Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

Taylor County

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.

The Taylor County Comprehensive Plan ordinance is in accordance with Wisconsin’s Smart Growth law.

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)

Community members participate in several bird monitoring programs, including:

  • Three Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes run through Taylor County.
  • The BBS routes are also used for Nightjar Surveys, which also monitor for owls.
  • One Marshbird Survey route is located in Taylor County.
  • One Ruffed Grouse drumming survey is located in Taylor County and run by the US Forest Service.

C. Provide evidence (e.g., official designation of natural areas, easements, etc.) that existing bird habitat within community limits has legal protection. (Exclusions: Leash laws; prohibitions against disturbing nests and wildlife; areas consisting primarily of mowed grass)

State Natural Areas and other protected public and private lands in Taylor County give existing bird habitat legal protection.

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.

Taylor County (through the Land Conservation Department), USDA Forest Service, Wisconsin DNR, and Pri-Ru-Ta RC&D are Taylor County members of the Upper Chippewa Invasive Species Cooperative and all take part in control/removal efforts and information dissemination. The cooperative gives presentations, issues news releases, places displays in public venues, provides information to landowners, and actively participates in control efforts.

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.

Taylor County has five sites on the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail. It has one Important Bird Area, the Perkinstown Hemlock-Hardwood Forest.

Community Forest Management

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

The City of Medford, which is located in Taylor County, continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1989.

F. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

School Forests: Taylor County has three school forests: Medford, Gilman, and Rib Lake, all of which are protected for the time being. They are subject to timber harvesting under sustainable forestry guidelines so habitat types may change. The Medford Area Public School District Forest has 160 acres in one parcel that includes mixed northern hardwoods with various aged stands, aspen, conifers, a pond, and small amounts of other habitat types and 27 acres in a smaller parcel adjacent to the Stetsonville Elementary School. The Gilman School Forest includes 244 acres in five parcels, with mixed northern hardwoods, aspen, conifers, and black spruce swamp. The Rib Lake School Forest is 210 acres with mixed northern hardwoods, aspen, and conifers, and includes stream habitat.

Other Community Forests: The Campus Woods is a 25 acre parcel in the City of Medford that is used for walking, skiing, and snowshoeing. A number of bird and other nature walks and activities have been held in the past two years on the trails that wind through the woods. It is also used by other birders. The Riverwalk runs along the Black River in the City of Medford and has been used for several bird walks and is also used by other birders. It includes wooded areas, open areas, a river, and a millpond, thus offering a variety of habitats. The School Woods is a small wooded parcel located near the Medford Area High School and Medford Area Elementary School.

County Forest: The Taylor County Forest comprises 17,639 acres and includes variety of habitat types. It has both Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FCI) certifications. Gerstberger Pines is a 20-acre old growth forest parcel that has been preserved by Taylor County. It includes a nature interpretive trail.

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.

Three publications (listed below) are distributed by the Chequamegon Bird Club at the Taylor County Lions Maple Fest, Taylor County Youth Day, and International Migratory Bird Day where the Bird Club’s booth featured displays, photos, and information about three hazards for birds. The publications are also available on a permanent basis from a display in the Medford Agriculture Service Center.

  • “Cats, Birds, and You” (a brochure put out by the American Bird Conservancy)
  • “Birds and Windows” (a brochure from the Chequamegon Bird Club and the Taylor County Land Conservation Department),
  • “What’s in Your Tackle Box? – Get the Lead Out” (a flyer produced by several organizations)

The Chequamegon Bird Club’s newsletter, the Chirps, which is available on-line to the public as well as being distributed to members, has also featured articles on these issues.

B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).

Three publications (listed below) are distributed by the Chequamegon Bird Club at the Taylor County Lions Maple Fest, Taylor County Youth Day, and International Migratory Bird Day where the Bird Club’s booth featured displays, photos, and information about three hazards for birds. The publications are also available on a permanent basis from a display in the Medford Agriculture Service Center.

  • “Cats, Birds, and You” (a brochure put out by the American Bird Conservancy)
  • “Birds and Windows” (a brochure from the Chequamegon Bird Club and the Taylor County Land Conservation Department),
  • “What’s in Your Tackle Box? – Get the Lead Out” (a flyer produced by several organizations)

The Chequamegon Bird Club’s newsletter, the Chirps, which is available on-line to the public as well as being distributed to members, has also featured articles on these issues.

C. Show that your municipality practices Integrated Pest Management, using natural pest control and the best available science to minimize pesticide and herbicide use.

Three publications (listed below) are distributed by the Chequamegon Bird Club at the Taylor County Lions Maple Fest, Taylor County Youth Day, and International Migratory Bird Day where the Bird Club’s booth featured displays, photos, and information about three hazards for birds. The publications are also available on a permanent basis from a display in the Medford Agriculture Service Center.

  • “Cats, Birds, and You” (a brochure put out by the American Bird Conservancy)
  • “Birds and Windows” (a brochure from the Chequamegon Bird Club and the Taylor County Land Conservation Department),
  • “What’s in Your Tackle Box? – Get the Lead Out” (a flyer produced by several organizations)

The Chequamegon Bird Club’s newsletter, the Chirps, which is available on-line to the public as well as being distributed to members, has also featured articles on these issues.

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.

Information about creating and enhancing backyard habitat is provided through several means, including:

  • The Taylor County Tree and Shrub Sale, which offers a variety of native trees and shrubs that provide food, nesting habitat, and cover. The selection varies each year.
  • The Taylor County Land Conservation Department offers information on an on-going basis about 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).

Community members participate in several bird monitoring programs, including:

  • Taylor County has two Christmas Bird counts that are at least partially within the county boundary. The Medford CBC contains most of the city of Medford including the city’s park system and some of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. This count has been ongoing since 1978.
  • The Great Backyard Bird Count has had participants from Taylor County ever since 2001.
  • Three Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes run through Taylor County.
  • The BBS routes are also used for Nightjar Surveys, which also monitor for owls.
  • One Marshbird Survey route is located in Taylor County.
  • One Ruffed Grouse drumming survey is located in Taylor County and run by the US Forest Service.

E. Illustrate a program that involves schools, garden clubs, or other organizations in bird conservation activities.

The Chequamegon Bird Club, which was started in 1981 by ornithologist Sam Robbins, is centered in Taylor County but includes members from surrounding counties. The Club is the primary organization in the County providing information about and support for birds, bird habitat, and bird watching. The Bird Club provided testimony, both in person and by letter, in support of expansion of the Pershing State Wildlife area.

The Club has worked with other organizations and the County to promote bird conservation through a variety of venues. Some of these are listed below:

  • Bluebird Trails with Medford Area High School (MASH): The Chequamegon Bird Club has worked with MASH to develop and monitor a Bluebird Trail near the High School and Elementary School. Students from the school built and installed Bluebird boxes in 2009 and have been maintaining and monitoring them since that time.
  • Bird Club Bluebird Trails: The Bird Club also maintains and monitors Bluebird Trails at Weathershield, Inc. properties and at Medford Cemeteries.
  • Taylor County Sportsman’s Club Youth Expo: The Taylor County Sportsman’s Club hosts an annual Youth Expo that is attended by over 300 fifth grade students from throughout Taylor County and several schools in surrounding counties. The Youth Expo includes booths on many outdoor activities, and the Chequamegon Bird Club has had a booth for the past years.
  • Birding Hotspots brochure: The Chequamegon Bird Club received a grant from the US Forest Service to develop a publication covering birding areas on the Medford Ranger District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and other sites in the area served by the Bird Club. The result is a “Birding Hotspots of Northcentral Wisconsin” brochure. A Google map has also been developed.
  • Chaplinski Bluebird Trails and Nature Study Area: Gilman High School has a cooperative agreement with landowner Ed Chaplinski to use part of his farm for nature study. There are wetlands (in the Wetland Reserve Program), woods, and grassland habitats, as well as a Bluebird Trail.
  • Kuse Farm Nature Center: Hildegard and Loretta Kuse have trails that are used by the Medford Area Schools and private schools for nature education. The property includes a Bluebird Trail and other opportunities for bird study.

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.

An International Migratory Bird Day celebration was held at the Perkinstown Winter

Sports Area, which is owned by Taylor County. The event also utilized U.S. Forest Service trails and personnel. The Chequamegon Bird Club hosted the day-long celebration, which featured several guided bird walks and presentations on the identification of birds and wildflowers, bird call identification, bird houses and feeders, why birds matter, choosing the right binoculars, and butterflies and other insects. There was also a free bird bus to take participants to the Miller Dam Area, a bird hurdles game (all ages), and several additional activities (bluebird/wood duck box construction, arts and crafts, a match your wingspan display, and several other displays).

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Community Details

Joined Bird City: 2011

Population: 20,689

Incorporated: 1875

Area: 984 mi2

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