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May 1, 2012

MADISON - Wisconsin is home to a great number, and a great variety, of migratory birds. The range of habitat found between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes brings many migrating bird species, from waterfowl to warblers, to Wisconsin each year.

Ruby-throated hummingbird
Ruby-throated hummingbird.
Ryan Brady Photo

International Migratory Bird Day is held each year on the second Saturday in May (May 12, 2012) to draw attention to the plight of migratory birds that yearly make incredible journeys between their breeding grounds in North America and their wintering grounds in Mexico, Central, and South America. Many of these birds are declining in numbers, primarily due to the loss of habitat.

The theme this year is "connecting people with nature" and for those interested in learning about birding in Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources offers a series of five highway-based bird and nature viewing guides, each highlighting unique regional ecosystems of the state. Each Great Wisconsin Birding & Nature Trail guide] links a set of waypoints, refuges and wild places that offer the best birding and wildlife watching opportunities and other nature experiences.

Together, the complete set offers wildlife viewers 368 specific sites where they can view the best of Wisconsin's wildlife in the habitats they depend on for survival. In Wisconsin, approximately 6 million acres of lands are owned and managed by public conservation agencies and partners. These areas include county forests, state wildlife areas, national wildlife refuges and parks, state and national forests and many other important local conservation recreational parks. National wildlife refuges and many state wildlife areas are managed specifically for birds and the habitats on which they depend.

The guides area also available from the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (exit DNR) and Wisconsin Department of Tourism

One of the greatest sites to observe migratory birds in Wisconsin is in and around Horicon Marsh, which is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the nation and is home or a waypoint for 290 species of birds sighted over the years. The Horicon area will be host to many IMBD related events organized as the 15th Annual Horicon Marsh Bird Festival May 11-14.

International Migratory Bird Day activities are being held throughout Wisconsin in May. To find an event in your area, visit (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Andy Paulios- 608-264-6137 or Bob Manwell 608-264-9248

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 01, 2012

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