||Observation (Click on links for photos)
There were 6 or 7 Common
Eiders on the Channel in Shawano; Shawano Lake has a large amount
of ice cover yet (Joel Whitehouse).
Corylus cornuta (beaked hazelnut)
in flower (anthesis), City of Green Bay, in lawn.
First Alnus rugosa
(speckled alder) in flower (anthesis), Brown County, Town of Suamico.
Spring Peepers singing
in Shawano, Bluebird in Menomiee (reservation) (Joel Whitehouse).
Big flocks of Tundra Swans on Green Bay [smaller
numbers have been in the area since at least the 23rd, gf]; Wilson's
Snipe, Pensaukee, Oconto Co (Tom Erdman).
First open crocus
flower, not immediately adjacent to a building but in a protected
site. Tulips and daffodils emerged in open, unprotected sites; Eastern
chipmunk active today, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County
Spring peepers and
wood frogs were seen migrating across roads and calling from
wetlands during last night's rain near the Brown Co. Reforestation
Camp. Leopard frogs also seen migrating across roads (West
Shore and Lily Lake area). One American Toad seen dead on
road (Pine Grove Road), Brown Co Reforestation Camp, Green Bay West
Shore (Barkhausen and Sensiba), Lily Lake Area (Pine Grove Road/Phillips
Road/ Allen Road) (Steve Price).
First spring peepers
heard this evening, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel
Fox Sparrow, Eastern
Phoebe, Belted Kingfisher, Pensaukee, Oconto Co (Tom
Several dead Opossum on local highways, Brown
The ice is now off
Prairie Pond on UWGB's Cofrin Arboretum. Last year this event
happened March 16. The average is March 27, for 8 years of data.
There are a few earthworms up (i.e. there
are fresh "castings") this morning at UWGB, , along sidewalks,
but not elsewhere. The date for this event was April 1 last year.
Seedlings of Polygonum achoreum (knotweed) have begun
to grow in cracks of sidewalks and curbs, City of Green Bay.
Local Bluebirds now back, first Wood Ducks
on our woods pond, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc
County (Joel Trick).
First earthworms seen on pavement this morning,
City of Green Bay (Joel Trick)
First day of flower for Acer
saccharinum (silver maple) in Green Bay. This is the earliest
flowering individual of this species I am aware of in Green Bay.
It began to flower on exactly the same date last year, and that
is the average date over the last 19 years, but the date of first
flower for this tree has ranged from March 6 to April 5 (30 days)
over that time.
Tree swallows return to UWGB campus; "yellow
jackets" (wasps) out and about (Tom Erdman).
Tree Swallows also in Outagamie County, Shiocton
area, (Kathy Groves).
Woodcock "peenting": UWGB (Steve
Price); Brown County, Ledgeview (Kathy Groves)
singing on the UWGB campus (Steve Price).
First day for Water Striders on Mahon Creek,
UWGB. The average date over the last 12 years has been March 27,
the earliest March 7 and the latest April 11( a range of 35 days).
Another sign that some of the spring processes are
underway can be seen in the
increasing brightness of the red pigments in Cornus stolonifera
(red-osier dogwood). The bark of these common shrubs fades
to a dull red in winter and returns to a bright red in the spring
as the plants break their winter dormancy and begin the more active
metabolism of the growing season. If you are familiar with the process
of collecting sap from sugar maples to make syrup, you know that
the sap is running now, long before the maples leaf out or flower.
The same is true of Cornus stolonifera. Some of the processes
are already underway to begin growth for this year, but the only
obvious external sign is the brightening of the bark. Cornus
stolonifera does not leaf
out and flower for about 2 more months, until about the
third week in May, on average, on the UW-Green Bay campus.
Our pond has gone from 95% ice cover to completely
open in the past 24 hours; first fox sparrows seen, and first
wild turkeys gobbling, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County
The Army Corps of Engineers
reports that the Green Bay water level is up about 7 inches
from this time last year. Low water level has been a problem for
shipping and recreational boaters over the last couple of years.
The water level is still about 17 inches below the long-term average.
Fluctuations in the water level, including the very low portions
of the cycle, are an important part of maintaining biodivideristy
in the coastal wetlands.
Tundra Swans at Navarino Wildlife Area, Shawano
County (Katie Hemauer).
The morning low temperature
in Green Bay was 17° F, but a cold front sliding by to the north
brought the low to 3° in Wausau and -16° in Marquette,
Double-crested Cormorant at
Fox River/Hwy 172, Brown County (Ned Dorff).
Today is the vernal
equinox, the "official" first day of spring and the
day for which the periods of light and dark are of equal length.
Perhaps more importantly for those of us waiting anxiously for the
return of summer's plants and animals, it is the time during which
the daylength increases most quickly. In the week centered on the
vernal equinox, the period of light each day will increase about
First killdeer, grackles and sandhill
cranes; common redpolls
and pine siskins still present at our feeders. Town of Cooperstown,
Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).
||Two Killdeer on UWGB
campus (Tom Erdman).
||Green Bay has had snow
on 10 of the first 18 days of March. The U.S. Weather Service
reported 3.2 inches today, much of it melting, but enough
remained to cover lawns and streets. Nearly a foot of snow has fallen
in the last week in some locations in northern Wisconsin and there
are reports of up to 3 feet of snow still on the ground in the heavy
snow areas of northern Wisconsin. Rhinelander reported 30 inches of
snow on the ground earlier this week. Low overnight temperatures and
cool cloudy days have slowed the advance of spring. Ice fisherman
in northern Wisconsin report considerable slush and water on top of
||Many Northern Saw-whet
Owls back--12 banded, Oconto County (Tom Erdman).
||Snow (1 inch) and rain over
night, then warmer and winds averaging 19 mph-- the new ice is
off the East River as temperature reaches 38° F, Brown County.
After three nights of
low temperatures in the teens, there is a new, thin layer of
ice over the East River, Allouez, Brown County.
First brown-headed cowbirds of the season
at our feeders today, T.of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).
Green Bay received 0.8
inches of snow, a low temperature of 16° F and winds
of about 25 mph throughout the day, dampeniing any thoughts of spring
for the short term. March is a period of rapid change, the average
high temperature rises from 31 to 46° F during the month, and
the day length (sunrise to sunset) increases by about 93 minutes.
seen near Maribel, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).
of the year seen this morning, crossing highway 57 adjacent to the
Cofrin Arboretum, UWGB (Joel Trick).
Sandhill Cranes return to Shawano (Joel Whitehouse).
The Green Bay office
of the U.S. Weather Service today listed the "official"
snow depth as "0". It is difficult to pick an exact
date that the snow is gone because there is so much variation from
one site to the next, and of course the deeper drifts and snowbanks
still persist. The maximum depth was 15 inches on Feb 6 and 7 and
we had continuous snowcover of at least a "trace" for
64 days--since January 4. We had a total
of 38.7 inches of snow for the winter, so far, but March frequently
adds to the total so it is probably not over yet.
Song Sparrows back, Oconto County, Pensaukee
calling, Oconto County, Pensaukee (Tom Erdman).
||The Green Bay area had a total
of 2.9 inches of snow over the last 4 days (March 4-7)
Ice is off the East
River at Beaupre Street today. There is
still a lot of floating ice and debris, but the winter ice cover
is gone. Last year the ice came off 03/25. The average date since
1986 is 03/22, the earliest was 02/24/1998(!) and the latest was
04/10/1996 (Gary Fewless). The East River near Allouez Avenue was
Moderate and prolonged rains, mixed with snow have
resulted in local flood warnings in eastern Wisconsin and
heavy snowfall is predicted in the north.
The Fox River is mostly
open today at the Highway 172 bridge although there is still
some ice along the shores, especially where the river widens near
Skunks out of dens,
Florence, WI (James F. Gehlhoff)
First song sparrow
seen this morning, Town of Cooperstown, Manitowoc County (Joel Trick)
A single Sandhill Crane flying north this
morning, Door County, near Little Sturgeon (Pete Wolter).