Chuck's Weekly Birding Report #5

Dear fellow flock of birders,

16 -21 April 2020

I hope you are all well and staying healthy. Spring continue to arrive at the UW-Madison Arboretum with newly arriving migrating birds and also the sprouting wild flowers.

New arrivals in the Arboretum include a Green Heron. More will arrive soon. Soaring Broad-winged Hawk also graced our skies this past week. I saw two Barn Swallows zooming over head which revealed glimpses of their rusty colored undersides and forked tails. 

The primary warbler species in the Arboretum is still the Yellow-rumped Warbler (YRWA). What has fascinated me about them has been the variety of ways I’ve seen them feeding recently. At first they were feeding on insects at the top of the tree canopy giving me a bad case of warbler neck.  On a windy day they were forced to the ground to feed there. On another day they were feeding in the crevices of the bark of trees. One day I even saw one drinking sap that was running from the quarter-inch holes made by a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Today in the early morning calmness the YRWAs were perched in small trees and shrubs and would sally out to capture tiny insects only to return to the tree to perch and look for more flying insects.  Today they looked like birds from the flycatcher family. 

Other single warblers seen in the Arboretum have been a Pine Warbler, a Palm Warbler and a Orange-crowned Warbler. Look for more warblers besides the YRWAs starting in the next few days and beyond.

White-throated Sparrows are just arriving now. Remember they sing “Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody.” Other sparrows who have arrived in the past couple weeks include Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows.

The kinglets, both the Golden-crowned and the Ruby-crowned, are numerous right now. There’s nothing more stunning than to see them with their crowns raised and more frustrating than to try to photograph these rapidly moving spirits.

The attached photos this week include two of my previous years’ photos of a pair of Barn Swallows reading an Arboretum Information sign and a Green Heron perched in the marsh looking for fish. I also attached a Yellow-rumped Warbler photo and an Eastern Phoebe photo taken today.

Good birding to all,


Journey North is a program of the University of Wisconsin, Madison Arboretum. Journey North could not have found a better home than the Arboretum with whom we share the same vision: to be “a global source of knowledge of and a model for restoring ecologically sustainable relationships between people and the land through integrative, innovative, and collaborative approaches in science, stewardship, education, and public engagement.” We hope you share this vision as well and continue to be a part of our Journey North community. Chuck Henrikson, like other Journey North participants, loves to share his love of birds and place through his birding reports and photos. We hope you enjoy these reports as well as learn more about the UW-Madison Arboretum, Journey North’s new home.