Saturday, November 30, 2002

Birds Observed During a Visit to La Crosse, Wisconsin

In an earlier note, I promised to provide more details about the birds observed during a trip to La Crosse, Wisconsin, November 5-10, 2002. Other committments severely restricted the amount of time I was able to devote to birding. Basically, I birded four distinct areas:

1. Daily walks in Riverside Park (RP), an urban park bordering the Mississippi River in downtown La Crosse.
2. Near-daily walks along a short segment of an undeveloped hiking trail (HT) along an abandoned railway right-of-way just north of Riverside Park.
3. A half-day visit to that portion of the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge (UMR) located just above Lock & Dam 18 on November 8.
4. A short trip along a stream valley in Houston County (HC), Minnesota on afternoon of November 8.

An annotated list of 38 species follows:

Double-crested Cormorant - a single flock of 6-8 birds flying south (UMR)
Great Blue Heron - 1 (UMR)
Tundra Swan - official estimate of 18,000-20,000 birds (UMR)
Trumpeter Swan - 1 or 2 birds heard amongst the Tundras (UMR)
Canada Goose - a few thousand (UMR)
Mallard - the most common of the ducks (HT, RP, UMR)
American Black Duck - a handful among the Mallards (UMR)
Northern Pintail - a half-dozen birds (UMR)
Northern Shoveler - a few birds (UMR)
Hooded Merganser - a small flock (UMR)
American Coot - a massive raft far out on the river (UMR)
Killdeer - several birds on a sod farm (HC)
Greater Yellowlegs - 1 or 2 birds (UMR)
Wilson's Snipe - a couple of fair-sized flocks (HC, UMR)
Ring-billed Gull - fairly common (RP, UMR)
Bald Eagle - a pair of adults seen daily (RP)
Red-tailed Hawk - a couple of birds
American Kestrel - 1 or 2 seen (HC)
Ring-necked Pheasant - 2 birds (HC)
Rock Dove - flock near downtown bridge (RP)
Mourning Dove - uncommon (HC)
Downy Woodpecker - 1 bird (HT)
Hairy Woodpecker - 1 at each location (HC, HT)
Pileated Woodpecker - 1 bird seen by a colleague (RP)
Blue Jay - fairly common (HT, RP)
American Crow - fairly common (HC, HT, RP)
Tufted Titmouse - a few (HT)
Black-capped Chickadee - common (HT)
White-breasted Nuthatch - a few (HT, RP)
American Robin - common (HT, RP)
Northern Cardinal - common (HT)
Song Sparrow - uncommon (HT)
American Tree Sparrow - abundant in mixed flocks with juncos (HT)
Dark-eyed Junco - abundant in mixed flocks with tree sparrows (HT, RP)
White-throated Sparrow - fairly common (HT)
blackbird sp. - 1 noted (HT)
American Goldfinch - a few noted (HT, RP )
House Sparrow - a few noted (RP)

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