July 26, 2011
MADISON - The Aug 20 end date for the 2011 summer game bird brood survey is approaching and wildlife managers urge hunters and wildlife watchers to continue sending in reports.
Beginning June 12, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources asked Wisconsinites to record all game bird broods observations via an online reporting form.
"By recording broods of ring-necked pheasant, ruffed grouse, turkey, bobwhite quail, gray partridge, prairie chicken and sharp-tailed grouse the state has another measure of brood production, which helps biologists make management decisions," said Brian Dhuey, DNR wildlife surveys researcher.
During the first few weeks of the 2011 survey period, the most frequently observed game bird species were turkeys (82 percent of observations). Of those observations, 32 percent of hen turkeys had a brood and the brood averaged 5.5 poults, or young turkeys. This is slightly ahead of last year's final count which found broods averaging 3.9 poults each. Biologists caution however that the 2011 data are preliminary and could change as young birds die during the remainder of the rearing season.
Ruffed grouse composed 13 percent of the game bird observations. Brood size for ruffed grouse was 6.3 young per brood. The remaining 5 percent of the reports are ring-necked pheasant observations. Of the ring-necked pheasants reported, 40 percent of the hens had a brood and the brood averaged 5.5 young per brood.
Observers recorded 62 percent of observations as complete counts; meaning all the young in the brood were counted. Additionally, observers recorded 130 lone turkey hens and three lone pheasant hens. The counties with highest reporting rates are Dane, Marathon, Rock, and Price.
"Please continue to enter game bird brood observations. No special effort is needed! Simply report the type of bird seen, the county it was seen in, and the number of hens and chicks seen on the online survey form," Dhuey said.
Observations can be recorded at the end of every day, or for times when you do not have access to the Internet and would like to keep track of your observations, a tally sheet (pdf) has been provided to help record sightings.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Dhuey at (608) 221-6342 or Jes Rees (608) 221-6360