Winning Birding Trail - Winning Photo

In This Blog

  • Birding is Special at Wyalusing State Park
  • Sugar Maple Nature Trail reconstruction nears half way point.
  • A Winning Photo!
  • Friends of Wyalusing November Elections
  • RSVP for November 10, 2008 meeting

2008 Gold Seal Award
Best Birding Trail: Wyalusing State Park

The 2008 Gold Seal Award voting has been completed. Wyalusing State Park won an award for the Best Birding Trail in Wisconsin.

Why Birding is Special at Wyalusing State Park
Special Contributing Blog Author
by special request
Bettie Harriman, Oshkosh, WI
Wisconsin Society for Orinthology (Web Link)

Most Wisconsin birders try to make it to this beautiful state park in the southwest corner of the state at least once in May-June of each year. The reason? It is “one-stop shopping” for several more southern species of birds that nest each year in Wisconsin. On a visit to Wyalusing in late May you will probably either hear or see (or both) the Henslow’s Sparrow (a Threatened species in our state) in the fields along either side of the entrance road at the top of the hill past the Visitor’s Center.

Walking down Long Valley Road allows a birder to find three more Threatened species: Cerulean and Kentucky Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher—all are more southern species that nest along the steep slopes of this park. Birding around the boat landing at the end of this road will reveal nesting Prothonotary Warbler, still another southern species that uses cavities in trees along the backwaters of large rivers and is considered a Species of Special Concern in Wisconsin. You might hear (even if you don’t get to see) Red-shouldered Hawk and both Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos calling from the deep wooded areas or watch a Yellow-throated Vireo or Baltimore Oriole building a nest. On a good migration day, dozens of other warblers and forest nesting species can be heard and seen as they move through on their way farther north or settle in to nest here in the park. And some years, even more surprises await visiting birders—two warblers, also more common farther south, take up residence at the Park, the Yellow-breasted chat and Prairie Warbler.

But the species that brings birders to Wyalusing each year is the Yellow-throated Warbler. Wyalusing State Park is the only location in Wisconsin where this species (listed as Endangered in Wisconsin) is sure to be found every year—maybe not by everyone or every time one visits, but it will be found by some birders every year. Recently, it has been observed building a nest and carrying food for its young, proof that the species nests in the park.
It’s no wonder Wyalusing State Park has been voted the state park with the best birding trails.

Sugar Maple Nature Trail Reconstruction
Nears half-way Point

In five short weeks, the Department of Natural Resources three person trail crew and Wyalusing State Park staff, have completed one-half of the trail reconstruction.

New sections of the trail follow the contour of the bluff. The trail is wide enough allowing emergency vehicles access to almost all parts of the trail. Clicking on the map photo (left) shows brand new sections as well as established parts of the trail

Week four and five have seen much progress. The trail has been reconstructed along Long Valley Road.

A new section of trail along the road leading from Homestead parking area to the prairie, just east of the Hugh Harper Indoor Group Camp, has been created.

As of this date, a new switchback leading from the west side of the trail to the wooden bridge is under construction. With good weather, this section will be completed by weeks end.

The section from Long Valley Road, following the east side of the ravine to Picture Rock Cave has been marked with blue ribbons. It is still awaiting construction.

The old trail, located along a ravine. Sugar Maple Trail, at this point, shows signs of falling into the stream. The new section will be above the ravine and follow the natural contours of the bluff. This new section will join the established Sugar Maple Nature trail at Picture Rock Cave.

When completed, the new section will, once again, form a circuitous route. Challenges still await this part of the construction plan, not the least of which, will be a bridge located near Picture Rock Cave.

Annotated photos here...

A Winning Photo
Sara Hefty's sunset photo a winner

This Summer, all state park and trail visitors were invited to submit their favorite photo or photos for a 2009 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks calendar. The theme of the photos were seasonal. 12 winners were selected for each month of the calendar. The deadline for all submissions and voting was Sept. 19, 2008. Winners will be recognized at the FWSP annual meeting and banquet on Nov. 7 in Dodgeville. The contest was announced at the website: .

One of the winning photos was taken by Sara Hefty. The photo will be posted in the next blog.

Friends of Wyalusing November Elections
by Kenneth Knowles, FOW President

All of the officers are elected annually for a one year term. I do not have a copy of the Bylaws to refer too. As best as I can recall, there is no minimum number of members necessary for a quorum. A simple majority of the members present will pass any motion or elect officers. Park employees are not eligible to hold office nor can they vote. As I recall, the officers are limited to two consecutive terms. Other than myself, all of our present officers far exceed that limitation. .(*Edited by publisher)

The next meeting will be Nov 10th at 6:30 at the park office. Some of the highlights will be the election of officers and discussion of events and activities for next year. As always, members can contact us by email or snail mail if they can't make the meetings but have comments to forward to the group.

(As of the last blog, two people have rsvp'ed!)

It is important that as many voting members as possible attend the next Friends of Wyalusing State Park meeting on November 10, 2008 at6:30 P.M. (Can this writer type the meeting time enough?)

We need you to vote for the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary for the Firends of Wyalusing.

We need you to become informed about an endowment for Wylausing State Park.

We need to meet all of the members.

Please come!!!!!

The web site for the Wisconsin Natural Resources Foundation is (here).

Use the form below to RSVP. If the form doesn't work in your browser, see the link below.

Use this link if you do NOT see an RSVP form.
Please Press here if you do not see the above form or it does not work in your browser.