Sunday, April 24, 2011

Popular paddling event portages over to Wisconsin River


For immediate release
For more information contact:
Jeff Mazanec
David Horst

Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle 2011 kicks off June 5 during Portage Canal Days with a canoe and kayak outing that starts in the Fox River and ends in the Wisconsin River.

The sequel to the successful Fox River Heritage Paddle 2010 will reprise three of last year’s most popular outings and add five trips on the Wisconsin River. Details are available at

The Canal Days paddle starts at the historic Fort Winnebago Surgeon’s Quarters on State 33. Paddlers will travel about a mile on the Fox to the Indian Agency House, another historic site. Unlike when Marquette and Joliet made this crossing in 1673, participants will be able to paddle, with several short portages, through the Portage Canal and learn about restoration efforts.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wet, windy, cold counting

Who showed better sense, the crane counters or the cranes?

It was 30 degrees F, windy and drizzly Saturday for the International Crane Foundation's annual Midwest Sandhill Crane Count. We were in place at 5:30 a.m. The cranes slept in.

Drizzle turned to rain. We all heard cranes, but they stayed sheltered in the wetlands. Outagamie County count coordinator Jess Miller said most counters saw three or four cranes during their two-hour watch. Not many took to the skies.

In my counting spot near the sand hill we call home, nothing much happened until close to 7 a.m. Instead of flying in as they have done in other years, the cranes just walked into the farm field from the woods, and they didn't stray far from the cover.

In all, I saw 21 cranes through a rain-blurred spotting scope. That's a better count than in recent years, well worth the damp clothes and frosty fingers.  -- DH

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Eagle-cam now triple the fun

Raptor Resource Project works for the preservation of falcons, eagles, ospreys, hawks and owls by maintaining nest sites and doing training and education. Check its website at

By David Horst

  It’s been almost a week since the first blessed event and Mom is still waiting for the third of her triplets to be born.
The second child made its entrance two days after the first, but, as of this writing, No. 3 is still holding back. That’s the way it goes in the bird world.
I’m talking about the eagle births in Decorah, Iowa, that have caused an international sensation. More than 150,000 people at a time have been watching a live web cam feed of a pair of eagles sitting on a nest 80 feet up in a cottonwood tree at a fish hatchery since the first eaglet hatched – no foolin’ – April 1.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Eagle-cam shows hatch live

Here's an addictive little website:

It is a live webcam of an eagle nest on a reserve in Decorah, Iowa, where eaglets are hatching. The first hatch happened April 2. A counter shows more than 100,000 viewers typically looking in. Thanks to Glen Gorsuch of Neshkoro for alerting me to this site.

The nest is 80 feet up a tree. It measures 5-6 feet across and weighs 1.5 tons. The webcams were placed by the Raptor Resource Project. Take a look, but plan on spending some time there. - DH