources proposes to issue a permit for the incidental taking of a rare frog, which may result from the Grant River Sand Pit.
Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the species' overall population at risk.
BARD Materials, the applicant business managing the project, proposes to expand a sand pit to produce mineral products for use in both the construction and agricultural industry. Future mining will occur as a progressive expansion that will limit the disturbed areas to less than 1 acre per year and incorporate reclamation of mined areas.
The presence of the state endangered Blanchard’s cricket frog (pictured) is confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some frogs.
The DNR concludes that the proposed project is not likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival or recovery of the species within the state, the whole plant-animal community of which it is a part of or the habitat that is critical to its existence.
Conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the endangered species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Permit. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the Blanchard’s cricket frog are available by visiting the DNR Incidental Take Public Notices webpage at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/erreview/itnotices.html or upon request from DNR Conservation Biologist Rori Paloski at 608-516-3742 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The public is encouraged to submit written comments regarding project-related impacts to the Blanchard’s cricket frog by April 10, to:
Department of Natural Resources
c/o Rori Paloski, DNR Conservation Biologist
101 S. Webster St. Madison, WI 53707
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 608-516-342

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR