Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn
milwaukeesfs

Birdwatching at Jackson Park

Jackson Park is the large county park near us, that gives its name to our neighborhood. Besides picnic grounds and playing fields, it holds a small wooded area, and a sizable pond with two small islands. The pond attracts birds--mostly ducks, geese and gulls, but of late we've seen some rarer species.

We have at least one young Great Blue Heron in residence. There is a large heron nesting ground north of Milwaukee in Ozaukee County, and we've usually seen one or two at Jackson Park each year for the last several years, which is always thrilling.

Within the last week, we've also observed both Black-Crowned Night Herons--a male and what may have been a female--and American Bitterns, three together one evening.

My guess is that the extremely dry weather has caused these birds to migrate from nearby wetlands where they normally live, to the spring-fed pond, which is home to plenteous frogs and insects, but is also stocked with small fish each spring.

Whatever the reason, it's very exciting to see these unusual specimins in a city park.

Great Blue Heron: http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/great_blue_heron.htm

Black-Crowned Night Heron:
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-crowned_Night-Heron/id

American Bittern:
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/american_bittern/id

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Tags: nature
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