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Wisconsin bird survey completed

After three seasons of field work, volunteers with the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II have documented 224 species of breeding birds in the Badger State, including 13 species not found in the first edition of the work two decades ago.

The newest finding was the king rail, a secretive marsh bird. Volunteers viewed a nesting king rail pair at Horicon Marsh last summer.

The work is performed by volunteers who comb geographic areas for signs of breeding, including birds sitting on a nest and bringing food to young.

The first Wisconsin breeding bird atlas ran from 1995-2000. It confirmed 226 breeding species and another 11 that were “possible breeders.”

Among notable observations: Connecticut warblers appear to have declined substantially in number and range. The species has “vanished from the eastern portion of its range,” according to project managers.

On a positive note, trumpeter swans have increased substantially in number and distribution since the first atlas. More than 5,000 trumpeters have been recorded by volunteers.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel