DNR Outdoor Report: Eagles actively adding to nests
Snowmobile and cross-country ski trails are in good to excellent condition in many locations after additional snowfall early this week. Reminder to think smart before you start and ride responsibly while staying on marked trails.
However, recent snowfalls have made it difficult for those pursuing trout during the early catch and release season. The best luck might be before the major spring thaw begins and the rivers start to run high. Before the cold front, warmer weather had improved ice fishing.
The 2020 sturgeon spearing season on the Winnebago System has been going as predicted. With variable ice conditions and the less than ideal water, there will be a 16-day season with a below-average harvest. Two fish over 140 pounds have been registered and 23 fish larger than 100 pounds.
Now is an excellent time to make sure those wood duck boxes are cleaned out and ready for the 2020 nesting season. Various species of woodpeckers are beginning to drum for breeding display on hollow wood. Cardinals have started signing in the treetops. Bald eagles are actively adding to their nests.
Backyard Birdfeeder Banter Report
After a very slow start to the season, some additional activity has finally started to pick up at our backyard birdfeeders out in the town of Tomahawk. The past several days a steady stream of chickadees has been seen fluttering in from the nearby pines to grab a sunflower or two before following rank back to the forest just prior to sunset.
We even spotted our first finches of the season last week as a flock of about a half dozen of them came in and fed during the day. A close inspection revealed they have to start turning that “golden” hue we all start to long for this time of year. I also closely inspected the tops of their heads for a patch of red – apparently the red polls have migrated somewhere else this winter. The bluejays and morning doves have also been coming in to feed on a regular basis, and the number of doves has seemed to grown as flocks numbering in the dozens have been showing up to feed in recent days.
This time of year can be especially fun around the birdfeeders as the temperatures continue to warm more and more birds start arriving as they make their migration north. Before long the grosbeaks will be back and then flocks of juncos followed by robins will be filling the yard. And just a little further out the hummingbird feeders will be dug out of storage to be hung as spring finally is sprung in the now snow-covered Northwoods.