Each year, more and more of you are asking when the Turkey Vultures are going to gather at Devil’s Lake State Park on their annual migration to South America. Of course, they are on their own clocks and we never know exactly. When they do show up, sometime around Columbus Day, they only stay for a week or two before they head out. We do our best to let you know when they arrive over on our Facebook page. This year, when they did arrive, it was in smaller numbers and they choose to hang out just north of the park near the Willowood Inn and the Farm Kitchen Restaurant. Well, it’s been a wet weekend, I’d certainly consider a staying at the motel myself!! If you didn’t see ‘em, here’s a bit of video for ya! Continue reading
It’s that time of year! The questions are beginning to pour in.. “When’s Peak Color?”, “When will the vultures gather?”, “Where can we go to see lots of cranes?” Well, the tough part of answering all these questions is that nature is well, on its own scheduled. Fall colors and migrations are unpredictable. What we can do is tell you where we are now, what factors might influence things, and give you our own best guess considering we live here! So let’s see what sort of fun we can look forward to in the coming weeks… Continue reading
It’s a rite of spring here in Wisconsin to mark the return of the birds to our yards, our skies and of course our parks. In the last couple weeks Sandhill cranes, geese and other summer birds have returned to central Wisconsin. If you ask me, spring officially kicks off at Devil’s Lake State Park when the vultures return. They did, just this week. So look up, and enjoy another sign of spring riding the thermals of Devil’s Lake State Park! It’s Fantastic!
Unofficially, the trails are in good condition. You may still find a few icy spots where the sun can’t reach, but that won’t last either. There are also some muddy sections on the outlying trails, but the lack of snow over the winter has made the trails much less wet than previous years. Forecasters are calling for temps in the 60s and 70s over the next week or so, so there’s no reason not to get out and enjoy a hike through the park.
Ride the River Walk – We got out to ride our bikes yesterday on Baraboo’s River Walk which is part of the Ice Age Trail that runs through the city. The River Walk is a paved trail which follows the Baraboo river through town which is broken into 3 sections and covers a distance of about 2 miles. It’s a pretty easy ride from the park into Baraboo to jump onto the trail. We’ve posted a new map with notations to help you navigate.
See you out there!
When you’re at Devil’s Lake this year be sure to look up. Those big black birds soaring around the cliffs are not hawks or eagles, but vultures, Devil’s Lake State Park’s unofficial mascots. Each year vultures spend the summer patrolling the skies, riding the thermals and cleaning up the ground below. There were quite a few hanging out along the south shore of the lake this morning in fact…
Turkey Vultures are gathering at Devil’s Lake State Park!
This time of year people gather all around the mid-west to see geese, cranes, and other migratory birds gathering up for the big trip south. Here at Devil’s Lake State Park we have an amazing, if a little overlooked air show of our own. At Devil’s Lake each year Turkey Vultures gather in the hundreds before heading to their winter homes in South America. For a time the skies above the lake will fill with clouds of soaring black birds. As you can see from the picture I took yesterday, they are beginning to arrive right now. Turkey Vultures are fairly easy to recognize. They are big, with up to a 6 ft wingspan! Turkey Vultures are black with a touch of grey, they have a white beak and a red featherless head. (Thus the “Turkey” name.) Their numbers will build over the next week or so, then suddenly without warning, they will just disappear. It’s an amazing show while it lasts. Continue reading