Updated: 04/20/2014 8:05 AM
Created: 04/20/2014 8:01 AM WDIO.com
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — Purple martins will begin returning to Wisconsin to nest in coming days, but some bird enthusiasts say their numbers are on the decline.
Purple martins are the largest of the swallow family in Wisconsin. They depend on man-made birdhouses for lodging.
Steve Betchkal of the Gaylord Nelson chapter of the Audubon Society says his group is starting a mapping project to track the birds in northwestern Wisconsin.
Betchkal tells the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram that last year he didn't hear or see a purple martin anywhere in the state.
Housing may not be the only issue. The birds face competition from house sparrows and starlings. In addition, they eat insects so face starvation if cold weather impacts the bug population.
Information from: Leader-Telegram
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
High Schoolers Prepping for First Robotics Regional Competition
High school teams and their robots gathered at the DECC on Thursday to prepare for a regional competition starting Friday. The teams had to build machines that can stack totes on top of one another, adding a bin and a recycling can on top.
Bill Would Make it Legal for Mayors to Marry Couples
Mayors have plenty of things on their plates. But some lawmakers want to make it possible for them to do one more job: perform marriage ceremonies!
UMD Students Design 'Green' Snowmobile for International Competition
A group of about 25 UMD students have been putting in nearly 30 hours a week designing an energy efficient snowmobile for the 16th annual Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge, an international competition next week.
Judge Rules for Peterson, Paving Way for Reinstatement
U.S. District Judge David Doty issued his order Thursday, less than three weeks after hearing oral arguments. Doty overruled NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson's previous denial of Peterson's appeal.
Bill Retracting Commissioner Raises Bound for Dayton
The paychecks for top state administrators are being scaled back for at least the next four months under a bill headed for Gov. Mark Dayton.