Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of Horicon

Community Achievements

Habitat Creation, Protection, and Monitoring

A. Comply with Wisconsin's "Smart Growth" law for land use planning and resource management. This criterion is an option only for applications submitted before July 1, 2017.

Horicon is in compliance with Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law for land use planning and resource management.

B. Describe organized bird monitoring or data obtained from researchers or volunteers in the local park system. (Exclusions: Programs that receive credit under 4C: Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out)

Annually, the Horicon Marsh Bird Club, with volunteers, participates in the Great Backyard Bird Count and also the Christmas Bird Count. In addition, Horicon is a subscribed member of the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin (BRAW) vowing to supply and maintain bluebird nesting sites. In 2013, they monitored 16 nest boxes and reported that 35 Eastern Bluebird chicks had fledged.

D. Document that current municipal planning seeks to provide additional bird habitat.

Twenty-two Eastern Bluebird houses have been constructed and are in the process of being placed in suitable locations around the City of Horicon. An additional 16 houses are located on the Rock River Hills Golf Course.

F. Show that your community offers the public information on how they can control and remove invasive species in order to improve or maintain bird habitat.

The Horicon Chamber of Commerce has placed on its website a link to download the brochure Invasive Plants in Wisconsin. In addition, a link to the Department of Natural Resources website is provided to learn, report and order information about invasive species is on the Chamber’s website.

G. Document that there is a segment of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail or a designated Important Bird Area within or adjacent to your community.

The City of Horicon is located at the southern end of the world famous Horicon Marsh which is designated as a Wetland of International Importance and a Globally Important Birding area. A bevy of volunteerism, support and education is exchanged amongst the Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the City of Horicon. Horicon Marsh offers an incredible amount of programs and events year round for visitors of all ages. For more information and an event calendar consult their website.

H. Show that the local Chamber of Commerce or a similar group (e.g., an Audubon chapter, Wild Ones, etc.) takes an active role in the planning process for protecting and enlarging favorable bird habitat.

The Horicon Marsh Bird Club was organized in August, 1994, for the purpose of studying and sharing with others the rich bird life of the Horicon Marsh and eastern Wisconsin. Through regularly scheduled field trips, meetings and other activities members develop a better understanding and deeper appreciation of the diversity of birds and their important habitats.

Community Forest Management

A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

The City of Horicon continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1988 and is committed to furthering forest management within its community.

Limiting or Removing Threats to Birds

A. Describe your community’s educational program to control free-roaming cats and/or the manner in which you actively publicize the Cats Indoors! initiative.

Copies of the American Bird Conservancy brochure “Cats, Birds and You” are available to the Horicon community through the Horicon Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Public Education

B. Provide web links or a community newsletter demonstrating that your community educates property owners on methods to create and enhance backyard habitat for birds.

The Horicon Chamber of Commerce’s website provides a link to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to provide information to the public on creating a backyard bird habitat.

C. Demonstrate that your community is represented in at least one citizen science bird monitoring program (e.g., the Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out).

The Horicon Marsh Bird Club, with volunteers, annually participates in the Great Backyard Bird Count and Christmas Bird Count.

D. Describe your community-sponsored annual bird festival. This must be a multi-day event or a truly exceptional one-day event.

Since the inception of the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival in 1997, the event has become recognized as one of the premier birding experiences in the Midwest drawing birders from across the nation. This is according to Bill Volkert, formerly a Department of Natural Resources wildlife educator and naturalist, based at the Horicon Marsh International Education Center. Each year, more than 500 people attend, with birders coming from throughout the upper Midwest and as far away as New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, Nebraska, Colorado, California, Washington state and even from abroad. In 2015, the festival was held from May 8th-May 11th and had numerous events that were conducted at nearly every hour of the day. In 2016, they will be celebrating their 19th year of the festival and will be held from May 6th-May 9th. For more information consult the festival’s website.

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)

A. This community's municipal body passed the required International Migratory Bird Day resolution.

B. Document and describe your event that incorporates the annual IMBD theme in some fashion. If the event has not yet occurred, please share your detailed plans. For information on the current year’s theme and event materials, please visit the International Migratory Bird Day website. To see what other Bird City communities have done in the past, please view some other profiles on our website.

The City of Horicon observed IMBD during the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival mentioned above in section 4E. The festival ran from May 6-9, 2016 and included a jam-packed schedule of guided hikes, boat tours, guest speakers, and educational events.

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Community Details

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 3,655

Incorporated: 1897

Area: 3.42 mi2

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