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Central Wisconsin Prairies and Wetlands Trip 2018

May 26, 2018 - May 28, 2018

$149 – $329

Indiana Audubon Central Wisconsin Prairies and Wetlands Trip 2018 

May 26-28, 2018

led by IAS Board Member, Amy Kearns

Join IAS for a Memorial Day weekend adventure to the amazing bogs, marshes, grasslands, and early-successional areas of central Wisconsin as the spring season wraps up and breeding begins.  Central Wisconsin is an easy day drive for most Hoosiers and offers a diverse array of birds representative of both the central plains and northwoods.  Additionally, recent nesting attempts by Kirtland’s Warblers and Whooping Cranes adds to the total birding diversity possible in this unique region.

Birding will take place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning.  A few of the more popular birding destinations  include the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge and Horicon Marsh.  Other unique birds possible on this trip include:
Black Tern, Trumpeter Swan,  American White Pelican, Greater Prairie Chicken, Yellow Rail, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Upland Sandpiper, Wilson’s Snipe, Black-necked Stilt. Sedge Wren, Western Meadowlark, Brewer’s Blackbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and Clay-colored Sparrow.

The trip will involve single day drives by participants on Friday, May 25 to arrive for early birding Saturday.  The trip will max out at 12 participants. A tentative itinerary is below:

Friday, May 25: Participants arrive on their own to Sharmalot Motel in central Wisconsin.

Saturday, May 26:  Group will depart The Sharmalot Motel and join a WI DNR nest monitoring specialist to glimpse Federally Endangered Kirtland’s Warblers. After lunch, we will visit the iconic Necedah National Wildlife Refuge for late neotropical migrants, marsh species, and with luck, Endangered Whooping Cranes. An after-dinner option to visit another marsh and grassland area for shorebirds, Clay-colored Sparrow, and Greater Prairie Chickens is offered before another restful night at the Shermalot Hotel.

Sunday, May 27: The group will visit the nearby Buena Vistas Grasslands for Greater Prairie Chickens, Upland Sandpipers, Clay-colored and Grasshopper Sparrows, Eastern and Western Meadowlarks and Brewer’s Blackbirds. During lunch we will drive an hour south to White River Marsh for more marsh birds. After checking in at the Acorn Ridge Motel, a late-night search for Yellow Rails, Long-eared owls, whip-poor-wills and other nocturnal birds will be undertaken.

Monday, May 28: The group will start early by traveling 45 minutes south to Horicon NWR, where we will enjoy one more morning of marsh birds and shorebirds before departing for Indiana.

The trip includes three nights lodging in central Wisconsin (2 hotels) ,as well as guiding to and from the birding locations.  Travel and food is not covered.  We will make effort to assist with anyone looking to carpool together.  Participants can expect a full day of birding Saturday, Sunday, and some morning birding Monday before returning south.  Marsh birds are most active at or before sunrise. This trip will depart the hotel before sunrise every day. While much of the trip will be done by car, up to 1 mile of walking might be necessary at some stops. Some terrain may be uneven.  This trip will search for nesting endangered species. Participants must be on their best behavior and follow all guidelines when birding sensitive areas.  Participants will be asked to refrain from broadcasting recorded calls or hiking away from the group in some areas.  Spring marshes are well known for harboring insects. Participants should come prepared for biting mosquitoes and gnats by bringing bug repellent and wearing long sleeves and long pants. Bringing a head net is also recommended.

Trip cost is $289 for IAS members, $329 for non members.  A single supplement fee of $149 applies to those traveling alone.  Participants are responsible for all food/drinks, as well as transportation to and from Wisconsin. Full refunds are available through May 1.  50% refunds plus a $5 administrative fee are available through May 15.

Registration is below.  This unique trip will fill.  Sign up today!  For questions about this trip, email Amy Kearns.




May 26, 2018
May 28, 2018
$149 – $329
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Indiana Audubon Society


Nekoosa, Wisconsin
Nekoosa, WI 54457 United States + Google Map


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