Wildlife and Your Land

Birds, like mammals, are warm-blooded and come in all shapes and sizes. However, they are covered with feathers and have hollow, porous bones which allow all Wisconsin birds—even the heaviest wild turkey—to fly. They also lay eggs, which they must incubate for a period of several weeks to a month. They tend to be more active during the daylight and therefore are fairly easy to observe. About 400 different kinds of birds have been observed and recorded in Wisconsin. Since birds are very active and have high body temperatures they must keep their internal fires stoked by consuming a lot of food daily. Some consume nearly their body weight in food each day. Many birds eat seeds, some eat fruit. Some insect-eating birds devour about 3,000 insects every 24 hours. Birds of prey consume large quantities of mice, voles and other rodents, large insects, and other birds. Each type of bird has a certain habitat preference. Some tolerate a wide variation in habitat while others are very specific in their habitat needs. For this publication, Wisconsin birds are grouped into several categories with only representative examples listed:

Birds of Prey Marsh and Shore Birds Waterfowl Upland Game Birds Migratory Songbirds Resident Birds
You can enhance your land for different types of birds. Putting out bird feeders wellstocked with sunflower seeds, thistle seed and suet is one easy way of attracting birds to your property. But don’t forget that they need water and shelter, too. So plan on installing a year-round birdbath and either build or purchase a variety of nest boxes. If you have an old field, pasture, or wet meadow you can enhance it for grassland sparrows, ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, eastern bluebird, and such warblers as yellow warbler or yellowthroat. If you live in the southern part of the state and have a woodland, consider planting oaks to encourage wild turkeys. In mature woodlands, leave snags for hawks, owls, woodpeckers, chickadees and many other cavity nesting songbirds. If you own or border a wetland, consider planting a minimum of 5 acres of dense, permanent grass cover to encourage mallard nesting. Also, be sure to leave snags, old oaks and willows as sources of nesting cavities for woodducks.

Trumpeter Swan

Tundra Swan

Wildlife and Your Land


Birds of Prey Bald Eagle

Food Suckers, northern pike, muskellunge, bullheads, carp; occasionally geese and ducks; carrion such as deer, small livestock, waterfowl, fish during winter

Habitat Large rivers, lakes, reservoirs; found in concentration near dams along the Mississippi and Lower Wisconsin rivers

Nest Site Roost and nests in large trees, often white pine. Nest is 4 feet in diameter and 3 feet deep

Distribution Northern one-third in spring and summer; rare in southeast, south central and eastern Wisconsin. Number of occupied territories has increased from 108 in 1973 to 645 in 1997 Northern one-fourth, and south into central Wisconsin

Northern Goshawk

Ruffed grouse, quail, Mixed hardwood and ducks, chipmunks, red coniferous forests squirrels, snowshoe hare, poultry, mice, weasels, small hawks, owls, crows, doves, blue jays, thrushes, shrews, grasshoppers and caterpillars

Builds stick nest. Prefers large hardwood trees 30–40 feet above ground; frequently selects birch, aspen, maple, and beech for nesting trees; occasionally selects juniper, pine, spruce and fir. May build on top of old hawk nest Nests on the ground in tall grasses in a meadow or swamp near water Builds stick nests in birch, elm, maple, basswood or other deciduous trees, pine, hemlock; from 25–90 feet above ground; occasionally 3–10 feet above ground

Northern Harrier Rodents and other small Wetlands, marshes, (formerly Marsh Hawk) mammals, amphibians, open fields, meadows snakes, birds, insects, fish Broad-winged Hawk Small mammals such as young rabbits, red squirrels, chipmunks, mice, moles, shrews; also snakes, frogs, lizards, small fish, larvae of large moths and butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers and crickets, crayfish; hunts from perch in woodlands or while flying over treetops or open meadows Northern flicker, quail, ring-necked pheasant, ruffed grouse, mourning dove, blue jay, ducks, least bittern, American crow, blackbirds, poultry, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, snakes, mice, grasshoppers, crickets and bats Deciduous woodlands and mixed coniferous hardwoods around lakes, streams and swamps

Statewide; uncommon winter resident south

Statewide, but uncommon summer resident west and central. Often seen in large numbers during fall migration

Cooper’s Hawk

Mixed, deciduous and sometimes coniferous forests, or along river edges in deciduous woods. Also, pine plantations in southeast Wisconsin

Builds stick nest with “cup” lined with bark flakes, occasionally rimmed with green tree springs in main crotch or on a horizontal limb. Nests 20–60 feet above ground in deciduous or coniferous trees; occasionally uses old crow nests or same nest from previous year, but typically builds a new nest in same area Builds nests of mossy twigs and branches, lined with bark strips, bits of oak leaves and lichens in deciduous trees averaging 80–95 feet tall

Statewide but uncommon. Watch for it near birdfeeders in winter in southern third of state

Red-shouldered Hawk

Primarily amphibians, reptiles, fish and crayfish, but also insects, small birds and small mammals

Mature river bottom forests and wooded margins of marshes, often close to cultivated fields

Statewide but uncommon summer resident; uncommon winter resident south

moths. reptiles. fish and large insects Mice and other small mammals. meadow and swampy areas Grasslands. artificial nesting structure. salamanders. geese. Lakes. heron or crow. marshes or wet meadows Farm woodlots. except rare tree cavities. osprey. usually 30–35 feet above ground. beetles and other insects. frogs and small snakes. also nests in wood duck nest boxes . Sometimes nests in tree cavities Eastern Screech Owl Variety of wooded habitats. crayfish and large insects Rabbit. fish. abandoned in north woodpecker holes. swamps. orchards and shade trees in towns and cities Nests 5–35 feet high in Statewide. nest site may be used by same pair year after year Nests 18–50 feet above Statewide ground in tree cavities. lizards. crows and small mammals Nest site is near or in Northern two-thirds in water atop dead or summer living trees. Also. crow. gopher. birds. spiders. also small mammals. ponds or forest edges. frogs. rivers. fish. woodland edges. old eagle. hunts from a perch or while hovering over areas with short grassy cover Forest openings. marshes. mink. mice and other small mammals. marshes also frogs. opossum. songbirds Oak and mixed deciduous and coniferous forests bordering lakes. gull or great blue heron nests. pheasant. salamanders. crickets and beetles. locusts. open marshes and fields Nest Site Distribution Builds nests of sticks in Statewide tops of large deciduous trees. farmland. Commonly seen on utility wires Osprey Primarily fresh panfish. marshes. nest sites are usually along streams. riverbottom forests. bald eagles. and reservoirs ducks. turkey. also birds. reptiles. large city parks and orchards Great Horned Owl Nests up to 70 feet high Statewide in large trees. also mice and other small mammals. normally 10–35 feet above ground Sharp-shinned Hawk Small birds up to pigeon size. weasels. snakes. and some insects Primarily small mammals Habitat Woodland edge in variety of open habitats including pasture. reptiles. squirrels. mice. amphibians. deciduous or mixed woods. crayfish. reptiles and insects Coniferous and deciduous forests. conifer plantations and conifer swamps American Kestrel Insects such as grasshoppers. quail. rats. grasslands. usually in the nests of red-tailed hawks. especially open woods adjacent to meadows. open coniferous.16 Wildlife and Your Land Birds of Prey Red-tailed Hawk Food Primarily small mammals such as rabbits. usually 35–90 feet above ground Rough-legged Hawk Doesn’t nest in Statewide in winter Wisconsin but nests only primarily on cliffs along river bluffs Nests primarily in Northern half conifers. sometimes lined with smaller twigs or bark strips Nests in nest boxes and Statewide tree cavities. grasshoppers. Nest is a compact platform of twigs. skunk. woodchuck. field. power poles. snakes. toads. swamps. crayfish. steams. hollows in top of broken tree stub or nests of crows and squirrels Barred Owl Variety of birds. marshes or fields.

Wildlife and Your Land 17 Bald Eagle Goshawk Harrier Cooper’s Hawk Red-tailed Hawk Broad-winged Hawk Red-shouldered Hawk Sharp-shinned Hawk Rough-legged Hawk Kestrel Great Horned Owl Barred Owl Osprey Screech Owl .

18 Wildlife and Your Land Turkey Vulture Sandhill Crane Great Blue Heron Great Egret Belted Kingfisher Greater Yellowlegs Killdeer Woodcock Pectoral Sandpiper .

birds and fish Habitat Hilly. grasses. farmlands. 1–3 feet from top of bank. river deltas Nest Sites Nests on mound of emergent vegetation. Killdeer. Shaded nest sites on cliffs and in mature trees Nest Site Distribution Lays egg directly on the Statewide ground beneath fallen trees or tumbled boulders. crayfish. bottomlands. Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. ponds. in hollow logs and in large hollow trees. including almost all wild and domestic animals. spectacular courtship flights on early spring evenings Statewide. Nearly every site is isolated from disturbance by people Marsh and Shore Birds Food Sandhill Crane Mice. frogs. shoots of grains. leeches and small mammals Small fish. bays and streams ground mammals Fish. marshes. lakes. in piles of discarded brush. snakes. shallow in trees 1–40 feet above snakes. bottomlands Builds large stick nest in trees often above 50 feet Statewide Great Blue Heron Belted Kingfisher Edges of lakes. snails and small lakes. salamanders. frogs. forested regions with exposed perches. river Builds large stick nests Statewide crayfish. Plovers and other shorebirds (Pectoral and Spotted Sandpipers. or mud among rushes. Piping and Semipalmated Plovers. insects. dense vegetation Distribution Statewide with heaviest nesting concentrations in central Wisconsin Great Egret Fish. wet sand or floating in water Muddy and sandy shorelines. on rock ledges. builds a nest cavity often lined with disgorged food pellets Nest on ground. sedges and other tall. sedge meadows. roots. moss. others only migrate through the state Sandpipers. frogs. seeds Habitat Grasslands. sloughs. insects. rivers and streams. rivers and streams Burrows 3–6 feet into a Statewide stream bank near water. mollusks and mice Common in marshes. insects. can be seen in large numbers during fall migration . aquatic worms and other aquatic invertebrates found in mud. frogs. salamanders. Marshes.Wildlife and Your Land 19 Birds of Prey Turkey Vulture Food Fresh or decayed carrion. ponds. Need isolated areas free from disturbance of humans or pets Some statewide. in small caves. earthworms Damp woods Nest on ground. Most do not build nests. snakes. Sanderling) American Woodcock Small crustacea. insects. crayfish. grass. logs and/or rocks or in abandoned buildings. frogs. bogs. Some occur in open fields and meadows Insects. others restricted.

Wetlands in farmland smartweed. beetles. but need protection of marsh vegetation and shallow. Grand River Marsh. spiders Forested wetlands Wood Duck Nests in old woodpecker Statewide holes in old trees or in wood duck nest boxes set 15 feet above ground. Goldeneye. Bufflehead. grasses. including Scaup. and wild rice Aquatic plants. marshes. wild rice. semipermanent shallow potholes surrounded by hayfields or grasslands Nests primarily in upland grasses. water lily seeds. bulrushes. grasses and sedges Most prefer larger lakes Many diving ducks do and rivers. wild celery. small fish. crustaceans. over water Statewide. lakes. ponds and sloughs. algae. Theresa Marsh Dabbling Ducks (13 kinds including Pintail. sedges. grasses. coastal bays and inland marshes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Nests on the ground by water in clumps of tall plants in shallow water Northern third Ring-necked Duck Submerged leaves. winters in lakes. common along Mississippi River in March and early April . bugs. crayfish. wild celery. migrates through Wisconsin in spring and fall. and wild rice Nests primarily in Statewide prairies and parklands of the U. Mississippi River. especially Horicon Marsh. crayfish. berries. Red-breasted nests on the ground Statewide Mergansers (3 kinds: Common. grasses. Note: Can be a nuisance in agricultural and urban areas Distribution Statewide. seeds. Marshes. algae. especially Lake Michigan. mollusks. insects. a few prefer not nest in Wisconsin small lakes. frequent urban areas. rarely come to land Open waters of lakes and rivers Redhead Submerged leaves. large insects Habitat Farmlands. rivers smartweeds. Pine Island. open water lakes Doesn’t nest in and rivers Wisconsin. insects.S. open water Nests in short grass Southeast and eastaround edges of central wetlands. and farmlands millet. ponds. seeds Open water of lakes and stems of aquatic near woodlands plants such as sago pondweed. shallow. small grains. invertebrates Mallard Pondweeds. small mollusks. Hooded and Redbreasted) Fish Statewide. and Ruddy Duck) Aquatic plants. Gadwall) Seeds. insects. and Canada. large rivers such as Mississippi Common and Hooded mergansers nest in tree cavities. Crex Meadows. sedges Wetlands. insects. alfalfa. yet can be found nesting in cattails Statewide Blue-winged Teal Duckweed. most abundant in spring and fall migration Wooded lakes and streams. mollusks Acorns. Lake Winnebago Diving Ducks (20 kinds. sedges. small fish and mollusks Scaup (Greater or Lesser) Large. corn. wild rice. seeds and stems of aquatic plants such as sago pondweed. aquatic vegetation. grain. nuts. weed-filled waters Do not commonly nest Statewide in Wisconsin.20 Wildlife and Your Land Waterfowl Canada Goose Food Corn. especially in ungrazed fields. rivers. especially parks and golf courses Nest Sites Builds nest of grasses and feathers on ground in marshy areas. Shoveler.

Wildlife and Your Land 21 Canada Geese Mallard Pintail Goldeneye Blue-winged Teal Wood Ducks male. right Hooded Merganser Redhead Ring-necked Duck Greater Scaup . left female.

22 Wildlife and Your Land Wild Turkey Ring-necked Pheasant Bobwhite Quail Greater Prairie Chicken Ruffed Grouse Sharp-tailed Grouse .

wild thickets grape. berries. catkins. sumac. alfalfa. crickets. tender vegetation Ruffed Grouse Aspen buds and catkins. hedgerows or thickets of hazel. Scrub oak. insects. corn. groups called “coveys” grassy marshes.Wildlife and Your Land 23 Upland Game Birds Food Habitat Large expanses of open grasslands with some shrubs and wet marsh areas Shelter Nests on ground Distribution Only in isolated spots in central Wisconsin Greater Prairie Chicken Seeds. corn. insects Seeds. acorns. grains. barrens. grasslands and wetlands intermixed Nests on the ground in thick young aspen stands Statewide. grasshoppers. willow and elderberry Nests on ground in dense cover Southwest. berries. restricted areas in south Sharp-tailed Grouse Nests on ground Northwest Ring-necked Pheasant (Non-native) Builds nest on ground in tall. Live in Southwest with brushy areas. dense grasses Southern half Bobwhite Quail Wild grape. clover. beetles Farmlands interspersed Nests on ground. Forests with varying hazelnuts. berries. insects. leaves and tender earliest stages of forest vegetation succession with openings and scattered thickets Corn. Farmland interspersed seeds. weed seeds and insects Farmland with hayfields. bittersweet. leaves. buds. southern counties. buds. grapevines. some northeast counties. and some northwest counties Wild Turkey Acorns. soybeans. with oak-hickory leaves. raspberry. nuts woodlands . ages of aspen and alder catkins. insects. berries. grain.

raisins. centipedes. residential areas. weed fibers. meadows. worms. timothy. peanuts. wheat. raspberries. beetles. elderberries. bread. ants. old orchards. maples. Statewide rushes. Virginia creeper. chokeberries. field edges. poison ivy. weed stems and plant rootlets in the fork of a deciduous tree or shrub at 4–15 feet above ground Indigo Bunting Insects. snails. wool and yarn or any other fibrous material Weaves nest in cattails. wasps. millet. barley. seeds of herbs and grasses. suet and bread Ants. roadside thickets Rose-breasted Grosbeak Seeds. near or over water. dogwoods. pecans. or in a tangle of berry vines Builds a flimsy nest of Statewide small twigs. oak. ants. pastures. birch. blueberries. canarygrass. caterpillars. reeds or bushes. small trays of grape jelly. cottonwood. rotten uncommon south and fenceposts. cutworms. strawberries Forest edges. weevils. cotoneaster. crabgrass and sunflowers Habitat Open deciduous woods. cemeteries. Nest is built with milkweed down. pears. cankerworms. most attempt to re-nest and produce a second brood Bobolink Hayfields. swamps. clover. hedgerows. caterpillars. swamp and stream borders. upland hardwoods Nest Sites Distribution Weaves an intricate Statewide pouch-like nest. beetles. dog hairs. at feeders: dried currants. old woodpecker holes. peanut butter. wet meadows. blackberries. open grasslands. ragweeds. which hangs pendulously 25–30 feet at the tip of branches of elm. cake. grubs. bristlegrass. grains. boxelder. or weeds Builds a cup of dried Statewide grasses and plant fibers 1–12 feet above ground in crotch of a bush. snails and spiders. aspen. dried figs Insects and seeds of weeds and grasses Woodland edges. service berries. pitted dates. bugs. forest edges. weevils. elderberries. blueberries. insects Deciduous or mixed and small invertebrates second-growth woods. peanuts. grasshoppers. edges of woods and pastures . gardens. roadside ditches Eastern Bluebird Spiders. broken walnuts. willows or apple trees. parks. corn. grasshoppers. wasps. suburban trees. caterpillars. elderberries. cherries. grubs. sowbugs. eunoymus. sedge and grass meadows Builds nests in a slight Statewide natural hollow or scrape in the ground in dense stands of alfalfa. pastures. golf courses. orchards. blueberries. grasshoppers. but nest boxes. orchards. beetles. peas. grapes. at feeders: orange halves. farmlands.24 Wildlife and Your Land Migratory Songbirds Northern Oriole (Formerly Baltimore Oriole) Food Blackberries. pastures Builds nest in bluebird Statewide. natural tree east cavities. river bottoms. shrub or low tree. mealworms. blackberries. spiders. crickets. usually no more than 3 feet above ground Red-winged Blackbird Cattail marshes. grasslands. apple slices. open brushy fields. oats. sedges. old fields.

Wildlife and Your Land 25 Eastern Bluebird Red-winged Blackbird Bobolink Rose-breasted Grosbeak Baltimore Oriole Indigo Bunting .

26 Wildlife and Your Land Ruby-throated Hummingbird Eastern Meadowlark Dark-eyed Junco Purple Martin .

cracked corn. woodland edges and clearings. concealed beneath weeds and grasses. moths. seeds of waste grain. and moss on the ground. some ground insects and spiders Farmlands. wheat. hibiscus. petunia. honeysuckle. grain sorghum. weigela. gladiolus. morning glory. wild hemp. spiders Habitat Hardwood and mixed hardwood forests. corn. above ground. In the wild: amaranth. preferably near water. snapdragon. beetles. occasionally may place nest up to 8 feet above ground in shrubs or trees Breeds in boreal forest and conifer plantations in northern counties Purple Martin Flying insects. Eastern prefers pastures Nests in colonies in purple martin houses or sets of hanging gourds set 15–20 ft. lilies. Nest is made of spider silk and plant down and covered on outside with lichens Dark-eyed Junco Coniferous or mixed forests. meadows near pools and open. cut-over woodlands near water Open grasslands including hayfields. weevils. meadows. pumpkin seeds. old bakery goods such as wheat or corn bread and pie crusts. orchards. crabgrass. columbine. coral bells. wild sunflower. but more numerous in eastern and southeastern Wisconsin Eastern Meadowlark Western Meadowlark Mainly insects in summer. canary grass. petunia. oatmeal. coralberry. butterfly weeds. ragweed. phlox. sometimes in hollow tree cavities Statewide. bristle grass. trumpet creeper. hosta. barnyard grass. ants. backyard gardens Nest Sites Distribution Builds tiny nest in Statewide branches the size of walnut halves. often near or sometimes directly over water or near woodland trails on a horizontal branch. parks. thistle. peanuts. chickweed. switchgrass. purslane. nasturtium. and forest edges. wheat. dropseed. suburban yards.Wildlife and Your Land 27 Migratory Songbirds Ruby-throated Hummingbird Food Flower nectar and pollen from: cardinal flower. weeds and grasses in winter Builds nest in a natural Statewide hollow or scrape on the ground. scarlet runner beans. lake shores. lamb’s quarters. zinnia. white proso millet. meadows. also marsh edges. hummingbird feeders filled with redcolored sugar water. Weaves a loose dome-shaped roof over nest . pine seeds. broken walnuts. rootlets. typically 10–20 feet above the ground. In winter at suburban and rural bird feeders Commonly builds Statewide in winter compact nest of grasses. oats. prairies. bee balm (monarda). evening primrose. grasshoppers. pastures. goosefoot. buckeye. peanut butter. very small insects attracted to nectar and sometimes flying insects attracted to uneaten prey at hawk nests At feeder: black oil sunflower seeds. flies.

cranberries and a variety of insects and spiders Insects. also some wild fruits Mature oak forests. orchards Builds a small. spiders Robins build nest of mud and grass in deciduous or coniferous trees or shrubs. sometimes in tree hollows or stumps Statewide Scarlet Tanager Variety of insects and other small invertebrates. roadside shrubs. flies. also riverbottom forests. whip-poor-wills found in open hardwoods or mixed oak and pine forests Deciduous or mixed coniferous-deciduous forests. sometimes caterpillars hanging from tree branches Builds nest on walls of chimneys. edges and thickets. silos. towns and farms beetles. open grasslands. flimsy Statewide cup on horizontal oak. hayfields. bottomland hardwood forests. elderberries. lakeshores Statewide Barn Swallow Flying insects Builds mud nests on rafters of old barns or buildings. beaver ponds. sometimes under bridges or in culverts Statewide. ants. blackberries. a few restricted to northern forests Grassland Sparrows Habitat types vary among species. marshes. cherries. apples. remote blacktop areas. plowed fields. wild berries and fruit such as crabapples. bugs. worms. streams and lakes. open grasslands. railroad right-of-ways. on nest platforms in open garages. church ledges or abandoned buildings Build nests of grasses low to or on the ground Some statewide. dry marsh edges. parks Nest Sites Distribution Neither bird builds Statewide nests. wild berries and seeds in cold weather when insects are scarce Open woodlands and farmlands near ponds. lilac and berry bushes or in small trees bordering streams Brown Thrasher Gray Catbird Insects. blueberries. sandy rural areas.28 Wildlife and Your Land Migratory Songbirds Nighthawk Whip-poor-will Food Flying insects Habitat Nighthawks found in cities on gravel rooftops. barns and shacks. near berries and fruits suburban or rural homesteads. but leaves state in August Tree Swallow Flying insects. groves. prairies Farmsteads with barns and outbuildings. old wells or in little-used garages. open forests. plains. Brushy woods. whip-poor-wills lay eggs on ground on dead leaves American Robin Thrushes Earthworms. spiders. parks. weed seeds. wet meadows. grassy dunes. also river bottomlands. nighthawks lay eggs on gravel rooftops or on bare ground. Catbirds build nests 2–10 feet above ground in dense willow and alder thickets. abandoned fields and fencerows . woodland small invertebrates. robins very common in suburban yards. but generally include pastures. sand dunes. maple or elm limb about 8–15 feet above ground Thrashers build bulky Statewide nest from 1–3 feet above the ground but sometimes on the ground under tangled thickets. wooded swamps and marshes where dead trees stand in or near water Builds nest of grasses in Statewide bluebird nest boxes. tree cavities and abandoned woodpecker holes about 3–15 feet above ground Chimney Swift Flying insects including Cities.

Wildlife and Your Land 29 Chimney Swift Barn Swallow Tree Swallow Scarlet Tanager Robin Wood Thrush Savanna Sparrow Catbird Brown Thrasher Nighthawk .

cobwebs. undergrowth. placed from ground level to tops of trees. open forests and clearings Wrens build nests in Statewide tree cavities. mature wet forest.30 Wildlife and Your Land Migratory Songbirds Vireos (7 kinds. several are rare) occasionally may eat seeds and berries particularly during colder seasons when insects are not common House Wren Insects. small yellow warbler typical. stumps. redeyed vireo typical. Each kind of warbler has its own specific habitat requirements Nest Sites Weaves nests of bark strips. a few are rare) Food Small insects and caterpillars Habitat Woodlands. deciduous thickets. second-growth woods and residential areas Variety of forest types and river bottomland habitats. small invertebrates Weaves small. brambles. most restricted during nesting season to northern and northeastern counties. round. abandoned woodpecker holes or nestboxes with openings preferably 1 inch in diameter Yellow Warbler Red-eyed Vireo House Wren . open mixed northern hardwood-coniferous forests. invertebrates. depending on the type of bird Few statewide. cupped nests of grasses and other plant fibers. some restricted to floodplain forests Woody vegetation in suburban and rural areas. fine grass high in tree tops Distribution Red-eyed Vireo and Warbling Vireo found statewide. Small insects. others restricted or not as common Warblers (37 kinds. frequents woodland edges. fenceposts.

old bread and doughnuts. parks and savannas Excavates a nesting cavity in living tree. urban backyards. blackberries. nuts. hemlock. grain. hackberry seeds. paper birch. corn. corn. wood edges. crickets. In the wild: insects such as moth eggs. raspberries. buckwheat. blackberries. snails. farmsteads. watermelon seeds. Christmas tree farms. ragweed Habitat Thickets. plums. bristlegrass. sorghum. spiders. wasps. caterpillars. millet. California poppy. red cedar. wild berries. hawthorn. acorns. safflower seeds. pumpkin seeds. ragweed. nest of twigs. also beetles. will use existing cavities or bird houses. yellow birch. rural woodlands. rye. common in southern Wisconsin farmlands Northern Flicker Farm groves. fat from dead animals such as whitetailed deer during fall and winter Mourning Dove Insects. raisins and apples Deciduous and coniferous forests. flies. urban backyards. farmlands. oats. millet. especially conifers about 10–25 feet above ground During summer: common in southern and central Wisconsin. open swamps Nest Site Builds loose-knit. bread. willow. generally less than 10 feet high Distribution Statewide Black-capped Chickadee At feeders: black oil sunflower seeds. bark strips. Japanese millet Primarily ants. parks. grapes. church and cemetery sites Builds a platform of loosely woven sticks on horizontal branches in shrubs and trees. but uncommon winter resident in southern Wisconsin. vines. foxtail. peanut butter. suburban and rural areas with mature trees and orchards. basswood. rotting wood of dead tree such as aspen. plums. peanut butter. squash seeds. peanuts. oats ragweed. hackberries. utility pole. sunflowers. maple or white ash. orchards. rare winter resident in central Wisconsin . suet. cantaloupe seeds. and peanut hearts. dried apples and raisins. pumpkin seeds. fencepost or side of building 2–60 feet above ground Statewide. open deciduous and coniferous forests. beetles. birdseed. canary grass. feeds primarily on weed seeds and winter grains. mulberries. cockroaches. hazelnut. also blueberries. suburban areas. grasses and places it in dense shrubbery of conifer tree or small deciduous tree or vine/briar tangle. suburban gardens. forest edges. in winter. small rural and urban woodlots. bristlegrass. ragweed. orchards. barley. wild hemp.Wildlife and Your Land 31 Resident Birds Northern Cardinal Food At feeders: gray-stripe and black oil sunflower seeds. fruits. or builds nest in fence post. dead tree. uncommon in the north. cherries. katydids. at feeders: suet. blueberries. strawberries. wheat. favors edge Excavates hole about Statewide 4–10 feet above ground in very soft. but bulky. wild cherries and seeds from goldenrod. viburnum. peanut butter. groves. grasshoppers. In the wild: cedar berries. caterpillars. nest cavities frequently lined with rabbit fur Open mixed woods. barnyard grass. elderberries.

Can be found during migration in orchards.32 Wildlife and Your Land Resident Birds American Goldfinch Food Weed seeds from ragweed. fruits. orchards. mulberries. which it drills in a regular series of pit-like holes in trees. In the wild: blueberries. redbreasted prefers conifer forests Builds bulky nest of twigs. farmland Builds nest of loosely Statewide woven grasses and fibers placed on horizontal limb of a tree 4–50 ft. animal and plant matter White-breasted prefers deciduous and mixed woodlands. cracked walnuts. cherries. grapes. places nest in upright branches or horizontal limbs of a wide variety of trees and shrubs usually about 5–15 feet above ground Blue Jay At feeders: gray-stripe Variety of wooded sunflower seeds. choke cherries. peanut butter. finch mix. parks. especially favor aspen infected with fungus Statewide. habitats. birdhouses (rarely birdhouses for redbreasted) Deciduous. goldenrod. some insects such as aphids. peanut butter. ants. strawberries. orchards. nuts. millet seeds Habitat Mixed woodlands. wheat. sometimes whitebreasted uses nectar feeders that have been placed for Baltimore orioles Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Cambium and tree sap and insects attracted to the sap pits. stateholes about 5–50 feet wide. acorns. sumac seeds. especially with aspen. suet. bark. spiders and other invertebrates. crackers. cracked nut meats. fencerows. edges of forest and swamp Nest Site Distribution Builds nest of thistle Statewide and cattail down late in summer. hazelnuts. buckwheat. acorns. urban backyards. service berries. farmland. elderberries. apples. safflower seeds. In spring and summer: beetles.Red-breasted. meadows. will visit feeders for suet. farmlands. flying insects. parks. squash seeds. or woodlands Excavates cavity in live or dead trees from 3–35 feet above ground. rare in central Wisconsin Open woods. safflower seeds. also nests occasionally in shrubs Statewide White-breasted Nuthatch At winter feeders: Red-breasted Nuthatch black-oil sunflower seeds. plant lice. leaves. suet. corn. chickweed. pumpkin seeds. also eat acorns. insects. pine seeds. at feeders: thistle (niger) seed. farms. red-breasted pries open conifer cone scales and removes seeds for much of its food. plums. but uncommon during summer in central and southwest Wisconsin. oats. black oil sunflower seed. will also drink at nectar feeders Cedar Waxwing Wild fruits and berries. insects Nests in old woodpecker White-breasted. raisins. bread. dandelion. cities and suburbs peanuts. uncommon in winter in southern Wisconsin. coniferous and mixed deciduousconiferous forests. sorghum. mosses and plant fibers about 10–25 feet above ground and hidden in crotch of conifer or deciduous tree. pastures with scattered trees. above ground . above the ground north (white-breasted) or about 15 feet above ground (red-breasted). urban and rural yards. weedy fields. caterpillars. particularly red cedar berries.

Wildlife and Your Land 33 White-breasted Nuthatch Sapsucker Goldfinch Cedar Waxwing Blue Jay Flicker Cardinal Chickadee Mourning Dove .

At feeders: suet. corn. shelled corn Fairly common in western and southern Wisconsin. woodboring beetles and other insect larvae. meat scraps. spruce. swamps. cracked pecans. groves of large hardwood trees. uncommon in northern and eastern Wisconsin Red-headed Woodpecker Beetles. fencepost. At feeders: sunflower seed. boreal/hardwood forests. several wild fruits. cherries. acorns. peanuts. or in rotting wood often 10–30 feet above ground Distribution Statewide Hairy Woodpecker Farmlands with woodlots. sometimes excavates cavities in fence posts Statewide. orchards. cheese Beetles. orchards. deep cavities with oblong entrances in very large trees at least 16 inches in diameter.34 Wildlife and Your Land Resident Birds Downy Woodpecker Food Insects including woodboring beetle larvae and ants. peanut butter. parks. 25–50 feet above ground Excavates nest cavities about 13–40 feet above ground in dead oak. backyards larvae. apples. mulberries. mixed hardwood forests Excavates cavities usually about 20–30 feet above ground in trees. acorns. bottomlands Nest Site Excavates hole 8–18 inches deep in living or dead trees. insect larvae. mature forests near rivers and lakes Excavates cavity from Northern boreal/conifer 5–12 feet above ground forests in live or dead pine. urban areas Excavates nest cavities Statewide in dead or living trees with decayed heartwood from 5–30 feet above ground Three-toed Woodpecker Northern tamarackspruce bogs and fir forests. sunflower seeds Prefers mature oak woodlots. acorns. orchards. At feeders: suet. service berries. orange halves. Deciduous forests. sunflower seed. At feeders: sunflower seed. sumac seeds. but uncommon winter resident in southern and central Wisconsin . acorns. corn. apples. hazelnuts. blackberries. corn. hardwood and coniferous forests. apples. ants. ants. peanuts. millipedes. peanuts Insects and wood-boring larvae of moths and beetles. dogwood. beechnuts. caterpillars. caterpillars. wild fruit. farmland woodlots. seeds. birch. broken walnuts. tree cambium Habitat Urban areas. At feeders: suet Excavates large. orchards. berries. sumac seeds. maple. aphids. grasshoppers. acorns. hazel and hickory nuts. fruits. tree stumps. suet. apple and butternut trees. but more common in northcentral and southwest Red-bellied Woodpecker Wood boring beetles. bugs. crickets. farmsteads. insect gardens. small woodlots. burned areas and swampy forests with dead trees Mature hardwood forests. poison ivy berries. stump. peanut butter. suet. ants. choke cherries. aspen and cedar Pileated Woodpecker Carpenter ants. honeybees. wild berries. spiders. utility poles and wooden buildings Statewide.

above male.Wildlife and Your Land 35 Downy Woodpecker Hairy Woodpecker Red-headed Woodpecker Three-toed Woodpecker Pileated Woodpeckers female. below Red-bellied Woodpecker .

open woods. caterpillars. feathers. competes with bluebirds and tree swallows in nestboxes Fills cavities in trees or birdhouses with a mass of grasses. cities. especially in and other berries farm country. adapts to pigweed. insects.36 Wildlife and Your Land Pigeon Starling House Finch House Sparrow Non-native Birds House Finch Food Habitat Nest Sites Builds nest of twigs. parks. waste grain. insects. Droppings can equator deface buildings and sidewalks Builds ball of grasses. Native to the barns and under bridges Old World north of the or cliffs. fruit Farmland. corn husks. mullein. mulberries dwellings. Statewide. Native to weeds. competes with purple martins in birdhouses Statewide. Native to Eurasia House Sparrow Seeds in wild and at bird feeders. Statewide. holes in walls. trash placed in Eurasia and North bluebird houses. Native to Southwestern U. chickweed. grasses and debris placed in tree cavities. behind shutters.” the species has since escaped and spread to new territories Weed seeds such as wild Farms. orchards.. bread. suburbs. thistle seed and finch mix Pigeon (Rock Dove) Seeds. but were shipped illegally to New York as “Hollywood Finches. mustard. cities Roosts in old buildings. bird boxes and building ledges Distribution Southern half. porch Africa rafters.S. awnings. sunflowers. human dwellings aphids. parks. cloth. old bakery goods Around human dwellings Starling Insects. cities. gardens . grubs and other Around human lawn pests.

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