News & Events

The Friends sponsor a variety of free educational programs and events, funded by membership donations, at the North Pikes Creek Wetlands Community Forest site, and off-site at schools, libraries and other venues. Watch this page for announcements of upcoming events. Contact the Friends if you have a suggestion for a project or event.


News and Upcoming Events


John OlsonThursday, December 7, 2017, 7:00 pm

Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

The Life and Ecology of Wisconsin’s Large Furbearers of the North

Presenter: John Olson, retired WDNR Furbearer Specialist

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Friends of the Lincoln Community Forest and the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Join retired WDNR Furbearer Specialist John Olson on December 7th for "The Life and Ecology of Wisconsin’s Large Furbearers of the North." You may remember that John gave a lively and engaging presentation on the Life and Ecology of Wisconsin’s Furbearers of the North in 2014. However, since Wisconsin is blessed with a goodly number of furbearers, John did not have time to discuss them all. John has agreed to return and begin where he left off. John will cover bobcats, coyotes, wolves, cougars, lynx, and other furbearers of interest - and exhibit pelts and other artifacts. This will be a special presentation that you won't want to miss. This event is free, open to the public, and suitable for the whole family!

The Friends organization is co-sponsoring this special presentation with the Friends of the Lincoln Community Forest and the Chequamegon Audubon Society.


Golden-winged WarblerThursday, April 19, 2018, 7:00 pm

Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

Wisconsin's Warbler Treasures

Presenter: Laura Erickson, Author, Teacher, Photographer, Science Editor and Radio Personality

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

The North Woods is famous for our rainbow of nesting warblers. The diversity of species that nest here is exceptionally rich, and when you add in the species that migrate through, a birder can easily top 20 species on a good day in May! Laura Erickson will talk about each warbler's songs and habits, with special emphasis on one beautiful but declining species, the Golden-winged Warbler. She'll also offer a few tips on how to help these forest jewels.

This Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands presentation is co-sponsored by the Chequamegon Audubon Society.


Blanding's TurtleThursday, May 10, 2018, 7:00 pm

Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

Turtles of Northern Wisconsin

Presenter: Bob Hay, President of Turtles For Tomorrow, and retired WDNR herpetologist

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands and the Friends of the Lincoln Community Forest

Bob Hay will discuss the habitat types and life history characteristics of the five turtle species that live in northern Wisconsin, and the conservation issues and threats facing these animals. He’ll also discuss actions everyone can take to contribute to protecting turtle populations in their area. Bob will also talk about the Turtles For Tomorrow projects in Northern Wisconsin that address recovery of the state-threatened wood turtle, including the project in the Town of Lincoln.

This presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands and the Friends of the Lincoln Community Forest.


Previous Events


Annual meetingOctober 19, 2017 

FNPCW Annual Membership Meeting

The Friends discussed their activities of 2017 and detailed upcoming activities and plans for 2018. Following the business meeting, Brian Heeringa, U.S. Forest Service Wildlife Biologist, gave an informative presentation on bats that included recent bat count results, and an update on white nose syndrome and what it means for our Wisconsin Bats. Brian noted that the Wisconsin Bat Festival will be held at the Northern Great lakes Visitor Center in Ashland this upcoming August.

 

 


Pie PoliticsJuly 18, 2017

FNPCW at the Alliance for Sustainability 21st Annual Pie & Politics Event

Keynote presenter, Stan Gruszynski, a former USDA Rural Development State Director for Wisconsin, explored practical tools that help unify healthy, interactive communities around mutual interests to preserve the common shared wealth. The Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands organization was among 30 local non-profits invited to speak during the presentation. Attendees expressed that it was an interesting and informative event.

 

 

 


Yellow Warbler

May 13, 2016

Birding with Neil Howk on International Migratory Bird Day

Neil Howk, local birding expert, led a group of 13 birders on a birding walk at North Pikes Creek in celebration of International Migratory Bird Day. The group walked through wetlands, along a beaver pond, and exited through a boreal forest remnant.  The group identified 28 species, which were subsequently reported on eBird. Thanks, Neil, for the good walk on this fine spring day.

 


Bayfield in Bloom

May 12, 2016

Display at the Bayfield Garden Expo

The Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands exhibited at the Garden Expo at the Bayfield Pavilion on May 12th. This was the 15th year Larry Meiller broadcast Garden Talk live from Bayfield. The Friends shared information with visitors of their booth about wetland and rain garden plants for the home garden, and answered questions about the North Pikes Creek Wetlands Community Forest. Congratulations to those who won the wetland plant drawing.

 


Compton Road cleanup

April 22, 2017

Earth Day Road Cleanup

Thanks so much to Mark, Larry, Joyce, Rolland, and Kathy for picking up trash along Compton and Beaver Roads for Earth Day, as part of the Friends' service work in the community. The resulting trash pile was a bit smaller than last year. It was a wonderful spring day, and the group enjoyed hearing grouse drum and birds sing, and seeing the newly emerging spring plants as they bagged trash.  

 

 

 


April 19, 2017Loons

Loon - Symbol of the North

Presented by Erica LeMoine, the LoonWatch Coordinator at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

LoonWatch, a program of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, protects common loons and their habitats through education, monitoring, and research. The audience of 37 heard about loon migration, biology, habitat, calls, current research and other fascinating loon facts.

Erica LeMoine is the LoonWatch Coordinator at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. Erica has worked directing volunteer programs for natural resources projects and wildlife monitoring for the last 15 years. Erica can be reached at 715-682-1220 or loonwatch@northland.edu .


April 13, 2017Beaver

Wetlands and Wildlife in Northern Wisconsin

Presented by Tracy Hames, Executive Director of Wisconsin Wetlands Association

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Bad River Watershed Association and the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Healthy wetlands are essential to the health of our waters and wildlife. Tracy Hames, Executive Director of Wisconsin Wetlands Association (WWA), discussed the vital functions wetlands play in helping maintain the health of our watersheds and wildlife to a group of 60 attendees. The audience learned about the types of wetlands in northern Wisconsin and how they capture flood waters, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and ensure that clean, cool water enters our streams, rivers and lakes.

Tracy Hames led a group of 18 individuals on an informative tour of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands on the following morning. He discussed the essential functions wetlands perform, and the health of this particular wetland.

For more information about wetlands, visit the WWA website: www.wisconsinwetlands.org.


Beaver Day

April 7, 2017

International Beaver Day

International Beaver Day is always a perfect day to watch the fascinating video, "Coexisting With Beavers: Nature's Habitat Engineers." Contact us if you'd like to borrow a copy of this 20 minute video. It doesn't have to be International Beaver Day to watch this video, which is a great introduction for adults and students interested in beaver and their wetland habitats. Another way to celebrate International Beaver Day is a walk at your nearest wetland. While visiting, notice the differences between a free-flowing stream and a beaver-controlled one. Notice the differences in vegetation. Many of the benefits of beaver are hidden, however, such as groundwater recharge, stream cooling and carbon capture.  For more information about beaver, or International Beaver Day, visit Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife.


March 16, 2017Ryan Brady

Conserving Wisconsin’s Migratory Birds: From the Tropics to your Backyard

Presented by Ryan Brady, WDNR Research Scientist

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

As threats to bird populations increase, the need for focused conservation efforts is greater than ever. Ryan Brady discussed his work with the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative and highlighted some of their important projects across the state. Although, according to Brady, habitat loss is the greatest threat to birds, he counseled the audience of 80 that they, too, can contribute to preserving bird populations. Brady gave suggestions for habitat improvements and other actions that everyone can implement to help birds in their own backyard, and he recommended a booklet on habitat improvement for birds that can be found at http://wsobirds.org/images/pdfs/BeyondBirdFeederBookletFINAL.compressed.pdf. Brady mentioned that the two greatest threats to bird populations that can be avoided are predation by cats and window collisions.


February 15, 2017Erik Olson

Of Jaguars & Peccaries - monitoring wildlife in Costa Rica

Presented by Erik Olson, assistant professor of natural resources at Northland College

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Erik Olson presented an audience of 24 with the preliminary results of research on two indicator species at Corcovado National Park - the jaguar and the white-lipped peccary. Abundance surveys of these animals are important to assess the health of this National Park located on the Oso Penninsula in Costa Rica. Older studies didn't assess all the habitat types at the Park. Implementing one of the largest camera trapping efforts in Corcovado to date – Erik and his colleagues hope to assist Park managers better understand the status of the Corcovado’s wildlife. 

National Geographic has named Corcovado National Park as the "most biologically intense place on earth". The audience members were delighted with the pictures and videos that Erik shared from his camera trapping experience, and his travels through the Park.


February 2, 2017Winter birds

Winter Birds

Presented by John Bates, author and naturalist

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

John Bates spoke to an enthusiastic group of 67 on a cold winter night in early February. The audience well understood that winter is the defining factor of who we are up here in northern Wisconsin. Over 150 birds nest in the Northwoods region, yet only about 30 species remain throughout the winter, adapting to greatly diminished food sources, five months of below-freezing temperatures, and extremes of weather that would seem impossible to survive. Our summer birds must either migrate, adapt or die. Every bird has its own remarkable story; its own set of amazing adaptations. Bates discussed the bird species that call Northern Wisconsin their permanent home, what Canadian birds come to visit from even more extreme environments, and how all of these manage to live to see the spring. Both John and Wayne Rundell shared their wonderful photos.


January 19, 2017Air Quality

Air Quality in the Chequamegon Bay Region

Presented by Nathan Kilger, Air Quality Specialist for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Nathan Kilger spoke to an audience of 19 at the NGLVC and explained how the Clean Air Act standards protect our air, which agencies are concerned with air management, the current status of air quality in our area, how agencies work to protect air quality, the role Bad River plays in air quality management, and what’s on the horizon. The audience was pleased to hear that air quality is very good in the  Chequamegon Bay area.

 


Annual MeetingNovember 15, 2016

FNPCW Annual Meeting

The Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands held their annual meeting on Tuesday, November 15th, 2016. The Friends' extensive stewardship activities of the past year were discussed, including a partnership with the Bad River Watershed Association for water quality data collection at two spots in North Pikes Creek. The Friends' also sponsor and/or co-sponsor a popular series of educational speakers, which have averaged 90 attendees per program, and display educational materials at various public events. An important part of the Friends' mission is nurturing the next generation of environmental stewards, and, to this end, sponsored a live raptor program, and funded the Cable Natural History Museum's MuseumMobile program for 270 students in grades K-5 at Washburn Elementary School. Possible activities for the next year were discussed. Watch the Friends' website and Facebook page for upcoming events.

 


October 27, 2016Scott Walter

Beyond the Fence Line: How Landscape Ecology Can Inform Habitat Management Decisions

Presented by Scott Walter, Ruffed Grouse Society Western Great Lakes Regional Wildlife Biologist

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

The audience members walked out praising this excellent presentation by Scott Walter, former WDNR Upland Wildlife Ecologist and current Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society Regional Biologist, as the best talk they had ever heard on landscale-scale habitat considerations. Understanding how landscape influences wildlife populations is complex, but brings new insight to one's appreciation of Wisconsin’s wildlife resources, and can result in taking new approaches to habitat management. It is often difficult to achieve population-level benefits for target wildlife species unless landowners and land managers understand, and embrace, how wildlife populations are influenced by the interspersion of habitat across the landscape. Scott also reviewed landscape habitat management strategies and current projects supporting Wisconsin’s ruffed and sharptail grouse.


Stream Monitoring

The Friends' have partnered with the Bad River Watershed Association (BRWA) to conduct long-term monitoring of North Pikes Creek to establish baseline data to determine water quality and overall health of the creek as part of the BRWA water quality monitoring program.

The North Pikes Creek wetlands, the headwaters of the Class I trout stream, hold the key to the quality and quantity of water available lower in the system. The proper functioning of the creek’s headwaters is vital to the health of the downstream salmon and trout fishery.

The North Pikes Creek wetlands are beaver wetlands. Without the beaver to maintain the beaver ponds, like the one pictured here, North Pikes Creek would be a seasonal drainage ditch.


Pie and Politics

July 19, 2016

Display at 20th Annual Alliance for Sustainability Pie and Politics Event

The Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands exhibited at the 20th annual Alliance for Sustainability Pie and Politics event held at Big Top Chautauqua. The Friends shared information and answered questions about the North Pikes Creek Wetlands Community Forest with visitors to our booth. In keeping with this years' event topic, Planting the Seeds for Our Future, we hosted a seed game that challenged booth visitors. Thanks to the Alliance for Sustainability for planning another enjoyable and informative event this year!

 


Bayfield in Bloom

May 13, 2016

Display at the Bayfield Garden Expo

The Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands exhibited at the Garden Expo at the Bayfield Pavilion on May 13th. This was the 14th year Larry Meiller broadcast Garden Talk live from Bayfield. The Friends shared information with visitors of their booth about wetland and rain garden plants for the home garden, and answered questions about the North Pikes Creek Wetlands Community Forest. Congratulations to those who won the wetland plant drawing.


 

Nest building

Friends fund Cable Natural History Museum programming for Washburn Elementary students

The Friends' members funded winter and spring programming delivered by the Cable Natural History MuseumMobile for 270 students at Washburn Elementary School this year. MuseumMobile is the Cable Natural History Museum’s outreach program teaching the science of nature. Each classroom at the school was visited in January, and then again in April, with a grade-level appropriate program exploring science and environmental education through experiments, sensory awareness activities, games, animal pelts, skulls, and more. This 4th grade classroom learned about bird nests- why and how birds build nests- and explored nest making materials. The students then had the opportunity to build their own bird's nest. See MusemMobile Vists Washburn Elementary in the Ashland Daily Press for details and photos from the winter program.

 


Compton Road cleanup

April 22, 2016

Earth Day Service Work

Thanks so much to Mark, Larry, John and Kathy for picking up trash along Compton Road today on Earth Day. The resulting trash pile was about a quarter of last years' trash pile. April 22nd was a wonderful spring day, and we enjoyed hearing grouse drum, watching birds, and seeing the newly emerging spring plants as we worked.  

 

 

 


Ted Gostomski

April 7, 2016

Songbirds in the National Parks

Presented by Ted Gostomski, National Park Service

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Songbird populations are a key indicator of an ecosystem’s health. Scientists have monitored songbird populations in nine national park areas in the Great Lakes Region starting as early as 1982. Ted Gostomski from the National Park Service Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network, spoke to a group of 26 at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center and discussed how songbirds are faring in the Great Lakes region's natural areas. The Great Lakes data is a part of a greater data set collected by the National Park Service. There are 145 migratory birds worldwide, and only 9% have protected areas in all stages of their annual cycle - summer and winter habitats, migratory routes and stopover sites. The National Park monitoring project tells us which species are increasing or declining, and what we need to do next for those species with declining populations.


Adrian Wydeven

March 24, 2016

Update on Wisconsin Wolves: ecological research, population growth, and latest management issues

Presented by Adrian Wydeven, Coordinator of Northland College Timber Wolf Alliance

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Adrian Wydeven, Coordinator of the Timber Wolf Alliance, spoke to a rapt audience of 130 at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. Wydeven began by dispelling common myths about wolves, and assured audience members that they were safe walking in the woods. Wisconsin once had a population of 3- 5 thousand wolves. After nearly a century of bounty on wolves, the species was considered extirpated in Wisconsin. After wolves were listed as endangered in 1975, wolves slowly moved into Wisconsin from Minnesota, and today there is a healthy population of approximately 750 animals. The DNR is currently developing a wolf recovery plan that will detail management of the Wisconsin wolf population.


Pileated Woodpecker

February 11, 2016

The Wonderful World of Woodpeckers

Presented by Emily Stone, Naturalist/Education Director at the Cable Natural History Museum

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Emily Stone, Naturalist/Education Director at the Cable Natural History Museum, presented The Wonderful World of Woodpeckers to an attentive audience of 82. Emily shared information and lesser known facts on Northern Wisconsin's common woodpeckers, as well as the less common species. She explained woodpeckers' adaptations that allow them to peck without damage to their brains. The audience also learned the difference between a woodpeckers' drilling for food, and drumming to make noise.There is more to these birds than meets the eye.

Emily currently writes a weekly Natural Connections column for local newspapers, and is publishing a book of these articles in spring of 2016.


Henry Quinlan

January 21, 2016

Brook Trout in the Northwoods: Present and Future

Presented by Henry Quinlan, USFWS, Ashland Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Wild Rivers Chapter of Trout Unlimited

An enthusiastic audience of 52 listened as Henry Quinlan, Assistant Supervisor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in Ashland, discussed the status and distribution of Brook Trout in our area. Quinlan described current and planned conservation and restoration efforts, which are based on the findings of the Status and Distribution of Brook Trout in the Lake Superior Basin project. Additionally, Quinlan explained how audience members could be involved in restoration efforts through the My Lake Superior Northwoods program.


Ken Pemble

January 14, 2016

Marten Return to the Apostle Islands

Presented by Ken Pemble, Wildlife Technician for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Ken Pemble's presentation was well-received by 46 attendees who braved the cold and snow to hear the latest information on American martens. Pemble discussed the ongoing monitoring efforts to determine the population and distribution of marten and other medium sized carnivores throughout the Apostle Islands. Many were surprised and pleased to hear how well marten are doing after a lack of sightings for 35 years.


Great Horned Owl

October 29, 2015

Wetlands: A Refuge for Raptors
Presented by Elsa Hansen, Cable Natural History Museum Curator/Naturalist

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Presenter Elsa Hansen, Cable Natural History Museum Curator/Naturalist, delighted a rapt audience of 85 as she discussed the characteristics of raptors. Aldo the American Kestrel, Carson the Red-tailed Hawk, and Theo the Great Horned Owl were on hand to illustrate the unique features of raptors that help these birds survive in northern Wisconsin. Elsa discussed the role wetlands play in providing habitat for raptors and many other species of wildlife. She urged the audience to join organizations such as the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands and the Chequamegon Audubon Society to support their habitat preservation and community education work. View additional photos on the Gallery page.

 


Bayfield High School Students identify mammal species at North Pikes Creek

Placing cameraCoyoteBayfield High School alternative education students have had opportunities to work on a variety of projects in partnership with several local organizations. For the past few years these students have worked with Red Cliff Natural Resources Department and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore staff to deploy and regularly check trail cameras in an attempt to identify mammal species living in our area. This year the students added the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands to their list of partners, and placed three trail cameras on the North Pikes Creek Wetlands Community Forest property.

The students accessed the property from Hauser Road, and placed the trail cameras on the east side of the property in a stand of ash, aspen, spruce, fir, and maple. The cameras were placed in the fall of 2014 and checked throughout the school year. The students captured images of deer, coyotes, raccoons, and squirrels. One set of images caught the hindquarters of what appears to be a bobcat. The cameras will stay out on the property through the summer. The students will check the cameras when school begins in the fall and decide at that time whether to keep the cameras in the same location, or move them to a new area.

Bayfield High School science and alternative education teacher, Rick Erickson, is appreciative of the opportunity to work with the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands on this project, noting that “it provides a great opportunity for students to work with a local organization and to learn about, and contribute to, our understanding of this amazing place in which we live.”


Nest BoxBrandon and Evan

Washburn students build and install nest boxes

Two Washburn High School students, Brandon Miller and Evan Overby, designed, constructed, and installed four Wood Duck nest boxes on private property in wetlands adjacent to North Pikes Creek. Both Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers, frequently found in North Pikes Creek, readily use nest boxes. The forested swamp area, where Brandon and Evan installed the nest boxes, is excellent habitat for rearing ducklings, but mature trees with usable nesting cavities are relatively scarce.

Thanks to Brandon and Evan, we expect greater numbers of ducks to remain at North Pikes Creek and raise their young. The Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands are truly appreciative of the great work of these two dedicated Washburn High School students.

Don Sullivan of D and M Logging contributed the rough sawn lumber for the project, and the Friends contributed the hardware and flashing for predator barriers. Brandon and Evan were assisted by Brad Dryer, Washburn High School Technical Education teacher, and Vicki Alldritt, Washburn High School Ecology Club advisor.

 

 


June 23, 2015

Display at Pie and Politics

The Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands exhibited at the 19th annual Pie and Politics event held at Big Top Chautauqua on June 23rd. The Friends visited with attendees before the presentations and answered questions about the North Pikes Creek Wetlands Community Forest, and shared the latest Friends' newsletter highlighting student projects. The Friends are dedicated to promoting the North Pikes Creek wetlands and, particularly, the new North Pikes Creek Wetlands Community Forest, as a resource for educating our area youth regarding wetland ecosystems and associated wildlife dependent on this important habitat. We have, specifically, pledged to fund approved classroom and student projects that will benefit the community forest. Read about the student projects in the News postings above, and consider joining us in our efforts to nurture the next generation of environmental stewards.


Bayfield in Bloom

May 15, 2015

Display at the Bayfield Garden Expo

The Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands exhibited at the Garden Expo on May 15th at the Bayfield Pavilion. Larry Meiller broadcast Garden Talk live from the Pavilion for the 13th year. The Friends shared information with visitors of their booth about wetland and rain garden plants for the home garden, and answered questions about the North Pikes Creek Wetlands Community Forest. Did you know that the Community Forest is home to over 110 species of plants? Congratulations to those who won the wetlands plant drawing.

 


Road cleanup

May 5, 2015

Compton Road Clean-up Project

A group of Friends picked up trash along Compton Road, the road adjacent to the North Pikes Creek Wetlands Community Forest, and Beaver Road, on May 5th. The 4" of snow on Earth Day, our original pickup day, necessitated rescheduling the project. May 5th was a wonderful spring day, and we enjoyed hearing birds and seeing the newly emerging spring plants as we worked. 

 

 


April 11, 2015
Display at the Trout Unlimited Fishing Expo

The Friends manned a display at the Wild Rivers Chapter of Trout Unlimited Expo held at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin on April 11th. We enjoyed talking to trout fisherman about the importance of beaver in trout stream headwaters, and the native brook trout in North Pikes Creek.


Hummingbirds

April 9, 2015

Humming Along: More than You Thought You Wanted to Know about Hummingbirds.
Presented by Laura Erickson, speaker, author, and For the Birds Radio Program host

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Laura Erickson has been studying, photographing, and writing about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds for four decades. Laura spoke to a rapt audience of 135 at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center and shared details of the life history of hummingbirds, including their amazing migration patterns. Laura showed hummingbirds being trapped and banded along the Gulf Coast, and unique photos of hummingbird young in a nest made from spider silk and lichens. Attendees learned best practices for attracting hummingbirds, tips on maintaining feeders, and how to dissuade wasps and ants while providing nutritious fare for these splendid birds.


Beaver Day

April 7, 2015

International Beaver Day

International Beaver Day was celebrated with a  walk in the North Pikes Creek Wetlands followed by watching the fascinating video, "Coexisting With Beavers: Nature's Habitat Engineers." It doesn't have to be International Beaver Day to watch this video, which is a great introduction for adults and students interested in beaver and their wetland habitat. Contact us if you'd like to borrow a copy of this 20 minute video. The folks at Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife selected April 7th as International Beaver Day and created this informational video. It's a great day to give a beaver talk, show a video about beaver, write a letter to an editor about beavers or set up a display. For more information about International Beaver Day, visit Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife, or the blog site Worth a Dam.


Scott Craven

March 18, 2015

Living with Wildlife around your Home
Presented by Scott Craven, UW-Extension Wildlife Ecologist, Professor Emeritus Dept of Forest and Wildlife Ecology- UW-Madison, and WPR Radio Personality

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Scott Craven, WPR radio personality and Emeritus UW-Madison Professor Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology and UW Extension Wildlife Ecologist, spoke to an enthusiastic audience of 55 at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. Scott began with an update on species populations and health, and current programs available for landowners for habitat improvement. Scott shared tips for attracting wildlife to our yards/lands, and followed with suggestions for controlling wildlife damage.


Nick Anich

March 11, 2015

Wisconsin's Breeding Bird Atlas II
Presented by Nick Anich, Wisconsin DNR

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Nick Anich of the WI Department of Natural Resources shared details about the upcoming  Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II. 2015 marks the start of the second Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas, a statewide survey that looks at bird distribution and abundance, and replicates the methods of the first Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas (1995–2000). The first atlas mobilized over 1,600 (mostly volunteer) surveyors, and collected over 170,000 breeding bird observations of 237 species, and even greater participation is anticipated for the second atlas. This second atlas project will make full use of modern technology, including a newly designed integrated eBird interface for submitting and viewing atlas data. Experienced birders are needed to survey blocks all across Wisconsin, searching for breeding birds.

 


Brian with bat

February 18, 2015

Empty Night Skies – Saving our Bats
Presented by Brian Heeringa, USFS Wildlife Biologist for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

On the coldest day of the winter, Brian Heeringa spoke to a rapt audience of 85 enthusiastic listeners at the Great Lakes Visitor Center. Brian shared information on Wisconsin's seven species of bats- their biology and  natural history- and also exhibited two live Big Brown Bats, to the delight of those present. Brain explained that bats have been an important part of our planet for over 50 million years, but today are facing numerous threats to their existence including a devastating disease known as White-nose Syndrome, which has claimed the lives of over 6 million bats since 2006. Brian discussed the impacts of this disease, what it means for the seven bat species that call Wisconsin home, and what you can do to help them during this critical time.

 


Sarah Boles

February 10, 2015

Planting Native Species for Birds and Other Pollinators
Presented by Sarah Boles, owner of Northern Native Plantscapes

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Sarah Boles spoke to a group of 33 on a cold, snowy evening- a perfect night to think about gardening! Sarah encouraged the audience to consider the benefits for pollinators and other wildlife species when deciding on what plants to grow on your property. Sarah offered information on a variety of trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials that birds and other pollinators use for both food and shelter in different seasons.

 


Tom Doolittle

January 14, 2015

The Management and Ecology of Sharp-tailed Grouse in the Moquah Barrens
Presented by Tom Doolittle

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Tom Doolittle, District Wildlife Biologist with the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and sharp-tailed grouse researcher, spoke to a rapt audience of 53 attendees at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center on January 14, 2015. Tom discussed the pine barrens of northern Wisconsin, a globally imperiled ecosystem and critical habitat for multiple species, one of which is the sharp-tailed grouse. He explained the factors that scientists believe have led to their marked population decline, and discussed the landscape scale habitat restoration effort initiated in northwest Wisconsin that will help the sharp-tailed grouse population rebound, and which will also benefit numerous other species of concern, such as Golden-winged and Kirtland's warblers.


Hannah Panci

December 9, 2014

Impacts of Climate Change on Birds
Presented by Hannah Panci

Co-sponsored with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Hannah Panci, Assistant Scientist at the Natural Resources Research Institute spoke to an attentive crowd of 42 attendees who asked thoughtful questions following the presentation. She explored how birds have responded to climate change, and what we know about shifts in breeding bird ranges based on data from various monitoring programs. She discussed what will happen to birds in the future. Roger Aiken from the Citizens Climate Lobby discussed the organization's mission and emphasized the imperative of reducing global carbon emissions.


Beaver

December 3, 2014

Life and Ecology of Wisconsin's Wild Furbearers of the North
Presented by John Olson, Furbearer Specialist with the Wisconsin DNR

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

John Olson, WDNR Furbearer Specialist, spoke to a group of 90 enthusiastic attendees about Wisconsin’s northern furbearers, including beaver, muskrat, river otter, fisher, mink, bobcat, wolves and black bears. The participants particularly enjoyed handling and comparing the pelts and other artifacts John exhibited. John has been engaged in wildlife management for over 40 years. His work has included programs involving bald eagles, common loons, ospreys, black bears and wolves. In the 1990’s John began his work with furbearer management, trapper education and humane trap research. John also works with the GLIFWC on furbearer management and research, coordinating tribal declarations for bobcat, fisher and river otter. This was an informative and exciting hands-on presentation. Read Hope McLeod's report of John Olson's presentation, Secrets of Furbearers of the North Revealed at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center.


Ruffed grouse

October 22, 2014

Ecology and Management of Ruffed Grouse and American Woodcock
Presented by Gary Zimmer, Coordinating Biologist for the Ruffed Grouse Society

Sponsored by the Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands with the Chequamegon Audubon Society

Gary Zimmer, the Ruffed Grouse Society's Coordinating Biologist, spoke to a group of 63 at the NGLVC about the ecology and management of ruffed grouse and woodcock. Gary's presentation was information-filled and motivating. This presentation examined the interesting biology of these two birds and what makes make them such unique species. Gary discussed the important habitats utilized by these birds and many other associated wildlife species, and why the Great Lakes Region is so important to their populations. He also discussed some of the techniques landowners can use on their properties to make it more attractive for these birds. Gary invited folks who were interested in managing their properties for these birds to visit the Ruffed Grouse Society's webpage for more information, www.ruffedgrousesociety.org/, contact a local Coverts Cooperator, or consider attending the Wisconsin Coverts Program in 2015, http://forestandwildlifeecology.wisc.edu/coverts.