Project: Statewide Wildlife Areas
It is Spring cleaning time! There is nothing better than investigating and piecing together what has or hasn’t happened in the yearly cycle of a wood duck box. Armed with tools and cedar chips, AWA volunteers are fanning out to check the breeding success of wood duck boxes and nesting tubes on our adopted state lands.
This last weekend, Paradise Valley volunteers maintained 14 boxes with better nesting results than previous years. What was learned is that we have a competition going on between Woodies and Hooded Mergansers. Swallows and other nesters definitely add to the mix by building grass and reed nests on top of the previously occupied duck nests. In the next few months we should be able to share more photos from Jackson, Mud Lake, Rome and Lake Mills Wildlife Areas.
Winter is also the time to get out into the normally more difficult locations to remove invasive and other problematic growth that is choking out our uplands used by some duck species for nesting. Sometimes, the clean-up work is geared towards opening-up access lanes, fence lines and ditches.
On February 24th, we will begin nesting island clean-up at Lake Mills. The crew will be removing willows, coupled with herbicide treatment, on critical nesting habit. There will also be upland maintenance to help preserve grasslands. If interested in helping, please contact Mike Alaimo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On March 16th the Big Muskego team will be completing their chain saw training with hands-on project work. The class size is limited and almost full, but if you are interested in the training or the project work, please contact Ian Bartelmez at email@example.com for more details.
Before the ice disappears, the Paradise Valley team hopes to also remove willows and apply herbicide treatment. The willows are starting to get tall enough that prescribed burns may not be effective. Although the days are TBD and might be impromptu due to weather, please contact Mike Alaimo if interested.