Purple Martins are very large, broad-chested swallows. They have stout, slightly hooked bills, short, forked tails, and long, tapered wings. Adult males are iridescent, dark blue-purple overall with brown-black wings and tail. Females and immatures are duller, with variable amounts of gray on the head and chest and a whitish lower belly. Purple Martins fly rapidly with a mix of flapping and gliding. They feed in midair, catching large, aerial insects such as dragonflies. Martins feed and roost in flocks, often mixed with other species of swallows. They often feed higher in the air than other swallows, which can make them tough to spot. Purple Martins are colonial, with dozens of martins nesting in the same spot; they feed in open areas, especially near water. In the East they nest almost exclusively in nest boxes and martin houses; in the West you’ll find them nesting in natural cavities.
Bird City Wisconsin
In March 2002, leading bird conservation organizations in Wisconsin created a cooperative partnership called the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI), which is part of the National Bird Conservation Initiative. The goal of this coalition is to work in close coordination to deliver the full spectrum of bird conservation statewide, emphasizing voluntary stewardship.
To date, 167 organizations -- from the statewide Audubon Council to local bird clubs and bird-related businesses -- have endorsed WBCI's principles in support of bird conservation. These include:
Coordinate the efforts of private and public landowners and institutions, and all citizens who care for birds
Focus on the full array of wild bird species
Promote voluntary partnerships
Promote conservation based on the best available scientific information
Take an ecological landscape approach
Share knowledge to encourage voluntary stewardship and bird-based recreation.
The West Branch of the Fond du Lac River does not currently pass park land, but is bordered for a mile on the City’s west side—along both banks—by city land saved as open space and flood plain mitigation. This area is known by local birders looking for migrating passerines, particularly where Hickory St. crosses the river. Hundreds of mallard ducks have been found wintering in the small tributaries that feed this stretch of the river. In the summer Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons stand along its banks hunting for crayfish, frogs and minnows in the shallow waters. Belted Kingfishers patrol the area and find nesting areas in the protected habitat.
Access to the trail and area is in the back of the parking lot off of Pioneer road. Coordinates N 43 45.303 W 088 27.118
The cache is available in winter although depending on the weather it may not be winter friendly. Also, winter can change the terrain and difficulty. It is WI after all.
Congratulations to JimandLinda on FTF!