Fond du Lac Audubon group plans field trip to Cicadapalooza

The Fond du Lac Audubon group is planning a field trip to southern Wisconsin for a tour of the emerging periodical cicadas that is anticipated this year.

There are 15 different known broods of periodical cicadas in the eastern United States, made up of four different types of cicadas. What makes 15 of them are their locations being geographically different.

The cicadas spend most of their lives underground, but at the very end of their life cycle, they come up for a few weeks once every either 13 or 17 years to molt into adults, mate, lay eggs and then die.

While we see and hear cicadas every summer, these are annual cicadas, meaning they emerge every year. This year however, the periodical cicada group located in southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois is scheduled to make its 17 year emergence.

The Fond du Lac Audubon field trip will be headed to Lake Geneva’s Cicadapalooza, which is a free event with tours and talks with University of Wisconsin Bug Experts, as well as cicada merchandise, cicada themed food, and even cicada beer.

This cycle’s 17 year emergence is getting extra attention due to the pairing with a 13 year brood of periodical cicadas that emerges in southern Illinois. Due to the different periods of time these cicadas spend underground, they rarely emerge at the same time, however once every couple of centuries, the 13 year and 17 year broods emerge in the same year and that happens this year.

While many media outlets make it sound like there may be twice as many cicadas in the area, its important to remember that the broods are different because of their different locations so only a small overlap of the two broods will occur in central Illinois.

About the field trip——-

Meet to carpool at the southwest corner of Menard’s parking, leaving at 10 am. The event takes place Saturday, June 8, 12:00 Noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Lake Geneva Public Library & Library Park, 918 West Main Street, Lake Geneva, 262-249-5299.

Lake Geneva’s Cicadapalooza is a fun and FREE pop-event with tours and talks with University of Wisconsin Bug Experts, as well as Cicada merchandise, food, and even beer celebrating these noisy visitors! Join us for this once-every-221-year event in which the 13-year and 17-year broods emerge together from their long development underground feeding on tree root sap, at Wisconsin’s “Bug Central”… Lake Geneva!

According to the University of Wisconsin Entomology Department, there is an abundance of periodical cicada records on Walworth County dating back to 1854 from U.S. Department of Agriculture publications and, of all the locations in Wisconsin, the Lake Geneva area has perhaps the longest history and best records of periodical cicada activity.

TOURS: Tours of the Maple Park Historic District, most notably Pioneer Cemetery established in 1837, which has not been disturbed for nearly 50 years with the last burial in 1977, making it ideal for cicadas who don’t like to be uprooted. The 45-minute walking tours, led by UW faculty and staff, will leave at 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 p.m., covering approximately one mile on level terrain. Sign up upon arrival at the Library. The tours are wheelchair accessible.

TALKS: PJ Liesch, Director of the UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab, will be joined by Dr. Dan Young, UW-Madison professor and director of the Wisconsin Insect Research Collection, for a presentation at 3:30 p.m. at the Library covering cicada basics and an up-close look at periodical cicadas. Visitors can also browse a specially curated display of books and other resource materials on cicadas inside the Lake Geneva Public Library.

YOUR HOSTS: Visit Lake Geneva is joined by the Lake Geneva Public Library, City of Lake Geneva, City of Lake Geneva Avian Committee and UW-Madison Entomology Department (PJ Liesch, aka the “Wisconsin Bug Guy” of the UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab, and Russell Groves, chair of the UW-Madison Entomology Department).

PARKING: Find a parking map on the City of Lake Geneva website. Accessible parking is available at no charge in any stall at any time with a disabled-marked vehicle.

For more information, contact local Audubon members:

LouRea 920-872-2266 or Evelyn 920-929-9350

Other Audubon events coming up are…

Explore trails and yards in Fond du Lac County and City with members of Audubon. All walks begin at 6:30 pm. Wear good walking shoes, bring insect repellent, and binoculars if available. The walks will last an hour to an hour and a half. For more information about the summer walks, contact or 920-922-7931.

June 4  Eldorado Marsh
Hike along the dike through Eldorado Marsh and enjoy a birding opportunity. Meet in the parking lot at the end of Dike Road on the east side of the marsh. Leader – Lori Amend

June 11  Fond du Lac Chimney Survey
Participate in an effort to locate chimneys that might be roosting and/or nesting sites for chimney swifts. Meet at Taylor Park on Hickory Street by the picnic shelter at 6:30 pm. After the survey, the group will report results and socialize at Top Shelf (90 S. Main). Rain date June 18. 

June 18  Rain date for Fond du Lac Chimney Survey
If the survey was completed, then a road trip to Powell Lake Conservancy – W598 Cty Road K, Ripon. Meet in the southwest corner of Menards at 5:45 pm for carpooling. Leader – Diana Beck
920-922-7931 or email

June 25  Farm Walk W6744 Rogersville RoadExplore a farm with original farm buildings from the 1890s, draft horses, beehives, fields/gardens, and river shoreline along the west branch of the Fond du Lac River. Leaders – Members of Furrows to Fences