Birdlife at Lake Tamarack

Lake Tamarack offers an abundance of birdlife.  Some species are just passing through during their annual migration and others stay around to breed and charm us.  In the early spring, you soon become aware of the cycle of breeding. There will be a lot of calling and flitting about while seeking a mate, then industrious nest building, then a long period of quiet while the babies are hatching, followed by energetic feeding on the parent’s part.  Eventually the little ones fly off — often with shrieking encouragement on the part of Mom and Dad.

Our Very Visible Annual Visitors:  You can’t miss the common mergansers when they first descend from the skies when the ice is gone in March-April. The males have a striking white breast and sides, a deep green head (it can look black from a distance) and a bright orange-red bill.  The females look different as they have a grey body, rusty head and a bad haircut. They are all stopping here to dive deep and feed on our fish.  You can see other “regulars” – a great blue heron that hangs out near Beach 2 often high in the trees or on the dock at Beach 1. All summer a cormorant perches in full view on the rock pile off Beach 1.  

Birdwatchers like to keep lists!  Click here to view Ken Witkowski’s 2018 Fall sightings.  Ken lives on the westside watershed forest. Valerie Josephson lives on the east side and sees fewer species but offers some “Observations”.