Horicon Marsh – Geese Gone Wild


When most people think of Horicon Marsh, they think of geese. Canada Geese (along with Snow, Cackling and others) use Horicon’s massive marshland and surrounding farm fields as a stopover during migration. Thousands of these honking beauties can be seen and the sight of long strings and “V’s” of geese is truly amazing.

No, that’s not dirt on your screen but hundreds of Canada Geese
View of Geese From Car

Canada Geese

But Horicon Marsh is not only a Goose mecca but also loaded with ducks, blackbirds, Northern Shrikes, and a host of other wonderful birds. Perhaps most surprising were the large numbers of Sandhill Cranes. We counted roughly 1,354 cranes!! This is by far the most we’ve ever seen.

Amidst the struggle to count cranes, we spotted numerous other wonderful birds.

Northern Shovelers were abundant, shoveling along close by
Northern Shoveler
American Coot stretching his wings
American Coot
Ring-necked Pheasant
Ring-necked Pheasant

Another highlight was the five Northern Harriers we spotted. These “Marsh Hawks” are always a blast to watch, flying low over the marsh looking for a meal. We finished with 46 species at Horicon and did our best to keep a count of all the birds we saw. Our grand total was 7,992 birds. We saw 12 species of ducks including 20 Northern Pintails, 80 Northern Shovelers, and 82 Ruddy Ducks.

No matter the month, Horicon Marsh is a blast to bird and highly recommended. It is especially great if you are introducing someone new to birding.
Horicon Marsh NWR

4 thoughts on “Horicon Marsh – Geese Gone Wild

  1. Wow…Shovelers..
    I still recall the first time I saw Shovelers…1200 hundred of those magnificent birds in a lagoon just being there as if all the world was OK…I hope this weekend I can spot at least Blue Winged Teals…Ducks Rule!

  2. Where can I call (or look on internet) to check on the status of the Vanadian Geese at the Marsh.
    I want to take my Great Grand Children to see this beautifull sight.
    There used to be a web-site which would give the daily number of geese each day.

    Thank you for your assistance

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