The Birds of Bill’s Woods - A survey of species, Spring 2019-2021The The The
The Birds of Bill’s Woods - A survey of species, Spring
Three reports describe the results of daily observations of bird species found in a 9.5 hectare (24 acre) woodlot on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus known as Bill’s Woods. The goal of the survey was to identify the species and track the occurrence of breeding, migratory and other birds during the spring seasons of 2019-2021.
Bill’s Woods, a part of the UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve, is located at Lat. 43.0854°, Long. -89.4306° and bounded by Picnic Point, University Bay Drive, Lake Mendota Drive, Eagle Heights Community Gardens and the BioCore Prairie. The landscape is a glacial moraine rising 20 meters (65 feet) above the adjacent Lake Mendota and the 1918 Marsh. Field and prairie border the woods on the north side, where the Physical Plant material storage yard is located. Figure 1 shows the survey boundary (yellow), foot and bicycle paths (white) and service roads (gray).
The eastern third of Bill’s Woods is a mature forest of oak, cherry, maple, elm, hackberry and fir. The western two-thirds is old-field succession dominated by green ash, box elder, poplar, buckthorn and honeysuckle. The under-story of the woods is primarily dense shrubs with a few openings, including roads and trails. Removal of invasive species and restoration of native herbaceous species was begun in 1999. During 2020-2021 invasive shrub removal was curtailed due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. More detailed information about Bill’s Woods is available https://lakeshorepreserve.wisc.edu/ .
Due to its large population of migratory and breeding birds, the UW-Lakeshore Nature Preserve (including Bill’s Woods) was named an Important Wisconsin Bird Area in 2007 by the National Audubon Society and the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/iba/). Visitors entering Bill’s Woods are provided with checklists and encouraged to record and report their observations (figure 2). The UWLakeshore Nature Preserve also has several designated birding “Hotspots” adjacent to Bill’s Woods where species observations are recorded to Cornell University’s eBird database (https://ebird.org/hotspots). These include the Biocore Prairie, Picnic Point, the Class of 1918 Marsh and University Bay.