Historic Maps Coming to the Upper River: June and July 2015

Tell your neighbors, tell your friends!
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Map Artist, Lisa Middleton, will soon bring her collection of beautiful hand-painted maps to the Upper Mississippi. Her display schedule follows:

June 12-13 Artspire, La Crosse, WI
June 18-21 Prairie du Chien Rendezvous
June 29 Madison Cash and Carry Wholesale Mart
July 1-31 The WINE GUYZ, La Crosse, Wis. Art District. Lisa also expects to have a display on the RIVERFRONT during RIVERFEST
July 19 Stockholm Art Festival, Stockholm, WI
(Lisa’s hand-painted maps and fine art prints are featured at the Abode Gallery year around)

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wis2015images

Yes, Lisa will have originals and fine art prints available for purchase!

So what’s the story behind Lisa Middleton’s hand-painted historic art? Please visit www.greatriverarts.com to view several fascinating videos on the back story of Midwestern historic maps and their cartographers.

BIRDS!!!!!

Another great update from Dan Jackson, La Crosse, WI. I will add that I saw my first hummer this morning!

Nice Vertical Hummer

The floodgates opened over the weekend when the winds changed to come from the south and bird migration really increased. Many new species were reported in the area including Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Grey Catbirds, Baltimore Orioles, Shorebirds, Vireos, and about 10 species of Warblers. The next couple of weeks should be wild!!

Steve Houdek reported a huge flock of shorebirds north of Winona:

For the traveler- hundreds of shorebirds (maybe 500+) present at Whitewater Wildlife Management Area about 15 miles north of Winona and 2-3 miles west on MN Hwy 74… This included both Yellowlegs, Pectoral, Least and other Sandpipers…area is drawn down and burned…lots of excellent mud flat

I also had a nice diversity of shorebirds at a pond on the north side of Hwy 162 between Stoddard and Chaseburg (opposite Wing Hollow Road). This included both Yellowlegs, Pectoral, Least & Spotted Sandpipers, Wilson’s Phalarope and Snipe, Short-billed Dowitcher, and Killdeer. There are lots of mudflats at Goose Island and many shorebirds were seen there too!!

This is a great time to get out and enjoy the birds!

Dan Jackson, President
Coulee Region Audubon Society
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Spring Migration of TUNDRA SWANS was Huge!

My observation this year is that the spring migration of Tundra Swans represented a truly significant population moving north up the river. Viewing from the Wisconsin side of the river, swans were visible in great numbers against the Minnesota bluffs. I didn’t get over to Brownsville this year, but the viewing must have been excellent. In the first many years, the swans moved through in small clusters, often barely noticeable. No longer!!

April 18, Free Trip into Louisiana’s Bayou Teche NWR

Contact: Donovan Garcia (337) 923-9718
needtopaddle@yahoo.com

Experience all the flora and fauna of the Cajun Coast first hand!

FRANKLIN, LA – Free guided tours aboard motorized boats into the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge are being held April 18, 2015 for the Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival.

Tours will be guided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Friends of Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge.

Advanced reservations the day of the event are required. Registration will be at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tent set up in Historic Downtown Franklin. Please register early at the tent as trips fill quickly.

Groups will be limited in size for optimal viewing experience. Tour times are 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Trips may be cancelled due to weather.

Louisiana’s 10th Annual Eagle Expo and More

Eagle events are abounding along the whole length of the Mississippi River. Even the “deep south” is celebrating the resurgence of the American Bald Eagle.

The 10th Annual Eagle Expo and More will be held in Morgan City, Louisiana, February 26 – 28, 2015.  The Eagle Expo is a tribute to the return of the American Bald Eagle to Louisiana, which was removed from the endangered species list in June 2007.

Friday evening will feature a dinner and a presentation, A Life Gone to the Birds, by Al Batt, at the Petroleum Club of Morgan City from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. This presentation is part of the Educational Series sponsored by the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, a program of the National Park Service, and the Office of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne. Programs in the series increase awareness and appreciation of the natural, historic and cultural resources of the Heritage Area. Presentations are posted at www.atchafalaya.org.

Al Batt of rural Hartland, Minnesota is a writer, speaker, storyteller and humorist. Al writes four weekly humor and nature columns for many newspapers, and does a show three times per week about nature on a number of radio stations. Al has been featured in the Smithsonian Magazine, the Star Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Bird Watcher’s Digest, on WCCO Radio, on KFAN Radio and on Agri-Talk, and was given the Thomas Sadler Roberts Award by the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union.. Cost to attend the dinner and presentation is $40.00 per person.

This three day event will also include guided boat tours into the Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Black, Turtle Bayou and Bayou Long. The Expo will also feature seminars by wildlife experts, a presentation by Extreme Raptors, which includes live raptors, a photography exhibit and an all-day photography workshop given by C.C. Lockwood.

For complete event schedule, cost and registration form contact the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau at 985-380-8224, visit online atwww.cajuncoast.com/eagleexpo, or email info@cajuncoast.com.

Winter Golden Eagle Count Results

Press Release:

On January 17th, volunteers from the National Eagle Center spread out across the blufflands of southeast Minnesota, western Wisconsin and eastern Iowa during the 11th annual Wintering Golden Eagle Survey. They were seeking golden eagles that winter in the hills and valleys of the region.

Golden Eagle in Flight

More than 180 observers drove rural roads, outfitted with binoculars and spotting scopes to survey the area for golden eagles. Preliminary results reveal that they observed 136 golden eagles, the most ever recorded for the survey. Though this number has increased over the years, it is likely that the increase is a result of more observers covering a larger area, and more experience on the part of the observers in picking out these hard to spot golden eagles.

Observers also recorded other birds, especially raptors, seen during the survey. Saturday’s survey recorded more than 500 red-tailed hawks and 1,734 bald eagles.

‘That’s an amazing number of bald eagles for survey areas that are away from the Mississippi River” says Golden Eagle Project coordinator and National Eagle Center Education Director, Scott Mehus. Typically in winter, large numbers of bald eagles can be found along the river, congregating near open water to find fish. The National Eagle Center conducts weekly wintering bald eagle counts along the Mississippi River, which are available at nationaleaglecenter.org.

This winter with warmer temperatures, more open water and little snow cover, bald eagles are more dispersed, with few large congregations in any one location. Large numbers seen in the blufflands confirm that the population of bald eagles is still healthy, and many are finding food away from the river. By comparison, the 2014 survey counted just 878 bald eagles in the same areas.

Eagle Festival Links… and Quincy, Illinois, updates

sepia eagles on nestThe American Eagle Foundation has a section of its website (www.eagles.org) dedicated to Eagle Festivals held throughout the United States and Canada. If your community would like to update listings, please use this link: http://www.eagles.org/programs/educational-resources/Eagle-Festivals-and-Events.php

We have the following information for the Quincy, Illinois, Bald Eagle Watch.  January 25-26, 2014
Outdoor Viewing at Quincy, IL; Lock and Dam #21
Indoor exhibits and events at Oakley Lindsey Civic Center
Schedule: Saturday and Sunday, January 25-26, 2014.
Indoor exhibits and events from 9:00 – 5:00 both Saturday and Sunday,
Outdoor viewing at Lock and Dam 21: 8:00 – 3:00 each day.
Description: Bald Eagle viewing at Lock and Dam #21, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day.
Telephone: For more information, call Quincy Ranger Office: 217-228-0890