Explore Wisconsin ecosystems! Here you’ll find information on habitat types, plants and animals found in Wisconsin and much more.

Exploring
A northern saw whet owl starring at camera.
Lions, tigers, and bears-oh my!!  Frogs, turtles, spiders-eek!  Birds, butterflies, worms-How fun…
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes—Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario—and their connecting channels form the…
painted turtle basking in the sun with its legs stretched out behind it
Can you name the four main habitats of Wisconsin?  Check out this page to get to know our natural…
Identification in the Woods
Curious kids of all ages can easily answer the question “hey, what is this?”  No need to be a…
Forest Plant
From the tiniest mosses to the towering oaks,  plants are important and unique to Wisconsin…
A field of coneflowers and natural prairie grasses
Prairies are made up of mostly grasses, sedges (grasslike plants), and other flowering plants called forbs (e.g. coneflowers, milkweed).
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13-lined Ground Squirrel
Sometimes called "Federation Squirrels" because the pattern on their back looks like stars and stripes.
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Gypsy moth caterpillar
The gypsy moth (caterpillar) is a serious defoliator of trees and shrubs in North America.
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Gypsy moth
When Gypsy moths have an "outbreak," the caterpillars defoliate trees (eat all the leaves).
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sea lamprey in an aquarium with their mouths attached to the aquarium glass
Sea lampreys are members of an ancient family of "jawless fishes" that were around before the dinosaurs.
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Spiny Water Flea
Spiny water fleas eat zooplankton and compete directly with small fish that also need to eat it.
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a huge pile of zebra mussel shells
These invasive critters remove incredible amounts of food from the water.
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The American Bald Eagle
We all know the bald eagle as a national symbol with its distinctive "bald" white head.
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American Black currant
The black currant is a shrub with maple-like leaves with toothed edges.
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American Goldfinch on a branch
The male goldfinch, easily recognized in the summer by its yellow body and black wings.
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an American Kestrel perching on a branch
This small falcon is sometimes called the "sparrow hawk."
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American Toad
Learn facts about the American Toad.
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American Tree Sparrow on a tree branch
Sparrows are common winter residents of southern Wisconsin.
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White pelicans on edge of water
Believe it or not, these once-scarce pouched birds are now appearing in ever-growing numbers in Wisconsin.
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Aphids on milkweed
Aphids come in a variety of colors - yellow, red, black, etc.
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illustration of an aquatic sowbug
The isopod is a scavenger that uses its seven pairs of legs to move around.
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a group of aquatic springtails
Just like people at a mall, these tiny wingless insect-like creatures mill around in huge numbers.
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Female arrowhead plant
The leaves of this plant give its name away.
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illustration of backswimmer as seen from above
The name of this critter describes it perfectly.
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Tree tops with Balsam Fir
Balsams are used by people for many products, especially holiday trees.
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Barred Owl
Whoooo is this owl with such a strange name? Let's find out.
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Brown Bat
Bats belong to a special group of flying mammals called Chiroptera.
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Little bat on a hand
Here's the scoop on Wisconsin's bats.
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Beaver
The beaver holds the title for being the largest rodent in North America.
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Big Bluestem with blue sky
Imagine grass reaching as high as 12 feet.
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Black Bear
It is rare that you will come in contact with a bear unless you are near bear country.
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A black spruce in a bog
Needles of the black spruce are blue-green, short, and pointed.
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a twig of black willow with long, narrow leaves and catkins
Black willows are part of a large family of trees and shrubs that usually grow along streams and in other moist places.
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Black-capped Chickadee
Chick-a-dee-dee, chick-a-dee-dee-dee.
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Blanchard's cricket frog in the mud
Learn more about the Blanchard's Cricket Frog.
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Blanding's Turtle on a log
Wildlife watching at a wetland area is a fun summer time activity.
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Blazing Star in bloom
No, this is not something you'll find in the sky.
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Blooming bloodroot
Any guesses how this plant got its name?
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Blue jay in tree
Everyone knows the blue jay and its angry "ki-ki-ki" or "j-j-j" call.
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Blue-spotted salamander on a rock
This colorful critter is one of three Wisconsin species of mole salamanders.
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illustration of a bluegill by Virgil Beck
Bluegill are the most common sunfish in Wisconsin.
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Bobcat
What has a stubby "bobbed" tail, sideburns, spiky ear hair and gets called lots of names?
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Bobolink
This colorful bird is well suited to life in the prairie. Its tan, black and white markings hide it well in the yellow-tan grasses.
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Boreal chorus frog
Learn more about the Boreal Chorus Frog.
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front end of a bristle worm
These tiny, uncommon animals have pairs of bristles on each segment. They are sometimes called feather duster worms!
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illustration of a brook trout by Virgil Beck
This brightly colored fish is Wisconsin's only native stream trout.
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illustration of a brown bullhead by Virgil Beck
The bullhead is an interesting, smooth-skinned fish.
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Bunchberry with berries
In the fall, the bunchberry lives up to its name.
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Butler's Gartersnake
The Butler's gartersnake is very hard to tell apart from its cousin, the plains gartersnake.
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Monarch butterfly on Black-Eyed Susans
Butterflies are beautiful to watch fluttering about.
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Monarch butterfly on flower
You'll want to get a closer look to enjoy their beauty and observe their activities.
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illustration of a caddisfly larva inside its case of sand particles
The caddisfly lives only a short time as an adult but may spend several years as a larva.
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Campsite in fall, with woman holding leaves
There is always stuff to do outside and lots of fun outdoor events for kids.
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Canada Goose
Hundreds of thousands of Canada geese (not "Canadian" geese) pass through Wisconsin in their famous V-formations, honking up a storm.
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Lynx
You'll probably never see a lynx in the wild. They are uncommon in Wisconsin and pretty secretive.
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illustration of chinook salmon by Virgil Beck
You may know this fish by another name such as king salmon, spring salmon, blackmouth, tschawytscha, chin, king, magnum, or shaker.
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Chipmunk
Sometimes called "chipppie" or "chipping squirrel."
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Cicada on a twig
It's a short season in the sun for this buzzing insect.
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illustration of coho salmon by Virgil Beck
The coho salmon has many different names.
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Close up of cattail
This wetland plant is very common to Wisconsin's marshes, ponds, ditches, rivers and lakes.
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Common Gartersnake
The common gartersnake is, well, common.
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The Common Loon
That eerie sound you hear is not a ghost haunting a northern lake.
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Common Redpoll
In flight and behavior these birds resemble goldfinches or siskins.
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Common Watersnake
You're sitting on a dock, minding your own business, when you notice a snake swimming by in the water.
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Common Yellowthroat
Keep an eye and ear out for this black-masked yellow-throated male bird.
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Cope's Gray Tree frog hanging on to a leaf
There aren't many differences between this and the gray treefrog.
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Cottontail Rabbit
If you like to play freeze tag, you might want to take a few lessons from the cottontail rabbit.
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Coyote
The coyote is a smart and highly adaptable animal.
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illustration of black crappie by Virgil Beck
Beware of the trademark spiny-rays on the dorsal fin of this sunfish - ouch!
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Crawling Water Beetle, Photo Credit: Robert Webster
This beetle lives among plants in shallow water.
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prairie crayfish in an observation container
One of the most interesting of the aquatic animals.
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Bats flying
One person's creepy critter is another person's favorite animal.....
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illustration of two copepods
The copepod is a small crustacean that looks like a swimming apostrophe mark (').
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Damselfly illustration
The damselfly is closely related to the dragonfly.
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Dark-eyed Junco in tree
The dark-eyed junco is sometimes known as the "snowbird."
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DeKay's Brownsnake
You can find this snake in oak savannas, prairies, marshes, old field, and under trash in vacant city lots.
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Trees in the Forest
Have you ever wondered how you can tell different species of trees apart?
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a view of one of the great lakes
More than 33 million people live, work, and play in the Great Lakes watershed. Discover the unique characteristics of each of the Great Lakes. Then dive into some of the big issues facing the Great Lakes, including climate change, humans, invasive species, and the future. 
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Badger
If you live in Wisconsin, you may already be a badger—a badger football fan that is.
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illustration of a dobsonfly larvae with many legs
Trout and other fish find the young of these insects delicious.
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Downy Woodpecker
You can spot this critter as it hops along tree trunks looking for food.
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Hine's Emerald Dragonfly on a twig
Dragonflies are a spectacular and colorful group of insects.
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Dune Thistle, Photo Credit: Samara Hamze
Wisconsin Status: ThreatenedFederal Status: Threatened
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Close up of Dutchman's breeches
What do these flowers look like to you?
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Earthworm
Want to watch an earth-moving, dirt munching, soil making machine?
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Eastern Bluebird
The bluebird is one of a birdwatcher's favorite bird
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Eastern Foxsnake
Many people mistake this snake's coloration as a venomous copperhead snake and kill them out of fear.
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Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
This is one interesting snake, and not just because of its sharply upturned nose.
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Eastern Massasauga
Wisconsin Status: endangered
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Eastern Meadowlark
Hark, it's the meadowlark, atop a fencepost, roadside pole, wire or shrub.
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Eastern Musk Turtle
This critter is often known by its nickname, "stinkpot."
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Eastern Newt
These critters can go through three phases beyond the larval stage.
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Eastern Red Cedar
People use this tree for woodwork in their homes, hope chests, closets, for lead pencils, posts, and poles.
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Eastern Ribbonsnake
This gartersnake resembles other gartersnakes at first glance.
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Eastern White Pine  Tree isolated on white background
The Eastern White Pine can grow to be 100 feet tall.
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Elk
Elk are members of the deer family along with moose, caribou, mule deer, and white-tailed deer.
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Emerald Ash Borer on leaf
Once these invaders get into a tree, the tree always dies.
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Person using app in field
The world of apps is expanding rapidly and it seems like there is a new nature app released every day.
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Eurasion Water-Milfoil on white background, Photo Credit: Flora of Wisconsin, Paul Skawinski, CC BY-SA
Preventing milfoil from reaching a lake or spreading is extremely important.
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Evening Grosbeak on a branch
A fairly common winter resident in Wisconsin.
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Fairy shrimp, Photo Credit: Distant Hill Gardens
This graceful animal lives only in temporary ponds, never in pond
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False Map Turtle
Both false and southern map turtles are very wary and will flee at the slightest disturbance.
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Monarch catapillar eating a leaf
Without caterpillars, there wouldn't be any butterflies.
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Butterfly on Black-eyed Susans
Watching butterflies is a fun summer activity and you can invite them to your very own yard.
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Fingernail Clam
This pale tiny clam never gets bigger than a fingernail.
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Sturgeon fish
Any time of year, many fish are moving about in Wisconsin's waters.
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six-spotted fishing spider resting on the top of the water
This water spider has eight legs, no wings, an
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Common Five-Lined Skink
Skinks have very shiny, smooth scales and their colors change as they age.
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Fresh Animal Tracks on Snow
Have you ever tracked someone's footprints in the sand or snow?
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A forest of old spruce, fir and pine trees
Evergreen trees give us vibrant green color in winter when the rest of the world has turned brown
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Mussels
How would you like to have a shell, no eyes and catch your food with your nose? No?
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Bobcat
Do you know what makes a mammal a mammal?
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Garlic Mustard
No—It's not something you put on your sandwich
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illustration of a giant water bug
This huge insect sometimes grows to be two or more inches in length.
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Goshawk
These hawks rely on speed and cunning to catch their prey.
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Gray (black) Ratsnake
When looking for snakes, you might not think to look up.
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Gray Squirrel
Have you ever watched a gray squirrel get to a "squirrel-proof" bird feeder?
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Gray Treefrog
Learn more about the Gray Treefrog
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Majestic Great Blue Heron
Have you ever seen groups of huge nests made of large sticks weighing down tall tree tops?
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Greater Prairie Chicken in a field
Other names for this bird include pinneated grouse, prairie hen, and old yellowlegs.
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Green Frog
Learn more about the Green Frog.
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Hairy Woodpecker
The hairy woodpecker is a larger relative of the downy woodpecker.
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Arbor Day
Arbor Day is the last Friday in April each year.
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Close up of Eastern Hemlock needles
This conifer grows high in the sky, 60-100 feet.
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Hepatica
This plant gets its name from the Latin word for liver, hepaticus.
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Hines emerald dragonfly on a twig
Wisconsin Status: EndangeredFederal Status: Endangered
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Honey Bee on flower
Wisconsin state insect.
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Horsehair Worm
This unsegmented worm looks just like a horsehair.
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photo of a tiny hydra clinging to algae
The amazing hydra is related to the jellyfish.
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Indian Grass, Photo Credit- Flora of Wisconsin, Aaron Carlson, CC BY-SA
This grass can grow taller than you, measuring 3 to 10 feet tall.
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Space view of earth
Did you know that milkweed can indicate ozone pollution?
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Young jack pine tree
The jack pine is unique because its resinous cones open and release seeds during a fire or from an intense, hot sun.
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eastern gray treefrog with vocal sac inflated, calling from a marshy area in Milwaukee County
by Dreux J. Watermolen
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Karner Blue Butterfly on leaf
Beauty and grace best describe this federally endangered species.
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Karner blue butterfly on a leaf
The karner blue butterfly life history.
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Lake Erie Lighthouse
Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes (averaging only 62 feet) and overall the smallest by volume. Erie is also exposed to the greatest effects from urbanization and agriculture. Lake Erie measures 241 miles wide and 57 miles from north to south, and has 871 miles of shoreline. Because it's not as deep as the other lakes, Erie warms rapidly in the spring and summer and is frequently the only Great Lake to freeze over in winter.
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Lake Huron Highlighted Map
Lake Huron is the third largest of the Great Lakes by volume, holding nearly 850 cubic miles of water. The shores of Huron extend more than 3,800 miles and are characterized by shallow, sandy beaches and the rocky coasts of Georgian Bay. Lake Huron is 206 miles wide and approximately 183 miles from north to south. Home to many ship wrecks, the lake averages a depth of 195 feet.
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illustration of lake trout by Virgil Beck
Lake trout are native to the Great Lakes area, New England, and Canada.
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Forest with white trillium in blossom
The trillium gets its name from the Latin word for three.
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illustration of largemouth bass by Virgil Beck
This brainy fish is the largest of the sunfish family, and has a mighty cavernous jaw.
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Close up of leafy spurge
Leafy spurge is considered a noxious weed under Wisconsin law.
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Leech
Can you imagine one of your friends clinging onto you, sucking your blood?
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Butterfly drinking from flower
Butterflies begin as eggs, transform into a larvae or caterpillar stage, then a pupa, and finally a winged adult.
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Little bluestem plant
Look for bluestem in the winter with fuzzy white seeds which small birds love to feed on.
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Five-Lined Skink
Lizards in Wisconsin? Yep.
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Luna moth resting on a tree branch
If you see a fluorescent green, large moth in the moonlight, it's
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Tapped maple tree with little boy holding a bucket
Those Marvelous Maples
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March Marigold, Image Credit: Thomas Meyer
Another plant of wet places is the marsh marigold.
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photo of mayfly nymph
The mayfly and damselfly nymphs look almost like twins, but look closely at their gills.
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Meadow Vole
Voles are easy to find by their "runways" that are lined with grass and other material from where they were digging.
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an illustration of a midge or bloodworm larvae
Young midges can be found in all sorts of water; some live in hot
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Birds migrating flying over water
Images of birds that migrate.
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Milksnake
Legend has it that this snake sneaks into barns and sucks milk from cows.
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Milkweed plant
Can you guess where the Milkweed plant got its name from?
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Milkweed beetle
There are several types of beetles that feed on milkweed.
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Mink
Sleek with thick, chocolate brown fur, minks are related to the badger and skunk.
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Mink Frog, Image Credit: Bob Hay
Learn more about the Mink Frog.
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Monarch Butterfly on Black-eyed Susans
What's small, has orange wings with black veins and flies to Mexico for the winter?
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Monarch caterpillar on milkweed
Can you find the monarch caterpillar on the leaf?
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Moose
How do you get a 900 pound moose to stand still and let you put a radio-collar on her?
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an Asian mosquito biting someone's skin
This interesting insect goes through four distinct stages.
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Perched Mourning Dove
The mourning dove was named the state symbol of peace in 1971.
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photo of mudpuppy taken from above
You'll never walk this critter on a leash because the mudpuppy isn't a dog and it doesn't live on land.
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Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle
The multicolored Asian lady beetles look like common "ladybugs."
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illustration of muskellunge by Virgil Beck
Meet the muskellunge—a lean, mean fightin' machine.
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Muskrat in grass
The name comes from the musky odor that this small mammal gives off.
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Freshwater mussels on rock in water
Winged mapleleaf, rock-pocketbook, monkeyface—sounds like World Wrestling Federation wrestlers?
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North American (Blue) Racer
This sleek and slender snake is one of North America's fastest snakes.
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Male and Female Nothern Cardinals
The scarlet male cardinal needs no introduction, but the female is less obvious.
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The Flying Squirrel
It's small, furry, and "flies" from tree to tree.
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Leopard Frog
Learn more about the Leopard Frog.
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Northern Map Turtle
The females of this species have large broad heads and jaws adapted for cracking mollusk and crayfish shells. Ouch!
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illustration of northern pike by Virgil Beck
This is Wisconsin's second largest predator fish.
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Northern Ring-necked Snake
This snake looks like the prairie ring-necked snake in size and color. The difference is in the belly.
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Northern White Cedar stands against a white background, while a little bit of grass surrounds its base
The Northern White Cedar is easy to identify. It grows nearly everywhere in Wisconsin, except the southwest.
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Oposum walking
Have you ever heard of "playing 'possum"?
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a snail with an elongate shell held in a person's hand
Think how hard it would be to carry your house on your back!
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Ornate Box Turtle
The ornate box turtle is an endangered species in Wisconsin.
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Osprey with carp, Image Credit: Joe Riederer
The Osprey is also known as the fish hawk.
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Ovenbird
This warbler can be found hopping on the floor of Wisconsin's mature forests.
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Painted Turtle
The painted turtle is the most common turtle in Wisconsin.
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Paper Birch trees
In the winter, birch are also easy to identify by the dangling flower clusters in small bunches.
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a small clump of pasqueflowers blooming in a prairie
The first prairie flower to bloom is the pasqueflower.
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Peregrine Falcon
Faster Than A Speeding Bullet?
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illustration of a phantom midge larvae
The phantom midge larva is so clear it's nearly invisible.
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Pickerel Frog
Learn more about the Pickerel Frog.
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Pileated Woodpecker
Have you ever seen oval, 3-4 inch holes bored into the trunks of standing dead trees?
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Pine Grosbeak on a branch
A rare winter resident of southern Wisconsin and uncommon in the north.
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Pine Marten in tree
The pine marten is nocturnal and we don't know much about them.
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Pine Siskin at a feder
This member of the finch family is an uncommon summer resident in northern Wisconsin.
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Plains Gartersnake
All in all, this is a pretty colorful snake.
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Planaria
The planaria or flatworm looks a lot like a garden worm.
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Porcupine on a log eating berries
This mammal is not the sharp-shooter that many people think.
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Close up of Prairie Coneflower
This delicate yellow coneflower stands between 2 and 5 feet tall.
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Prairie Dock plant
Not to be mistaken for the sunflower or the compass plant.
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Prairie Ring-necked Snake
Can you guess where this snake gets its name?
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Prairie Skink
Don't you love saying the word, "skink"?
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Prairie White-Fringed Orchid Close Up, Photo Credit: Joshua Mayer, CC-BY-SA 3.0
Before wet meadows and moist prairies were drained and tilled for agriculture, the prairie white-fringed orchid was more common.
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illustration of a predaceous diving beetle
This beetle is one of the most common of all aquatic beetles.
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illustration of pumpkinseed by Virgil Beck
This is the number one fish for kids to catch all over Wisconsin!
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Purple Coneflower
The purple coneflower is a beautiful summer/fall bloomer.
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Purple Finch
A famous bird expert once described the male purple finch as "a sparrow dipped in raspberry juice."
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Blooming purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) growing at a garden
Purple loosestrife is a non-native invasive plant that has taken over some wetland areas.
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Sign that says mandatory watercraft inspection ahead
A quagga mussel feeds all year, even in winter.
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Queensnake
This beautiful snake calls water home.
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young raccoon walking in tall grass
The raccoon is a common backyard "bandit" that is easy to spot.
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illustration of inland Rainbow Trout with bright lateral stripe
Steelhead and rainbow trout are really the same species of fish.
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Red (Norway) pines
The red pine stands tall in the forest (80-120 feet) with a narrow trunk measuring only 2-3 feet in diameter.
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Red fox in snow
Foxes no doubt got their crafty reputation from the way they look.
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Red-bellied Snake
Have you ever seen a red-bellied snake?
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Red-headed Woodpecker
"Knock, knock, who's there?" The red-headed woodpecker.
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Red-winged Blackbird in Flight
Find any wet or moist habitat in Wisconsin and there you'll find the common red-winged blackbird.
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Ring-necked Pheasant
This ornate game bird is not native to Wisconsin, but is stocked for sport hunting.
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Otter in water
Wild otters are not often seen because they are very secretive.
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Robin
Wisconsin state bird.
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Round Goby
This invader is a bottom dwelling fish with a large head, resembling a tadpole.
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Ruffed Grouse
You're walking in the woods on a nice spring day, when suddenly y
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Person holding Rusty Crayfish
Most alien invaders come from another country, but not this one.
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Graphic of salamander life cycle
A tadpole with gills!
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Sandhill Crane
What is that large stork-like bird flying over Wisconsin's marshes?
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Silhouette of Sandhill Cranes flying, Photo Credit: Joe Riederer
Crane fall staging areas map.
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Scud
Can you tell why the scud is often called the sideswimmer?
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Seed shrimp, Photo Credit: Dann Thombs
This almost microscopic member of the freshwater plankton is a scavenger.
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Milkweed Seeds
Seeds are on the move! Match the seed with the way it's dispersed.
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Shooting stars
Cranesbill, star shower, diamond-sparks—these are all names for this plant. Can you guess why?
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Sideouts Grama, Photo Credit: Drew Avery, CC-BY
This Wisconsin prairie grass can be found in high prairies in southern Wisconsin to the north.
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Six-lined Racerunner
With a name like racerunner, you'd have to be fast. And, as their name suggests, racerunners are very fast.
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Slender Glass Lizard
The name for this lizard is appropriate. When it's caught sometimes its tail breaks into many pieces like glass.
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Smooth Greensnake
This snake is often called the grass snake because of its green color.
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Smooth Softshell Turtle
Softshells are easy to recognize by their long, pointed snouts and scuteless top shells (carapaces).
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eastern gartersnake being held by a person
Did you know that there are as many as 21 kinds of snakes in Wisconsin? Wow, that's a lot!
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Snapping Turtle
This turtle is long on tail, but short on temper.
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photo of a tiny snow flea
What, snow has fleas? Where?
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Snowshoe Hare
This hare changes its coat twice a year, exchanging a thin brown summer coat for a heavy, white winter coat.
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Groundhog Emerging from Snowy Den
What happens to animals when the days get shorter and the snow starts to fly?
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Southern Map Turtle
Check out the carapace (top shell) on the southern map turtle.
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Spider web with dew
Are you afraid of spiders? There's a name for that fear—Arachnophobia.
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Spiny Softshell Turtle
The spiny softshell looks a lot like its relative the smooth softshell.
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Knapweed close-up in field
Spotted knapweed secretes chemicals into the soil that kill surrounding plants.
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Spring Peeper
Learn more about the Spring Peeper.
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Lightning  in the Clouds
Spring is a great time to get outside and see some of the art and beauty of nature.
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stonefly nymph
Stonefly nymphs need to eat all they can because when they become adults they don't eat!
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Skunk in grass
The skunk is a member of the weasel family.
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illustration of lake sturgeon by Virgil Beck
Dinosaur Fish Lurk in Wisconsin Waters
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Sugar Maple Tree
The sugar maple was selected as the state tree by school children in a statewide vote in 1893.
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Firefly on leaf
A story about fireflies by Genny Fannucchi.
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Frog Life Cycle
Baby frogs or toads are called tadpoles.
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A Tamarack tree stands tall in it's fall dress of yellow with a dusting of snow on it's branches and needles
The tamarack is NOT an evergreen because an evergreen tree is one that is never totally without leaves.
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Gophersnake
What's that hissing sound? Well, it could be a gophersnake.
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a closeup look at a nematode
The threadworm is commonly found in bottom muck or sand throughout the world.
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Timber Rattlesnake
This species doesn't rank high on many people's favorite animal list.
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Wolf pack
Have you ever heard a wolf howl in the wild? Not many people have.
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American Woodcock aka Timberdoodle
Coming this spring to Wisconsin's woods.
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Eastern Red Cedar
Test how much you know about trees with this quiz!
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Trumpeter Swans on ice
Snow-white trumpeter swans are a spectacular sight.
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illustration of tubifex worms
This aquatic angleworm is right at home in mucky water.
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Tundra Swan
Come spring and fall you may have the good fortune to see these large, white birds.
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Two wild turkey in a feild
Tips and tricks to help you when hunting this holiday favorite.
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Turkey Vulture
This large bird species has been around since prehistoric times.
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Adult and Baby Snapping Turtle
Have you ever seen a turtle sunning itself on a log on a warm summer day?
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Tussock Moths on Milkweed
These very hungry caterpillars can be abundant on milkweed.
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Upland Plover
Another name for this bird is upland sandpiper.
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illustration of walleye by Virgil Beck
The walleye is the largest member of the perch family.
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Water Boatman illustration
This insect's body is shaped like a boat, perfect for swimming.
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Crawling water beetle
Pick a critter and see if you can identify it!
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Water flea or daphnia
Did you ever itch to catch a water flea?
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Water mite
The water mite is a round critter with eight legs and one eye.
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photograph of a water scavenger beetle
Just as you would expect from its name, this large beetle feeds on dead stuff.
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Water Scorpion Nepa
How long can you stand without moving?
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Turtles
You and your family can help protect Wisconsin's turtles and liza
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Western Ribbonsnake
There are less than a half dozen records of this endangered snake being seen in Wisconsin.
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Ellingson Island & Split Rock Lighthouse at Sunset
Wisconsin - the word is thought to refer to a running river, which makes sense because lakes and rivers make up a large part of Wisconsin's natural resources.
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Whirligig Beetle
This beetle zips in wild patterns all around the surface of quiet water.
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White Spruce, Photo Credit: Steven Isaacson CC-BY-SA 3.0
The white spruce reaches 60-80 feet with a wide crown (top).
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stalks of white-flowered wild white indigo growing in a prairie
Why would a beautiful white-flowering prairie plant have a name that is a shade of blue?
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White-tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer is one of North America's most abundant big-game animal.
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Whooping Crane
2006 marked the first year that whooping cranes hatched in the wild in the Midwest in over 100 years!
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Leaves changing colors
While you were playing in the hot sun during summer vacation the trees on the streets, in the parks, and in the forests were working hard to keep you cool.
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Wild Parsnip in field
Warning: Steer Clear of This Invader—wild parsnip juice + ultraviolet light = burned skin
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Wild Turkey
Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.
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Osprey nest with two birds in it
If you can't get outside to see wildlife, bring the wildlife to you!
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Portrait of an american badger
Although badgers have been associated with our coat of arms, the state flag, the University of Wisconsin, the official seal and Cornish miners since the days of the Wisconsin Territory,
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Large crowd of people celebrating and dancing the polka at an Oktoberfest celebration
For those who simply must know why the polka was recently given official status over the Chicken
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Close-up of cows in summer
The dairy cow was added to the statutes as Wisconsin's official "domestic animal" in recognition
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Wisconsin state flag 1848
Wisconsin's state flag includes the Coat of Arms which represents many of our valued natural resources and the contributions of early pioneers to the state's development.
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Fossil of a trilobite
The Wisconsin Geological Society proposed a state fossil in 1985 to encourage interest in our geological heritage.
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Galena
The state mineral became Galena at the same time red granite became the state rock
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Red granite rocks
Red granite became the state rock in 1971.
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Farmer holding soil in hands
Believe it or not, we even have a state soil!
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Gray wolf in snow
Take a look at these Wisconsin wolf photos taken from the air!
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Tall oak tree in the spring
Armed with a flexible measuring tape and a ruler, big tree hunters are searching Wisconsin's cities and countryside for champion trees.
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Chickadee flying in winter, Photo Credit: Joe Riederer
Point to and click on any bird to learn more about them and what they're eating at the feeder.
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a tiny fairy shrimp being held in a handful of water
Lake life is plentiful and not all lake creatures are easy to see.
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Wood Anemone growing
You'll find this plant in dry to medium open woods and clearings.
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Male and Female Wood Ducks
The wood duck is often called Wisconsin's most beautiful duck with its bright, multi-colored feathers.
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Wood Turtle
This medium-sized turtle is most easily recognized by its shell.
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Close-up of a single Purple flowered Wild Violets (Viola papilionacea)
State flowers were first nominated in 1908.
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Yellow and green birch trees
Tell-tale smooth, peeling bark that looks like paper with small horizontal lines is a sure sign of a yellow birch.
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Yellow lotus in bloom
This beautiful wetland plant can be found throughout the Midwest and eastern United States.
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illustration of yellow perch by Virgil Beck
Perch are found everywhere in Wisconsin and are very popular to catch and eat.
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a wasp-like bee with a two yellow marks on its face on a bright pink flower
This ¼ inch bee is slender and looks somewhat like a wasp.
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