This event started as a WSO (Wisconsin Society for Ornithology) field trip back in 1999 and has been annual ever since. Hundreds of birders have attended over the years, not only from Wisconsin, but also many from Minnesota and a number of other states. Jaegerfest is no longer featured as a WSO field trip for the past few years (for a variety of reasons), but many of us still attend each year.
Wisconsin Point is a long sand spit that extends along the shore near the west end of Lake Superior, and it provides the best opportunity in Wisconsin for observing Parasitic Jaegers. Long-tailed and Pomarine Jaegers have also been observed there on several occasions, but both are rare. The Jaegers are why we first jokingly coined the term "Jaegerfest," but it's not a festival in any real sense -- it's an opportunity for birders to gather at one of the best places in the state for finding rare birds.
Besides the Parasitic Jaegers (which have usually been seen daily during this event), there have also been many great "highlight" birds seen
Sabine's Gulls have been sighted most years, along with a nice variety of other gulls. Last year we found a Glaucous-winged Gull on the Point,
but we've also seen Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Franklin's and Laughing Gull, Bonaparte Gull, Black-Legged Kittiwake and Little Gull.
Most of the terns we see are common, but some Forster's May be seen, and we've also spotted a few Arctic Terns. Numerous other lake birds
are often spotted. Over the years, there have been too many highlights to mention.
WIsconsin Point has many trees along it, which can provide habitat for a variety of migrating birds. On some days, many warblers have been present along the Point, and a variety of sparrows, vireos and thrushes can often be found. Most years have produced Harris's Sparrow.
Trip Details Sept 22-24
Access the Wisconsin Point sand spit from Moccasin Mike Road, east of Superior. The group typically gathers on the beach near the first beach parking lot (Lot #1), where there is a restroom building. Bring layers of clothing, rain gear, and plenty of snacks. Participants also may want to bring old bread, popcorn, beef suet, etc. to "chum" for gulls. If you are staying in a motel, make sure to book your reservations early! Some attendees also take the opportunity to visit Hawk Ridge in nearby Duluth to view migrating raptors.
Questions contact Tom Schultz email@example.com