Make your home page

Road trip for a rare bird?

roseate spoonbill courtesy: Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WISH) — Who needs weekend plans? For those who love rare birds (and cheese), a weekend getaway to Wisconsin could be calling.

Sure, Wisconsin is known for cheese curds, Cheeseheads, and Spotted Cow. It’s also where hundreds of people have been flocking the last several days in hopes of catching a glimpse of a roseate spoonbill. It’s a southern shorebird that typically lives in the Gulf Coast states and Central and South America. This is the first time it has been spotted in Wisconsin alive.

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, a dead roseate spoonbill appeared in Wisconsin 178 years ago.

People have seen the roseate spoonbill in the Ken Euers Nature Area and the Cat Island Restoration area. Both places are about a six-hour drive from Indianapolis.

The Press Gazette reports that Green Bay resident Logan Lasee was the first to spot the spoonbill. He then called a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They drove out and confirmed the sighting.

Since hundreds more have driven out to try to capture photos of their own, a quick search on X turned up several different postings.

@Evans2021C writes, “Rare bird alert! After receiving a tip from a couple of birding friends, my husband and I were able to observe and photograph a Roseate Spoonbill in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This is the first confirmed sighting in Wisconsin since 1845 #birdwatching #birding #birdlovers #Saturday

There has not been an explanation of how the roseate spoonbill landed in Wisconsin. Multiple reports suggest it’s simply a young bird that ended up off course. The Smithsonian reports stormy weather could have pushed it farther North and away from its usual habitats.

It’s rare to spot one of these long-legged, flat-beaked birds in Indiana. There have been reported sightings of them as recently as 2020 at Lake Monroe.