News

Mysterious Marvels or Villainous Vagabonds?

Photo by Bear golden retriever from Auburn, N.Y., via Wikimedia Commons. Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) are a member of the Icteridae family, which includes all species of Blackbirds as well as Orioles, Meadowlarks and Bob-o-links. They are a stocky bird with a stout, short bill and can be found ...


The Gregarious Acrobat

Swooping down, bouncing up, flitting side to side! This is the whimsical dance of the lively, yellow bird we call the American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis). It is this bird, particularly the male, that we watch for eagerly in spring to herald the coming warmer weather as his plumage changes from ...


Fueling Up in Stopover Country

Common Nighthawk. Photo by Gary L. Clark. Think about your last road trip. Do you remember how many miles you traveled? How often you stopped to eat? Where you spent the night? Were you able to get a good night’s rest or were there disturbances? Was it easy to ...


The Bison Are Back!

Photo by Mike Laughton. We’re excited to announce that a herd of 40 male juvenile bison from NorthStar Bison in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, have arrived at Belwin Conservancy. These young bison will spend their summer grazing 120 acres of our prairie, aerating the soil, and creating wallows to collect ...


Musicians of the Morning

Spring has arrived! It is the time for long walks in the sunshine, sitting outside with friends with a glass of your favorite beverage, and, for those of us in love with birds, it is the time to listen for the mesmerizing chorus of returning bird songs. Perhaps one of ...


Skydance! The Woodcock’s Magical Mating Ritual

From about the middle of April through the end of May, the American Woodcock (Scolopax minor), or Timberdoodle, performs a magical evening mating ritual on the edge of open fields, prairies and wood edges. As day turns to dusk, the dancer quietly enters the open area, arriving on the ground ...


Eastern Meadowlarks Proclaim Spring’s Return

Winter-weary eyes and ears will very soon be rewarded by a plethora of returning birds. The sweet, lazy, flute-like whistle of the Eastern Meadowlark seems to say “See-you-see-yer, spring is here!” Listen to the Eastern Meadowlark’s call. A well-known member of the grassland and open spaces community, Meadowlarks spend ...


Cheery Winter Wonders

White-breasted Nuthatches are a familiar site at our feeders in the winter. They are cheeky birds that make a little nasal nyuk-nyuk- nyuk noise that can lead you right to them. They creep along the tree trunks going sideways and upside down, probing into bark furrows with their straight, pointed ...


When Winter Favors Summer Weeds

On the shortest day of 2016, more than 100 people came to Belwin for our first Solstice Bonfire. Great piles of buckthorn branches were burned, music was sung, stories were told and friendships—with others and with the land—were made. The evening wasn’t just about celebrating the Winter ...


Finding Light In The Darkness

We glided quietly through the winter night, down a dark and winding road. I could tell my son was tired by the nature of his questions – deep and searching, the way he often speaks in the gentle minutes just before sleep. “”How would the world be different,” he asked, “if ...