Great Backyard Bird Count
(February 17-20, 2017)
in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon
Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online
citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to
display results in near real-time.
Since then, more than 100,000 people of all ages and walks of
life have joined the four-day count each February to create an
annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.
Bird City Summit a Smashing Success
This year's joint Bird City Wisconsin - Wisconsin
Bird Conservation Initiative in Rothschild was a wonderful
meeting. Over 150 people, representing at least 33 Bird City
communities, enjoyed two days of excellent speakers and
Please visit WBCI's site for a full recap and copies of many of
the terrific presentations from the conference:
Great Wisconsin Birdathon
Bird City Wisconsin
would like to thank you for participating in the Great Wisconsin
Birdathon. This year the Natural Resources Foundation raised an
outstanding $77,143 for bird conservation.
A few new Bird City communities joined the
Birdathon this year and we hope that even more of you will
participate next year! .
Bird City Wisconsin has printed a large quantity of our
brochure as well as the ABC brochures on cats and preventing
window strikes that we make available digitally. These brochures
are available at a cost of $5 for 25 brochures (plus shipping).
These brochure packets are great material to distribute at your
IMBD events, or any event in your community, and they can also
be put out for the public at a city,
village, or town hall.
To order please visit our store
For electronic copies please see:
Bird City brochure
Window strike brochure
Our newly-redesigned and more informative event calendar
is now available
If you have an event that you would like us to promote for you
please contact us at
The Urban Forest
Many municipal foresters, arborists, and landscape designers
tend to perceive the urban forest as a landscape distinct from
the natural landscape of the region, a kind of horticultural
‘free zone,’ where most anything goes and almost all trees are
considered desirable. Beyond the larger goal of adding to the
urban canopy, the current practice of urban forestry measures
‘success’ by the standard that the tree selected tolerate the
location in which its placed and if it adds an ornamental
element to the landscape, all the better. A more objective
alternative employs a comprehensive landscape view that
considers functional, aesthetic, cultural, and ecological
How to Begin Birding
Like birds, but don’t know how to make the leap to becoming a
birder? Here are three easy steps to get you into the field.
Click here to read morehttp://www.audubon.org/news/how-begin-birding
TEDx Talk on
Reducing Window Collisions
Joanna Eckles, good friend of Bird City Wisconsin and
leader of Audubon Minnesota's new Bird City Minnesota program,
recently gave a TEDx presentation on reducing window collisions.
This threat to birds has been in the news as Audubon Minnesota
helped lead a campaign to push the Minnesota Vikings to build
their new stadium with bird-friendly glass and building
techniques. Click logo below to view video
Welcome to Kaukauna, Milwaukee County, and West Bend
We would like to formally welcome Kaukauna, Milwaukee
County, and West Bend to the Bird City Wisconsin program. With
our April 1, 2015 announcement, Bird City has now recognized 91
communities for their contributions to avian conservation,
education, and the well-being of their residents. Milwaukee
County joins Bird City as a High Flyer, a community with truly
exceptional achievements, and is the first community to be
awarded this status following their initial application to the
program. Welcome aboard, we look forward to working with each of
you in the future!
Livability.com Publishes a Feature Story on Bird City
Livability is one of the leading online resources used for
researching communities. They publish monthly and annual lists
of cities, defining the best places to live in America and serve
as trusted partners to cities, businesses and economic
development organizations nationally.
Read the article here
Bird City Communities in the News
The village of Ferryville continues to work hard
to expand birding activities and to remain a birding destination
for visitors from throughout the region. In the fall of 2013,
Ferryville was named a Bird City Wisconsin, and still holds the
distinction of being the “smallest Bird City” in the state.
Read the full story...
One of Bird City Wisconsin’s all-star High Flyer communities was
recently featured in a story in the Cedarburg News Graphic.
Please take a minute to read about the success Ozaukee County
has had in protecting birds, creating a nicer place for people
to live, and strengthening the local economy.
Read the full story...
Fall is a great time to celebrate International
Migratory Bird Day
Many Bird City communities ask us when is the right time to
celebrate IMBD. Birds fly both north and south so fall can work
as well as spring. The Village of Shorewood (just north of
Milwaukee) staged its IMBD event on Oct. 11. Leeann Butschlick,
director of Public Works, reported that the Fish & Feather
Festival was a great success. To see more photos, go to
Kenosha and Kenosha County
also staged a joint fall IMBD celebration; check out these
Bird City Wisconsin names new director
Dr. Bryan Lenz, 36, returns home to lead community
recognition and avian conservation program;
Schwartz will chair Steering Committee
City Wisconsin has announced the hiring of Dr. Bryan Lenz as
director of its program to recognize communities who work with
their residents to make their neighborhoods a better place for
people, birds and other wildlife.
Milwaukee-area native, the 36-year-old Lenz is returning home
after spending a decade in New Orleans while completing his
Ph.D. at Tulane University. For his dissertation research he
spent 16 months living in the Amazon where he examined the
impacts of tropical forest cattle ranching on the mammal
community, especially primates, while also recording raptor
sightings and data on the tree community.
bird watcher, Lenz continues to serve on the board of directors
and conservation committee of the Orleans Audubon Society. Lenz
taught a course on primate behavior, ecology, and conservation
at Tulane University and has published several academic papers
on primates and raptors.
Lenz succeeds Carl Schwartz, 65, who has coordinated BCW’s urban
bird conservation and recognition program for the last five
years. Schwartz in turn will succeed Andrew Struck as chair of
the BCW Steering Committee. Struck will remain on the steering
committee and continue to serve as the organization’s treasurer.
for the complete story
of FOR the Birds
is this about Ozaukee County being a “Bird City” and why are so
many individual Ozaukee municipalities following suit?
Along with the county, the city of Mequon, the Town of Grafton,
the City of Port Washington and our neighboring Village of
Newburg have all been recognized by Bird City Wisconsin in the
last four years.
Maybe it is because they understand that the more species of
birds that an area has, the higher the property values will be.
An area that has many bird species needs to have a
diverse collection of trees, shrubs and other growing things.
Prospective home buyers as well as birds love that
diversity of plants and a 2011 study in Lubbock,Tex., indicated
that homes with more than one species of less-than-common birds
in the area sold, on average, for about $32,000 more than
comparable homes without them.
Perhaps Bird Cities understand that birds are the indicators of
and they are willing to take extra steps to improve the
ecological health of their community.
The birds are daily reminders that a community has a
healthy eco-system, something that more and more people are
The Bird City Wisconsin
website sums it up well.
“Like the proverbial canaries in a coal mine, birds serve
as indicators of the ecological health of our planet…. (And)
without the environmental assistance we get from birds, we would
have to spend far more money on pest control and keeping natural
systems in balance. Insect-eating birds reduce the need for
chemical pest control. Birds also are voracious eaters of weed
plants and rodents. They provide us with “free ecological
services” and are unheralded assistants to farmers, foresters
and gardeners.” (And
yes, when you use pesticides, you accidentally harm the birds.
Fewer birds mean more bugs and then you spray more poison.)
Click here to continue
Birders can help with Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer is becoming a national problem.
A tree that has been attacked by EAB can die within 2-4 years.
It is estimated that more than 50 million ash trees are dead or
dying in the Midwest because of this insect. Wisconsin forests
contain more than 770 million ash trees, nearly 7%t of the
state's tree population. In urban areas, 20% of trees are ash.
Bird watchers can be on front lines in
confronting this problem. Mark Freberg, the Green Bay City
Forester, suggests that birders should contact their local
forestry program if they see heavy woodpecker activity on ash
trees and suspect EAB. "We appreciate all the help we can get
in fighting this pest. Please call or write yoir local
forestry department if you have any questions or concerns,"
Linda Williams, Forest Health Specialist
with the Northeastern Wisconsin Bureau of Forest Management in
the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Division of
Forestry, offered a list of background resource information:
A research paper on the effects of EAB on the populations of 4
tree identification document:
Signs and Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer showing typical flecking
caused by woodpecker:
Vermont has a page for woodpecker watchers with some nice photos
of the damage:
Opportunity to Reduce Bird Collisions with
Communications Towers by 70%
year at least 7 million migratory songbirds collide with
communications towers in North America. Learn about new Federal
Aviation Administration lighting recommendations that make
possible a 70% reduction in bird collisions while reducing tower
lighting and maintenance costs. These “win-win” tower light
changes are simple, fast, and can be applied to both existing
and new towers.
Click here to see a webinar presented by
Dr. Joelle Gehring of the Federal Communications Commission:
Click here to read a one-page FCC report
on this development:
millions of birds die each year in collisions with manmade
structures, including glass windows and buildings, communication
towers, and wind turbines. The American Bird Conservancy
continues to be a leading force in ongoing efforts to protect
birds from collisions, working with industry representatives,
the federal government, and other conservation groups to find
solutions to this growing problem. To read more on the overall
issue, click here:
Outdoors TV show focuses on a Bird City
Bird City Wisconsin was the focus of a Sept. 7 segment on
“Northland Adventures,” a widely syndicated TV show that tells
“unique stories about the people, places and issues of our great
outdoors.” The 7-minute
segment explains the goals of the program by focusing on how
Stevens Point became a Bird City.
WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports
And to read more of the powerful story behind Bird City
Wisconsin, go to the June issue of
Wisconsin Natural Resources
Prevent birds from striking your windows
As many as one billion birds die each year by flying into window
glass because they simply cannot see it. An amazing new product
called BirdTape helps the birds to see the window while still
allowing you to look out from the inside. The price for this
tape ranges from $10.95 to $14.95 per roll; a small price to pay
to save the lives of the birds in your neighborhood. You can
find this life-saving tape through the American Bird Conservancy
They provide you with instructions and application patterns so
you can get the best results from the tape. For an overview on
Birds and Collisions, go to
Window Strikes and
Birds and Collisions.
Outdoor Cats: Single Greatest Source of
Human-Caused Mortality for Birds and Mammals, New Study Says
Cat with American Coot - Photo by Debi Shearwater
A new peer-reviewed study authored by scientists from two of the
world’s leading science and wildlife organizations – the
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) – has found that bird and mammal
mortality caused by outdoor cats is much higher than has been
widely reported, with annual bird mortality now estimated to be
1.4 to 3.7 billion and mammal mortality likely 6.9 – 20.7
The study, which offers the most
comprehensive analysis of information on the issue of outdoor
cat predation, was published in the online research journal
Nature Communications and is based on a review of more than 90
previous studies. The study was authored by Dr. Peter Marra and
Scott Loss, research scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation
Biology Institute and by Tom Will from the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds.
provides the following resources that may be helpful to you in
understanding more about the problems caused by outdoor cats,
dealing with those problems, and conducting a Cats Indoors
Campaign in your neighborhood. (Click logo right to access
discussion of this study and related information,