Monday, October 4, 2010

Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Early this summer I made what has become an annual trip out to the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge located in central Wisconsin. Necedah is about a three hour drive each way but it is worth it because I get to see some species that I do not usually see around home.

One of the birds that I usually see in Necedah that I rarely see near home is the read-headed woodpecker. The population of the red-head is in decline do to habitat destruction. These birds rely on habitat with a lot of dead trees, which in many places are removed to limit the danger from forest fires. At Necedah the dead trees are left to naturally decay, even in areas that are control burned, so there is a thriving population of these bright headed woodpeckers.
Another bird that I have watched at Necedah that we do not usually see in the eastern portions of Minnesota are bobolinks. These birds are usually found in open grasslands. In Minnesota they are fairly common in the western part of the state but not so much on the eastern side where I live.
Necedah is one of the few places that you can see endangered whooping cranes. I did not see any on this trip but I have been fortunate to have them fly directly over my head at Necedah in the past. On this trip the only cranes in the field were sandhill cranes.
The main reason that I go to Necedah in the early summer is to photograph the endangered Karner blue butterfly. Karners usually have two broods through out the summer. The first brood emerges from their chrysalis in early June the second around mid August.
The Karner blue rely on wild lupine as the host plant for the larval or caterpillar form. Unfortunately it is more difficult to find lupine because bushes, trees, and other plants often block it from the sun that it requires. In order to spur new growth staff at Necedah performs control burns on different areas through out the park each year. The burning kills off the overgrowth and allows new life to take root. Lupine is one of the first plants to come in so the burns help to sustain the habitat necessary for the Karner blues to live and propagate.


ladyfi said...

What marvellous shots. I love the clarity of that red-headed woodpecker.

EG Wow said...

I don't know as much as you do about birds, but still Necedah is my kind of place! :)

Sylvia K said...

Gorgeous captures as always! Love the birds and the butterfly! Such fun to see them up close through your photos! Have a great week!


BlossomFlowerGirl said...

Beautiful bird and butterfly photos. I've never seen a woodpecker and yours is wonderful.

Trish ~ ♥ ~ said...

What wonderful sightings, and great photos of them.

Jossie said...

Marvellous photos again. Compared to your birds ours are rather plain.

Pagan Sphinx said...

What a gorgeous series of shots. I love that red-headed woodpecker. And what a red it is. Well done!

This is my World!

lotusleaf said...

Fine pictures. Thanks for sharing the Carner Blue snaps.