By Jennifer Lazewski
WSO Executive Director
The annual Honey Creek Birdathon/Bandathon is scheduled for Sunday May 28 at the Harold and Carla Kruse Honey Creek Nature Preserve. We hope to see you there for a great morning of activities at WSO’s incredible bird habitat in the Baraboo Hills Important Bird Area. Tom Schultz and Jeff Baughman will be leading Birdathon activities throughout the property, and Dr. Anna Pigeon will be conducting bird banding at the Cox Nature Center.
Start the morning right at 3:45 a.m. with the dawn chorus along Skyview Road. At 6 a.m. there will be a hike mostly along the road starting at the entrance on Skyview Road. The field trip that loops all the way through the property for about 2.5 miles (with three creek crossings) will leave at 8:30 a.m. Please meet ahead of time at the Cox Nature Center so we know if we should divide the group for the best experience. The field trip should finish somewhere between 11 a.m. and noon. You are also free to go on your own more limited hikes along the trails on your own schedule.
Dr. Anna Pidgeon bands a Cedar Waxwing at the 2022 Birdathon/Bandathon
Dr. Pidgeon and her students are returning for the Bandathon, and we can again invite friends and neighbors to attend. If the weather is good, they should be starting to band birds after about 6:30 a.m. and go for several hours. If the weather is cloudy, cold or rainy, things will start later. The banding may also be cancelled if weather conditions aren’t good enough. Last year, we had some wonderful close-up views of birds that were breeding on the property. This year, we are scheduled earlier in the season again and may also have some migrants.
There is a limited amount of camping space available next to the nature center if you’d like to stay overnight. Hotels can also be found in the Prairie du Sac area and further out. On Saturday evening, you can come by to hike the trail up to the creek, and there may be an owl walk.
You can find maps and information about the Honey Creek Preserve (which is open to visit anytime) at https://wsobirds.org/about-wso/honey-creek-preserve. Google maps will get you to the Cox Nature Center if you enter “Alder Drive” in Plain, WI (this is the nature center entrance road off of Skyview). The trailhead is a little west along Skyview on the side opposite from Alder Drive.
Attendees at the 2022 Birdathon/Bandathon enjoyed a close encounter with this Blue-winged Warbler!