Shrikes : The Predatory Songbirds

By Isiah Crouser

The most frequent Shrike that visits Wisconsin is the Northern Shrike. This jay-sized bird is mostly gray, with a whitish breast, black mask under the eye, and a white eyebrow. Most notably, Shrikes have a small, sharp, curved bill, not unlike those of raptors. However, they lack the strong talons of raptors used for tearing prey. This often consists of other birds, rodents, or insects. Instead, the Shrike stores its prey on thorn bushes or barbed wires to tear it apart.

To be successful in locating a Shrike, it is beneficial to know its migration patterns. It spends the summer in Canada, beginning migration around late fall and arrives in Southern Canada or the U.S. in the winter. Unless you are planning a trip to Canada, this is when you will be able to find the Shrike. In this area, you are most likely to find them in open, brushy fields, often perched on high trees or telephone wires. Another good trick is to look for Northern Shrike sightings on eBird, because they often stay in one place for most of the winter. If you are looking for a guide to identify birds, check out Birds of Wisconsin by Stan Tekiela from the library.

Original Artwork by Francis

Button Foust, Author Interview

By Lucy Zeug 

Hello! My Name is Lucy Zeug, and I conducted an interview about a High School senior named Button Foust, who is writing their own fantasy novel. Here is the interview I conducted, and enjoy!

What Made You Want To Start Writing? What Was Your Inspiration?

I Participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for a few years in high school. The challenge of trying to get to 50,000 words in a month was very exciting to me. Eventually I got better at planning out the plot beforehand, and having a plan made it more fun to just write during the competition. The third and last time I participated I made the goal, and I’m still writing that story. My book has really made me fall in love with writing, where I am typically a visual artist. 

What Is The Book You Are Currently Writing, And What Is It About?

The working title is The Violet and the Dawn but I may change it later on in the editing process. The main inspirations for my book are Netflix’s Arcane, and the video game Bloodborne. My book follows the main character, Heran Scarlet, as she is infected with a magical plague. The plague, among other symptoms, turns the dead into beastly husks to spread the infection. Those husks are referred to as vacant people. Heran breaks into the palace of the sun kingdom and demands to be part of the research project the Queen is starting. The Queen forgives Heran’s rudeness, but only because Heran has a unique relationship with the plague. You see, Heran has become vacant before. Through the book, Heran is vital to finding a solution, but will she survive to be cured?

What Is One Piece Of Advice You Have For People That Want To Start Writing A Book?

Just go for it! I’m an avid believer that we need more stories in the world. All you can do is begin writing, whether it’s notes or not, everyone has to start somewhere. Now, advice is hard to give because everyone works differently when it comes to writing. But I think something every writer experiences is ideas falling through. Sometimes they just don’t stick, and that’s okay. I did NaNoWriMo three times before I made the goal, and I wrote different stories each time. That’s okay! Those stories were fun to write at the moment, but my passion for them fizzled out quickly. All until I began writing this story. Of course I take breaks from it, but I always keep coming back. So don’t give up if an idea just isn’t working out the way you wanted it too. You’ll always have more, and each time you just get more practice and experience so the next story can be even better.

Ode To The Broken Record

By Mars

How beautiful you once sounded,
Bright colors reflect off the broken
Like a fragile heart that has been broken,
Singing songs of better days,

Vivid colors ricochet off of your reflective
You now sing somber tunes,
Broken soundwaves fail to make music,
Broken hearts fail to love,

Yet you are beautiful,
Fragments of my better past,
Broken surface yet more beauty,
Broken heart yet more love.

Where Do the Bugs Go?

By Isiah Chrouser

After the blazing heat of summer, in which insects are seemingly everywhere, it’s sometimes hard to believe that they all disappear in the winter. So, where do they go?

The Monarch Butterfly is well known for its long migration as far south as Mexico. However, not many butterflies do this. Most overwinter as the premature stages, called larvae and pupae, while others, such as Mourning Cloaks, hibernate as the fully formed adult.

Similarly, many beetles also remain larvae and pupae to overwinter, and while none in Wisconsin truly migrate, Ladybird Beetles of all kinds gather to find shelter to overwinter as adults. Dragonflies, although aquatic in their first stages of life, are similar.

Most species overwinter as nymphs, a young stage like larvae of other insects. They stay in a state of low activity akin to, but not fully hibernation. Other Dragonflies migrate to warmer areas, the most common among them being the Common Green Darner. Almost all other insects use one of the methods discussed to survive the harsh winter. Then, come fairer weather, they reappear in great numbers once again.

The Teen Advisory Board of the Library is made up of a variety of teens aged 12-18 that meet once a month to discuss all things library. They develop events and curate different displays for the teen lounge. To learn more about TAB information and an application form can be found on the Library website. Visit the Teen Advisory Board application page.