Monday Morning Blogging: The Whooping Crane Festival

Operation Migration teams up with the Princeton (WI) Chamber of Commerce to present the 2015 Whooping Crane Festival this week. There are lots of fun events scheduled, beginning with Thursday night’s welcome dinner at Reilly’s Bar and Pub on Green Lake, and concluding Sunday with a bird walk at White River Marsh and Birding by Boat at Horicon Marsh, beginning at 11 a.m.

You can learn all the details here, but the heart of the Whooping Crane Festival is Saturday with talks and exhibits set up at the Princeton School. The purpose of this post is to acquaint you with who is speaking.

Stan Tekiela is the creator of a popular series of state-specific Field Guides to birds, wildflowers, and trees.

Stan Tekiela is the creator of a popular series of state-specific Field Guides to birds, wildflowers, and trees.

Naturalist, writer, and wildlife photographer Stan Tekelia, is the after-dinner speaker for Friday’s Kickoff dinner which will be held in the Aboretum Room of the Comfort Suites of Royal Ridges.  Stan has authored over 100 field guides, nature appreciation books, and wildlife audio books.

Stan studies and photographs wildlife throughout the United States, and has just returned from a two-week photography trip to Alaska. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Natural History from the University of Minnesota, is a well-known columnist and radio personality and has given hundreds of talks and presentations.

Saturday Speakers at the Whooping Crane Festival

Operation Migration pilot Joe Duff, who has spent 15 years training and flying with whooping cranes, as well as talking and writing about them, will share some of those adventures with his trademark humor, and plenty of images. Joe is the co-founder of Operation Migration.

Other Saturday programs will include Pat Fisher of The Feather,  who will present a program on Raptor Rehabilitation, from 9 – 10 a.m.  The Feather is a non-profit organization dedicated to caring for orphaned and injured avian wildlife. Rob Zimmer, syndicated Wisconsin outdoor and garden writer, will present a program on Gardening for Wildlife, from 11 a.m. to noon.

Finally, in a  “kids of all ages” program, Wisconsin educator/entertainer will present three 45-minute shows; they will begin on-the-hour at 11 a.m., noon, and 1 p.m.  David is a Wisconsin Association of Environmental Education Teacher of the Year, and also an “Aldo Leopold award winner.”

Here is one of Stan Tekiela’s images, most appropriate for this Whooping Crane Festival:  “Whooping Crane pair on Foggy Morning”

Happy Fest days to participants and attendants – one and all!


Making Plans: September Fests, Hikes, Field Trips, Etc!

Hard to think about (for those who love summer best), but September is just around the corner. But if that’s the “bad news,” the many ways to get outdoors and celebrate Wisconsin in September – that’s the good news.

Here are some dates to keep in mind – brought to you by the Door County Land Trust, the Gathering Waters Conservancy, Operation Migration, the the Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, and more – as you make September plans.

September 3 – Hike, Sunset Picnic, & Concert at the Lautenbach Woods Nature Preserve & the WoodWalk Gallery, in Door County; sponsored by the Door County Land Trust.

The Door County shoreline; on the bay of Green Bay. (A Badger & the Whooping Crane photo)

The Door County shoreline; on the bay of Green Bay. (A Badger & the Whooping Crane photo)

Headlined “This Land Is Your Land,” this event is both one of the Door County Land Trust’s public events, and part of a Woodwalk Gallery  folk festival. Sounds like fun, but check it out quickly –  there IS already a waiting list for this event!

Sept 6 & September 22 – Night Walks, at the UW-Arboretum, Madison.

From 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept.6, catch the last choruses of night-calling insects and migrating birds. Or observe the Equinox on Monday, the 22nd, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Watch the sun set and learn more about the autumnal equinox on this naturalist-led tour.

Septbemer 12, 13, 14 –  The Whooping Crane Festival; in Green Lake County; sponsors include Operation Migration and the Berlin Rotary Club.

Watch the training of whooping crane chicks (weather permitting!) as they learn to fly with ultralight aircraft. Listen to the experts, including, Professor Emeritus Stanley Temple on the extinction of the passenger pigeon, George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, OM Pilot Joe Duff, DNR Pilot Beverly Paulan, Raptor Rehabilitabor Pat Fisher, and Birder Tom Schulz. Events take place at Princeton High School and several other locations near White River Marsh State Natural Area.  See ALL of the details by clicking on the Whooping Crane Festival link.

Sept. 12 – Saving Family Lands, a panel discussion sponsored by the Wisconsin Friends of John Muir, 6:30 – 8 p.m., at the UW-Extension Community Room, in Montello.

This program, part of the Muir Friends’ “Popcorn and Ideas” discussions, will bring together staff from the Gathering Waters Conservancy and a panel of local landowners from Marquette County to discuss experiences with preserving farmland and/or the natural landscape.

Sept.13 – Barn Dance & Chautauqua, at Saxon Homestead Farm, in Cleveland, WI, 4-10 p.m.

Techinically, this is called the “Partnering for Progress Barn Dance & Chautauqua” and proceeds from the event will benefit the 3 partners that make up the Partners for Progress: the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, the Gathering Waters Conservancy, and the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers.

Aldo Leopold (Photo courtesy of the Aldo Leopold Foundation)

Aldo Leopold (Photo courtesy of the Aldo Leopold Foundation)

Here’s what to expect:  a showing of the film “Green Fire,” about Aldo Leopold, with commentary by Curt Meine, Senior Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation;  a Harvest Buffet of locally grown food;  and the barn dance to the sounds of Buffalo Stomp. Tickets are priced at $30 an individual, $50 a pair, and $10 per student. You are advised to “Get yours today!” Only 250 will be sold – “then they’ll be gone!”

Sept. 13 Yahara Riverfest, hosted by the Rock River Coalition, at Conservancy Commons Park, in DeForest. 1-7 p.m.

This fest includes a 5K trail tromp (begins at 1 p.m.), a rubber duck race, and beer and wine tasting. Randy Korb, the “Frog Guy,” will present a unique, highly engaging amphibian program for children and adults.

September 13 – Hike Kangaroo Lake Nature Preserve, with the Door County Land Trust, 10 a.m. to noon.

This is part of the Land Trust’s “Take a Hike and Call Me in the Morning” series; a 1.5 mile hike at the Land Trust’s very first nature preserve.  It includes spectacular vistas, serene lakeshore, a spring-fed creek and wetlands, and boreal forest.

Sept. 20 – Explore the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve with the Door County Land Trust, 10 to 4 p.m.
This “Explore the Door” activity brought to you by the Land Trust, runs concurrent with the city of Sturgeon Bay”s Harvest Fest. Enjoy Harvest Fest and take a diversion through the nature preserve, located at the southern end of Sturgeon Bay, on the southwest side of the ship canal. There will be hiking opportunities and activities for people of all ages. Nature Preserve hosts will be available to share the history and ecology of the preserve.

Map of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal (via Wikimedia)

Map of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal (via Wikimedia)

Sept. 20 – Field trip to the Newell and Ann Meyer Nature Preservewith the Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin, located in Waukesha and Walworth Counties, 9 a.m. to noon.

Join the conservancy staff and enjoy the restored native prairie in bloom.  The prairie and grasslands of this nature preserve provide a refuge for rare birds and other wildlife.

Sept. 20 – Birds & Bat Migration in Milwaukee, with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, at Riverside Park, 8 to 11 a.m.

This is one of the expert-led field trips sponsored by Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, and to participate, you ‘ll need to purchase an NRF membership ($25 per individual, $40 for a family).  On this particular field trip you will learn all about what urban areas can do for bats and migratory birds.  You will observe a bird banding station, mist-nets, acoustic bat monitoring demos, and see songbirds “up close & personal.” This field trip is recommended for children, age 10 or older, and adults. There is a $12 charge per adult; $6 per child, (and the price of a membership if you ‘re not already an NRF member).

 Sept. 27 – John Muir University of the Wilderness sponsored by the Wisconsin Friends of John Muir, 7 p.m., at Vaughn Hall, in Montello.

This “narrative concert” features the contemporary, classical and Celtic music of the Chance Quartet and the words of Scottish-born, American wilderness-educated, naturalist John Muir.  Tickets to this one-night show are available at the door, or in advance from the MORE Health Foods restaurant in Montello.