HORICON – A migration celebration begins Thursday because the 22nd annual Horicon Marsh Chicken Pageant will get underway.
4 and a half days of family-friendly adventures await at one of many largest freshwater marshes in america.
Liz Herzmann, DNR wildlife conservation educator, expects 1,000 to 1,500 individuals to attend the occasion, which is the oldest chook pageant in Wisconsin.
“The pageant is for individuals of all ages and birding ranges – from novices to consultants,” stated Herzmann. “We’ve got a packed schedule with many free actions and a small value for others.”
The huge wetland is each a State Wildlife Space and a Nationwide Wildlife Refuge. Initially established as habitat for migrating and nesting geese, it has since grow to be a stopover for Canada Geese.
Right now, the Horicon Marsh is more and more acknowledged and managed as a wetland ecosystem for all of its crops and animals. It has been designated as a Wetland of Worldwide Significance by the Ramsar Conference and a World Vital Chicken Space by the American Chicken Conservancy.
Herzmann stated over time, 306 species of birds have been sighted on this marsh. Sometimes, 150 to 170 species are noticed throughout the course of the pageant.
“As a result of it’s been cooler this spring lots of the songbirds are in central Illinois now,” stated Herzmann. “However we’re seeing extra with every passing day due to the nice and cozy southern winds; peak migration is coming quickly.”
A black-necked stilt, left, walked slowly by means of the Horicon Marsh on Wednesday in the hunt for tiny aquatic prey. The shorebird is a Southern species that has slowly expanded its approach north; 30 of those birds have been discovered final 12 months on the marsh.
Birders and out of doors lovers are welcome to discover the pageant by foot, boat, bus and bicycle.
For the early morning birder, “First Mild Birding” provides a glimpse of the birds at dawn. At sundown, a “Evening Sounds” bus tour is obtainable. All through the pageant, the Horicon Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Customer Middle, Marsh Haven Nature Middle and Horicon Marsh Schooling and Customer Middle will probably be buzzing with interactive shows, applications, and alternatives for viewing birds at their commentary areas.
Highlights this 12 months embody a keynote speech from Karla Bloem, director of the Worldwide Owl Middle in Houston, Minnesota; the Dwell Birds of Prey program that introduces a few of Wisconsin’s raptors by means of a photograph presentation, mounted specimens and reside birds; and a brand new Mom’s Day occasion known as “Mother and Me, Dissecting Collectively,” the place individuals will uncover what native owls are consuming by means of hands-on pellet dissection.
The pageant is a large enterprise, in accordance with Herzmann, and is run by many devoted volunteers. Companions embody Mates Of Horicon Marsh Schooling & Customer Middle, Horicon Marsh Boat Excursions, Marsh Haven Nature Middle, Wisconsin Division of Pure Assets, Horicon Nationwide Wildlife Refuge and Mates of Horicon Nationwide Wildlife Refuge.
“The chook pageant weekend actually is an excellent alternative to showcase our space. Individuals come from everywhere in the nation to expertise and luxuriate in what we’ve proper right here in Horicon,” stated Herzmann.
Lots of the bus excursions are filling up quick and pre-registration is required. Reservations have to be made by Tuesday at midday.
A schedule of occasions for extra details about bus and boat excursions, chook hikes, children applications, evening hikes and extra may be discovered at horiconmarshbirdclub.com.
Observe Kelly Simon on Twitter @KSchmidSimon or contact her at 920-356-6757.