Rare Birds of Wisconsin – January

This is my 1st full day back from FL, so it’s time to cheer myself up about being in cold weather with the birds I could see this month. Thanks to diligent eBirders and the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology Records Committee, many of the historic sightings from the state checklist are now online and searchable in eBird. If a particular species interests you, search for sightings within the timeframe of interest. (Also, please note I’ll be updating this post to keep current with sightings for the month.)
Keep checking “our maritime borders” for rare gulls have showed up on the big lakes this month: black-legged kittiwake, mew gull and glaucous-winged gull. As long as open water remains, it will be wise to keep an eye on the lakes for Pacific loons. Also historically this month, king eider has been found.
This is a good month to get out and look for gray partridge. They stand out (now that there’s snow!) and are easiest to find in winter.
This year, an American three-toed woodpecker was found in Ely, MN. They’re vaguely irruptive, and showed up at several sights in the far northern Midwest 2014/2015. This year doesn’t seem to be “their year,” but always check the burned forests!
Last year, a lucky Clark Co. residence ended up with a gray-crowned rosy finch! In winter 2015 a brambling appeared at a northern feeder. Earlier last year, a sage thrasher made a brief appearance, and they have showed up at feeders in winter in WI in the past. Also watch your feeders for the very rare but possible…
  • green-tailed towhee
  • black-throated sparrow
  • black-headed grosbeak
  • streak-backed oriole
  • Scott’s oriole

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