For Birders and Duck Hunters

Where to go and what to look for this fall

Too many marshes and too little time sums up the plight of Wisconsin birders and duck hunters in October. As a remedy, I’ll share some favorite fall haunts.

Early on, pelicans and small ducks such as wood ducks and teal show up on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge, with raptors soaring high above the river bluffs.

Mid-month finds shorebirds frequenting the Madison Metro Sewerage District ponds on Moorland Road as migrant ducks, sandhill cranes and Canada geese mass together on wetlands northeast of Madison, like Arlington Goose Pond and Horicon Marsh.

On north winds of late October, primitive black and white birds—swans, loons and scaup—begin to appear on big water. Check the Madison lakes, Lake Winnebago and Great Lakes harbors.

Track the migration online via Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources outdoor reports on birding and US Fish and Wildlife surveys.

John Motoviloff is a cook, author and outdoorsman.

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