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04

The cool, wet spring in the Midwest is likely putting pressure on the newly hatched upland birds in the area. The weather is putting pressure on pheasants, grouse and other wildlife in the area.

Birds typically do better when the spring months are warm and dry. The birds are able to have their hatching season and the young are able to thrive in the warmth and stay clear of high water that could drown them as they develop.

Places like Iowa had one of the wettest spring seasons on record.

The first report on grouse in Wisconsin saw an estimated decrease of 9% from last year. The change wasn’t unexpected in the area since the grouse in the area are known to have a cyclical pattern.

The state is coming off one of the high peaks, but the change could also be due to the wet spring in the Midwest, which has taken a toll on birds and other wildlife.

Last year was a great year for grouse in the Midwest. The spring nesting season was unusually dry. Birds had great weather to nest and to grow. There are some remaining birds from last year that should add to the population this year so things shouldn’t be all that different.

But in the coming years we should see the effects of what’s happened this spring. All the rain and wetness will take their toll.

It’s nature’s way of keeping things in check. The weather is always changing from year to year. It’s a natural way to keep the bird populations in check.

The one thing to watch in the Midwest is the continued increase in cropland and even land being used for energy purposes. Wisconsin has been a hot spot for sand mining. The sand is being shipped all over the country for use in the fracture drilling for oil and gas.

The weather is one thing, but loss of habitat is another. North and South Dakota and parts of Iowa are already see what can happen when the land is taken out of its natural state.

Hopefully the changes in the Midwest are only annual weather changes.

We’ll have to see.

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