Category Archives: Chasing Birds

Brothertown Cattle Egrets

Last Wednesday while staying on the west side of Lake Winnebago, Derek and I decided  to take the half hour trip around the lower part of the lake to look for Cattle Egrets. Cattle Egrets technically are not considered rare for this part of the state but they can be tough to find some years.Fortunately, our girlfriends also agreed to join us in our search.

We turned onto lake shore drive where most of the sightings occur and almost immediately spotted a single Cattle Egret in a grassy field to the north of the road. It seemed to be content to sit by the small creek running through grass. We spent some time watching it and listening to a calling Eastern Wood-Peewee before moving on to see if we could find more.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

We continued down the road in the direction of some large groups of cows hoping we could find egrets following close behind. We struck out on more egrets but we did find a field with about 200 Ring-billed Gulls and a weird looking hawk that was most likely a juvenile Red-tailed.

We were about to turn around and head back when my girlfriend Bri (aka the worlds greatest egret spotter) noticed some small white shapes in the distance way off to the south east. We immediately got excited when we noticed a crass street that could take us right next to where this group of egrets were. We became even more excited when we saw 12 of them all at close range associating with the cattle.

Cattle Egrets
Cattle Egrets

We had a great time watching them lurk around the cattle and pick insects and other items up from the weeds. Occasionally they would take flight and relocate further down the field, but they would always return to the cows.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret in tall grass

It’s always hard to rip yourself away from cool birds but we wanted to give them some space so we took off back to the house on the west side of the lake feeling great about our close up sighting.

Advertisements

Quest for the Grenada Dove – Part 2!

Earlier this year I went to the tropical island of Grenada to search for one of the worlds rarest dove species: the Grenada Dove.

As I look through the videos from birding in Grenada and find out more information about the local species, the thing that strikes me the most is that there is still so much to learn about them. Being so rare and on a relatively small island, few have studied the habits of this bird. While very little is known about the Grenada Dove, here are some things that we do know.

  1. Grenada Doves are endemic to the island of Grenada (Meaning they are only native to the island)
  2. The Dove is classified as Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List) with about 130 individuals left  (87 mature individuals) according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  3. The Grenada Dove is the national bird of Grenada
  4. The introduction of the Indian Mongoose had a negative impact on the Dove’s population
  5. The Mt. Hartman National Park was established by the Government of Grenada in 1996  to help protect the Dove’s habitat
  6. When spooked, the Dove is more apt to walk on the ground through the brush than fly away
  7. The population may be isolated to small areas where their habitat is still present

To learn more about the Dove, stay tuned for the video, coming soon titled “Quest for the Grenada Dove.”