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WATERFOWL ON THE MOVE; HEAD TO HORICON FOR BEST VIEWING

Contact(s): Bret Owsley, Bret Owsley, DNR Horicon area natural resources supervisor, 920-210-2451, Bret.Owsley@Wisconsin.gov; or Jennifer Sereno, communications, DNR communications, 608-770-8084, Jennifer.Sereno@wisconsin.gov.
October 13, 2015

HORICON, Wis. - Whether you like geese, cranes, ducks or other migrating birds, the viewing is good and getting better every day at Wisconsin's Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area.

Now through the middle of November, popular species including Canada geese, sandhill cranes, mallards, green-winged teal and northern pintail will use the marsh as a rest stop on the way to southern destinations. Some of the birds will have started as far north as Hudson Bay and some will fly as far south as Central America, said Bret Owsley, Horicon area natural resources supervisor for DNR.

This year, viewing is expected to be spectacular as continental populations of waterfowl including mallards and teal are at record levels, ranging some 40 to 50 percent above long-term averages [PDF] (exit DNR), according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To help citizens catch the best viewing of their favorite species, Owsley said, DNR is introducing a "migration meter" to help depict when migrations of the various species reach their peak at the Horicon Marsh. The survey data is compiled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a weekly basis, by conducting roadside and airboat surveys in and along the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge.

"In the same way that people will travel to different parts of the state to see peak fall color, we know people are interested in the fall bird migration at Horicon," Owsley said. "The migration meter will help people track the movements of their favorite birds and hopefully, they'll head to Horicon to see and hear the action firsthand."

While visiting the marsh, visitors are encouraged to check out the new Explorium at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. Made possible through a combination of public and private funding including support from the Friends of Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, the Explorium features museum quality exhibits, numerous bird and wildlife mounts and historic hunting equipment.

"Fall is a great time to visit the marsh and the new Explorium provides the perfect place to come inside and learn more about the history of hunters and the hunted from the Ice Age down through modern times, before going outside to experience the marsh itself." Owsley said.

The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center is located between Horicon, Wis. and Mayville, Wis. on Hwy. 28. The Explorium is open seven days a week except for major holidays. Weekday hours run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekend hours run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to the Explorium, the center features an auditorium as well as a conservation learning lab and is well-suited to group visits from schools, community centers, senior groups, civic organizations and more. For a detailed list of all Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center special events, please visit the Friends of Horicon Marsh website at www.horiconmarsh.org. For more information regarding Horicon Marsh education programs, contact Liz Herzmann, DNR educator, at 920-387-7893.

To learn more, visit DNR.wi.gov and search "Horicon Marsh."

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 13, 2015




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