Fawning nears its peak, state parks host astronomy presentations

DNR REPORT - Recent rains, alternating with strong sunshine across much of the state have powered “green up” and lowered fire danger statewide.

Great weather last weekend brought on canoeists and kayakers on the Bois Brule and Flambeau rivers last weekend. Water levels are dropping on the Lower Wisconsin River and good numbers of sandbars are forming just in time for the holiday weekend.

The unseasonably warm weather turned the panfish and bass spawn into overdrive in central Wisconsin. The northern zone musky season opens this Saturday, May 28, and fisheries biologists say musky size is on the rise in Wisconsin and that means the potential for a big bite is better than ever.

Anglers were catching walleye on the Menominee River and the walleye bite out of Pensaukee has been good to very good this past week. On Green Bay, water temperatures were in the high 50s to low 60s and anglers were having success with smallmouth bass at Little Sturgeon Bay and Sawyer Harbor.

Wisconsin is currently near peak in fawns being born, and DNR offices are continuing to receive calls about abandoned fawns. Does leave fawns alone for extended periods and fawns natural instinct is to lie down and not move. This is part of their defense and doesn’t mean they are abandoned or injured. Their mother is nearby and will return to care for the fawn. If you see a fawn, leave it along and back away slowly.

Trillium’s are out in force and other species blooming include wild geraniums, prairie phlox and the state-threatened white lady slipper orchid. Mayapple, wild ginger, columbine and jack-in-thepulpit are other woodland flowers now in bloom. Both gray and Cope’s tree frogs are calling. Both frogs look identical, but unlike the tree frog’s melodious, cricket-like song, the Cope’s gray tree frog blurts out a raucous “blah” call.

Bird migrations are winding down and breeding activity is ramping up. Even the latest migrants, like dickcissel, common nighthawk, yellow-bellied flycatcher, and cedar waxwings have all arrived. Small numbers of warblers continue to move through, as will some thrushes, flycatchers, and other lagging

Neotropical migrants. Rubythroated hummingbirds, Baltimore orioles, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and many others are building nests, while American robins, redwinged blackbirds, wood ducks, hooded mergansers, and a host of other early migrants are already fledging young.

The first sandhill colts and trumpeter swan cygnets have been sighted at the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area.

The UW-Madison Astronomy Department begins its Universe in the Park series this weekend with programs at Governor Dodge State Park on Saturday night at Kohler-Andrae State Park Sunday night.

There is a presentation on astronomy and then if the sky is clear, a telescope is set up to provide visitors with the opportunity to view whatever astronomical objects are available. The series goes on throughout the summer at different parks around the state.


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