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Observations by Gary Fewless for Green Bay WI (Lat.N 44.51° Long. W 88.02° ), except as noted. For flowers lacking conspicuous petals or sepals I define "anthesis" as release of pollen by mature anthers.

March 2005

Mar 31

Ice is off the East River in Allouez, helped along by 0.43 inches of rain in the evening of 03/30. It froze over for the winter on Dec 14, so the period of continuous ice cover was 106 days. The earliest date of ice-off at this site over the last 20 years was February 24 and the latest was April 10 (range of 45 days); the average date was March 22.

The attached photo documents the rapid melt of snow in the last three days on UWGB

Seedlings of Polygonum aviculare (knotweed) growing along sidewalks and streets, City Green Bay, UWGB.

Mar 30

Honey bees out and about; Saw Whet Owls calling; Woodcock return, Oconto County, Pensaukee (Tom Erdman).

Bluebirds and Tree Swallows, UWGB (Jay Watson).

Canada Geese paired up at Upahke Ppond, UWGB (Tom Erdman).

Mar 29

Acer saccharinum (silver maple) in flower (anthesis), City of Green Bay. The average date of first flower for this tree over the last 20 years is March 25 and dates have ranged from March 6 to April 5.

Tundra Swans return to Green Bay, Brown and Oconto County (Tom Erdman).

Yellow Jackets (wasps) and Earth Worms noted Brown County (Tom Erdman).

Mar 28

Bright and sunny in Green Bay with high predicted in the mid 50's. Melt water is everywhere and puddles are making unpaved trails soft.

First day on UWGB for Water Striders and also the first day for Woodcock. If anyone has earlier sightings from Brown County, I'd like to include them here.

Killdeers and Belted Kingfishers return to Shawano County (Joel Whitehouse).

Mar 27 Another warm day with a high temperature of 49° F in Green Bay. Several new sightings for me in Green Bay: Killdeer (Brown Co, Bellevue and Howard), Song Sparrow (Brown Co., Howard), Milbert's Tortoiseshell butterfly (Howard). Also the buds of Salix discolor (pussy willow) and Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) have begun to open in Brown County, but they are not close to flowering yet.
Mar 26 High temperature of 43° F in Green Bay brought out the runners, walkers and even a few convertible automobiles and motorcycles. There was a big decrease in the snow cover and by late in the afternoon many little streams were flowing nicely.
Mar 24 Eastern Chipmunk out and about, Oconto County, Pensaukee (Tom Erdman); also in Brown County, City of Green Bay (Bob Howe).
Mar 22

The first Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage) are in flower at UWGB. Last year the first date of flower was Feb 24. The number of plants is greatly diminished compared to just a few years ago. I first noted a problem with the plants in 2001and included this photograph of healthy and unhealthy plants in the phenology page. They appear to be diseased, but I have not attempted to investigate the cause of the problem. I would appreciate any information from others who have observed similar events or who may have a hypothesis as to the cause of the problem. Other populations of skunk cabbage have been completely eliminated by dense growth of Phragmites australis where there are gaps in the forest canopy.

First Eastern Chipmunk of the season in a bird feeder at the Forest Service office in Lakewood, Oconto County (Steve Janke).

Mar 21 Red-winged Blackbirds return to Shawano County, near the City of Shawano (Joel Whitehouse).
Mar 20 In spite of the snowfall that continued into this morning (6.5 inches from late on the 18th through early today), the warm temperatures have returned a spring-like feeling to the air. The snow is melting quickly and we now have small, but significant flocks of returning Red-wing Blackbirds in our East River marshes in Allouez (part of the Greater Green Bay area). Last year we had the first returning flocks here on Feb 28th (3 weeks earlier).
Mar 19

A major winter storm dropped 5.8 inches of snow on the Green bay area today, plus 0.5 inches before midnight on the 18th [and anadditional 0.2 inches after midnight, into the 20th]. Some places in far western Wisconsin got over 20 inches of snow in this storm.

Mar 17

Flock of 40-50 Bohemian waxwings at the Forest Service office in Lakewood, Oconto County (Steve Janke)..

Daily temperatures in March have been averaging about 8 degrees F below the long-term average in Green Bay. Yesterday's high was 35 F and today is forecast above freezing also, but still well below the average high of 39.

People have been reporting a few Red-winged Blackbirds returning to our area over the last week or two, but still no flocks have returned.

Bald Eagles carrying nesting materials, Shawano County (JOel Whitehouse).

Mar 16 Sandhill cranes have returned along the Wolf River, Shawano (Joel Whitehouse).
Mar 15 Today's botany quiz. Try the link to see a photo and see if you recognize the species, then click here for the answer and a closer look at today's species.
Mar 14

Sandhill Cranes have returned to the wetlands of Green Bay's west shore, Town of Pensaukee, Oconto County (Tom Erdman). Several people have reported a few Red-winged Blackbirds back, but no large flocks yet.

Snow is mostly gone from open fields and lawns in Green Bay, but remains where drifted, piled or shaded.

Mar 13 Green Bay's low temperature this morning was -3° F (the record low for the date is -4 F).
Mar 11

We received another 1.4 inches of snow today in Green Bay.

Mar 10

Snow cover is thin and icy on open sites in the Green Bay area, following alternating warm and cold temperatures in the last week. Light snow began this morning about 7 a.m. and 1-3 inches is predicted for Green Bay [we actually received 1.8 inches od snow].

today's botany quiz. Try the link to see a photo and see if you recognize the species, then click here for the answer and a closer look at today's species.

Mar 08 today's winter botany quiz. Try the link to see a photo and see if you recognize the species, then click here for the answer and a closer look at today's species.
Mar 07

The warm weather was brief as a little rain this morning was followed by sleet and finally snow. Temperatures are predicted to fall throughout the day to single digits tonight.

Large numbers of "winter stoneflies" (or "snowflies" in this case) on the snow at Baird Creek Park. They are in the group of insects known as Plecoptera and this one is probably in the family Capniidae [thanks to Dr. Mike Draney for the identification]. I'm told they were independently reported from the same general location about 9 days ago. You might also be interested in the snow fleas that we discussed in our "econotes" in 2001.

Mar 06 Green Bay had a high temperature of 41° F yesterday and 48° F today. Most snow on level sunny sites has melted, but there is still a lot of snow in banks and drifts and in shaded areas.
Mar 04

A little warmer today, but we also got a little more snow (1.4 inches).

today's winter botany quiz. Try the link to see a photo and see if you recognize the species, then click here for the answer and a closer look at today's species.

Mar 03 This morning's low temperature was -8 °F in Green Bay.
Mar 02

Winter persists. Yesterday's low temperature was 6° F and this morning's low fell at least to 5° F in Green Bay and the forecast predicted below zero temperatures farther north.

today's winter botany quiz. Try the link to see a photo and see if you recognize the species, then click here for the answer and a closer look at today's species.

Mar 01

March may be a Spring month in other locations, but it appears to be Winter in Wisconsin with fresh snow, high temperatures in the 20's F and lows in the teens or even single digits.

today's winter botany quiz -- another easy one to get started. Try the link to see a photo and see if you recognize the species, then click here for the answer and a closer look at today's species.

© 2001-2004 The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, All Rights Reserved
Last updated on July 18, 2014