Chuck's Weekly Birding Report #8

6 - 12 May 2020


Dear fellow flock of birders,

Spring is in the air but yesterday it snowed.  Don’t you just love the Wisconsin weather!

Bird migration continues but it keeps getting interrupted by cold north winds. We had a push of birds a week ago last Friday but since then many of our migrants have been stuck south of here. We all hope the weather conditions, especially the winds, will be suitable for another push some time this week. I’ve been told that on occasion when the south winds do come it can take the birds right over us and they end up much farther north. Let’s hope they stop in the Arboretum for a rest before they continue their journey north.

Everyone is finding more warblers in the Arboretum and other sites in Dane County. My list is now up to 19 warbler species. Last week I mentioned that in 2019 there were 30 warblers species found in the Arboretum so I’m still trying to find 11 more to match last year’s numbers. Today I found a Chestnut-sided Warbler and a Blue-winged Warbler. Both are amazingly handsome birds. Another warbler I saw today, but had seen in the same location four different times, was an Ovenbird. I haven’t heard them vocalize but, if they do, they say “teacher, teacher, teacher”.  Move slowly and quietly and keep your eyes on the leaf litter in the woods. The Ovenbird looks like a thrush but a rusty crown bordered by black stripes will separate it from thrushes.  

Speaking of thrushes more thrush species have arrived this week. We had Hermit Thrushes in March and April but now I’m seeing Veeries, Swainson’s, Gray-cheeked and Wood Thrushes. Subtle differences separate the way they look but also their songs or contact notes also help identify them. I heard a Wood Thrush singing “ee oh lay” a few days ago.

Good birding to all,



UW-Madison Arboretum, Madison, WI