Bird-a-Thon - International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation



Thank you very much for supporting our 2021 Bird-a-Thon. With your help, our two Bird-a-thon teams – The Craniacs and The Day Trippers – raised over $35,790 for crane conservation!

May 15 was a gorgeous, warm windless day ideal for birding. The Craniacs’ combined list of 158 species seen and/or heard from dawn until dark is below. It was a slow spring here in southern Wisconsin for birds, and many of our favorite warblers were still not back when we held our Bird-a-Thon this year, but we had many memorable moments. Here are a few…


The calls of Whip-poor-wills echoed off the bluffs of the Wisconsin River as we strolled in the dark listening for owls and other wildlife of the night. We were delighted to hear some of our secretive grassland birds, like Henslow’s and Grasshopper Sparrows, that call throughout the night.

At Dawn

A pair of magnificent Whooping Cranes on a wetland near Baraboo greeted the light with a trumpeting duet – their Unison Call – to proclaim their defended wetland real estate. Then they chased a lone female Whooping Crane that had come too close to the pond where the pair had nested.

At Midday

Near a cliff where we had hoped to view a pair of Peregrine Falcons, we heard the melodious call of a Hooded Warbler. We followed it and were able to observe at close range this gorgeous male with an olive back, yellow breast, black head and neck with a bright yellow face. He continued to sing as we watched in awe while nearby high in the deciduous trees songs from the Scarlet Tanager and Indigo Bunting floated down.

In the Evening

At Horicon Marsh, a pair of Trumpeter Swans floated gracefully in a roadside wetland until another pair flew in, landed beside them and proceeded to chase them.  Like the Whooping Cranes, undoubtedly this was a breeding pair of swans that were chasing intruders from their breeding territory. There was little resistance. As the intruders flew away, the victorious pair faced one another and engaged in a duet all the while fluttering their wings.

Thank you and happy birding,
George Archibald and Rich Beilfuss,
Co-Founder and President and CEO

2021 Bird-a-Thon Species List

Canada Goose
Trumpeter Swan
Wood Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
American Black Duck
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Ring-neck Pheasant
Wild Turkey
Pied-billed Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Virginia Rail
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
Whooping Crane
Black-necked Stilt
Semipalmated Plover
Baird’s Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
American Woodcock
Wilson’s Snipe
Wilson’s Phalarope
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Common Tern
Forster’s Tern
Double-crested Cormorant
American White Pelican
American Bittern
Great Blue Heron

Great Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk (borealis)
Belted Kingfisher
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
American Kestrel
Peregine Falcon
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Willow Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Horned Lark
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
House Wren
Winter Wren
Sedge Wren
Marsh Wren
Carolina Wren
European Starling
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Swainson’s Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
House Sparrow
House Finch

American Goldfinch
Lapland Longspur
Grasshopper Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Field Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Henslow’s Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Brewer’s Blackbird
Common Grackle
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Golden-winged Warbler
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
Black-throated Green Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting

A bright red Summer Tanager rests on a branch.

Summer Tanager photo by Kari Stauffer.