Birding by Boat
Birding by Land

Birding by Boat Join award winning ornithologist, Daryl Christensen, on the banks of the famous Fox River and Lake Puckaway for a personally guided day of birding by boat.

Expect to see 50-100 or more species of birds depending on season and migration in un-spoiled Marquette County, Wisconsin as you travel some of the same routes taken by famous explorers Fr. Marquette, Schoolcraft and naturalist, John Muir, himself.

Expect to see and hear up close and personal: herons and egrets; sandhill cranes, waterfowl; pelicans; terns and gulls; rails, bitterns, shorebirds, raptors such as eagles and ospreys; purple martins and other swallows; marsh birds such as sedge and marsh wrens, swamp sparrows, yellow-headed blackbirds and more. During spring migration the trees along the riverbank are literally dripping with warblers and other passerines.

Past rare sightings include: Arctic tern, willet, white-faced ibis, peregrine, scoters, ruddy turnstones, pomarine jaeger, cattle egret and more.

Tours include a close-up view of habitats that are impossible to get to on foot, some of them unchanged since the Ice Age. Enjoy birding in a quiet atmosphere away from crowds and road traffic in a comfortable, stable boat.

What to bring: Your lunch, binoculars, spotting scope and camera. (photo ops are everywhere), clothing to match the weather. We supply life vests and 50 years of experience on the lakes, rivers and marshes.

Tours are limited to only 1-3 people per day. Cost is $125 for one person, $150 for two and $180 for three. Prices include transportation from Montello to birding sites, launch fees and boat fuel for the day.

Birding by Land Visit restored prairies, a rare restored oak savannah, pristine sedge-meadows, floating bogs and other wetlands, national and state wildlife refuges, Ennis Lake in the John Muir Park, Lake Puckaway and the upper Fox River. Learn the songs, calls and many behaviors of the birds. See other wildlife and learn to read the signs of wild creatures in their natural habitats.

Depending upon season and weather, the probable number of species you will record is between 100 and 150! Very likely you will be able to see and hear Common Loons (in May only), grebes, Double-crested Cormorant and Great Blue Heron nesting colonies, Least and American Bitterns, waterfowl, Turkey Vultures, endangered Red-shouldered Hawks and other raptors, nesting Bald Eagles and Osprey, Wild Turkey, Northern Bobwhite, Yellow Rails, Virginia Rails and Soras, Common Moorhens, nesting Sandhill Cranes, shorebirds, the courtship rituals of American Woodcock (skydancing) and Common Snipe (winnowing), Common Terns, endangered Forster's Terns and Black Tern colonies, owls, Whippoor-whills, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Pileated and Red-headed Woodpeckers, eight nesting Wisconsin flycatcher species (including Alder, Willow, Acadian, Least and E. Wood-Pewee); all six Wisconsin swallow species, Marsh and Sedge Wren colonies, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Eastern Bluebirds and three other thrushes, three vireos, nesting Blue-winged, Black-and-white and Yellow Warblers, nesting American Redstarts and Ovenbirds, up to twenty spring and fall migrant warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, Dickcissels (June and July), LeConte's and Henslow's Sparrows, five grassland sparrows, Bobolink colonies, Eastern and Western Meadowlarks, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, orioles and many others.

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