2015 Madison Bird City Partners Field Trips
Sun Jan 04, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Jan 10, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Jan 18, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Jan 25, 1:30-3pm – Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun Feb 01, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Feb 14, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Feb 15, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Feb 22, 1:30-3pm – Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun Mar 01, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Mar 14, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Mar 15, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Mar 22, 1:30-3pm – Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun Apr 05, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Apr 11, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Apr 19, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Apr 26, 1:30-3pm – Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun May 03, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat May 09, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun May 17, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun May 24, 1:30-3pm - Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun Jun 07, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Jun 13, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Jun 21, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Jun 28, 1:30-3pm – Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun Jul 05, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Jul 11, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Jul 19, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Jul 26, 1:30-3pm – Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun Aug 02, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Aug 08, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Aug 16, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Aug 23, 1:30-3pm - Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun Sep 06, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Sep 12, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Sep 20, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Sep 27, 1:30-3pm - Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun Oct 04, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Oct 10, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Oct 18, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Oct 25, 1:30-3pm - Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun Nov 01, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Nov 14, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Nov 15, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Nov 22, 1:30-3pm - Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Sun Dec 06, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Bird and Nature Walk
Sat Dec 12, 10-11:30 - Turville Point Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Dec 20, 1:30-3pm - Warner Park Bird and Nature Walk
Sun Dec 27, 1:30-3pm - Lakeshore Nature Preserve Bird and Nature
Trip coordinator and primary trip co-leader: Paul Noeldner
GENERAL FIELD TRIP DESCRIPTION:
Enjoy free regularly scheduled family friendly monthly field
trips in 4
of Madison's largest urban natural areas! Discover nearby urban
birds and wildlife. Walks are co-led by volunteers from Madison
Madison Parks and other Madison Bird City Partners including
Cherokee Marsh, Friends of Olin Turville, Wild Warner, and
Friends of the
UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve.
Regularly scheduled Bird and Nature Walk field trips are a
City Partners initiative by the co-sponsoring groups to support
shared missions to foster nature recreation, education, and
natural areas in urban parks and neighborhoods. In the 2014
pilot year these walks have engaged over 600 people including
many families, kids,
students, and minorities.
The main goal is simple, to help get more people - and
especially kids - outdoors enjoying nature recreation and a bit
of education in locations they can easily visit regularly.
These walks help foster a love of birds and nature that in turn
builds support for saving and restoring natural habitat in urban
parks and neighborhoods.
SPECIAL TOPICS AND CO-LEADERS ARE WELCOME
Special trip co-leaders and special topics of interest can be
easily plugged into this regularly published schedule and are
offered for some of these walks, but are not required. These
walks are purposely in-the-round, a bit noisy, and welcome
conversation among participants about what they enjoy, see, and
wonder about. Trip co-leaders are invited to sign up in advance
for particular dates and walks that fit their schedule, and are
also welcome to just show up and help lead when convenient.
Trip co-leaders do not need to be bird or plant experts. No
special knowledge other than enthusiasm about nature and the
location are required to help co-lead a walk. These walks are
easy, fun, and continually surprising with the level of interest
and information some participants bring to the walks!
Birds of Southern Wisconsin - UWM Field Station Summer Course
June 10 - June 14 (Tuesday - Saturday)Instructors:
William Mueller is the
Director of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory,
and Project Coordinator for the Milwaukee BIOME Project.
Dr. Owen Boyle is the state coordinator for the
Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network and an ecologist with
WDNR. Tim Vargo is the Manager of Research and
Citizen Science at Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center, and is a
federally licensed bird bander.
Schedule: This course is a five-day-long field
trip that visits important breeding bird areas of southern
Wisconsin. The course begins at 9:00 am, Tuesday, 6/10, and
finishes by mid afternoon Saturday, 6/14. Some days require a
very early start (~4:20 am) to be in the field for the peak of
bird song. A few evening sessions will allow us to study
nocturnal bird species. We will also conduct several early
morning bird banding demonstrations. Travel by van to each
subsequent day’s location will take place in the late afternoon
and early evening.
The Course: This course is a broad, field-based
survey of the breeding birds of Wisconsin and the habitats in
which they are found. We will study breeding birds and their
habitats in wetlands, grasslands, and forests in state natural
areas, state and federal wildlife areas, and major plant
communities throughout southern Wisconsin. Our objective is to
find the majority of Wisconsin’s southern breeding bird species
and learn about their ecology, distribution, behavior, and
conservation. We will also demonstrate field research and
monitoring techniques. Participants will learn the basics of
plant community associations which is key to understanding where
bird species are found during the breeding season and how to
assess their habitat needs for effective conservation and
management. The course fee covers all transportation costs and
$575. Available for 5.0 CEU or 1 college credit. There is
an additional tuition fee for college credit.
To register, go to:
Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz 2014 Underway
Although scientists have made huge strides in understanding
Rusty Blackbirds on their breeding and wintering grounds -
partly thanks to the original Rusty Blackbird Winter Blitz - we
know surprisingly little about the migratory requirements and
habits of this species. Are there hot spots where many
individuals congregate during migration? Are similar migratory
stopover areas used by Rusties each year? Are stopover areas
protected, or might availability of these areas be limiting
Rusty Blackbird survival?
To address these questions, the International Rusty Blackbird
Working Group, in partnership with eBird, the Cornell Lab of
Ornithology, and the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, is
coordinating a Spring Migration Blitz for 2014. This Blitz will
challenge birders to seek out the elusive Rusty Blackbird
throughout its migratory range, from the southern United States,
through the Midwest and along the East Coast, and up into
The Spring Migration Blitz kicks off in March of 2014; each
state, province, or territory is assigned target dates for
conducting the Blitz based on estimated peak migration periods.
Looking to get involved? Volunteers like you are critical to the
success of this initiative! In 2010 alone, eBirders reported
more than 11,700 Rusty Blackbirds during the Rusty Blackbird
Winter Blitz. We encourage all experienced birders to
participate; contact your state coordinator for more
Find out more at:
Eastern Whooping Cranes at Risk; Reward Offered
Last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that
two adult Whooping Cranes had been shot in November in Hopkins
County, Ky. (The USFWS delayed its formal announcement until the
cause of death was ascertained.) This was a mated pair: a
six-year-old male and a four-year-old female. They had nested
unsuccessfully in central Wisconsin for the last three years,
and for the last two winters, they remained in Hopkins County.
This incident occurred only a couple weeks before Kentucky's
controversial Sandhill Crane hunting season opened.
The cranes were shot by a rifle, and the shooter "wasn't a
hunter," said Joe Duff, founder of Operation Migration,
dedicated to the establishment of an eastern Whooping Crane
population. It was a "wanton waste," he continued. Bullet
fragments from a .22-caliber rifle were found in the female. An
out-of-season crane hunter still would have been armed with a
shotgun, wildlife officials added.
Fortunately the pair that was shot was not a pair accompanied
with a juvenile that migrated to Kentucky in November. That pair
is spending the winter elsewhere in western Kentucky.
These latest deaths among the experimentally raised Whooping
Cranes bring to 15 or 16 the total known to have been shot in
the East since 2009. To see information on all losses sustained
by Whooping Crane over the years:
There is a USFWS Reward Fund for the November shootings.
Operation Migration is accepting donations for the fund, an
amount which is now over $15,000. Details on contributing to
this fund are posted on the Kentucky Coalition for Sandhill
John Jacobs Wins Award for Work on Hawks
Green Bay Mayor's Beautification Committee has honored John
Jacobs, longtime curator of science at the Neville Public
Museum, primarily for his work with Red-shouldered Hawks.
John was born in
1947 in Appleton and has spent most of his life in Green Bay.
He attended St. Norbert College where
he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and the
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where he earned a master’s
degree in Environment Arts and Sciences.
his master’s degree he worked at the Bay Beach Wildlife
Sanctuary where he met his wife of more than 35 years, Mary.
They have two adult sons.
In 1982, John
started working for the Neville Public Museum of Brown County.
After working there as the Curator of Science for almost
32 years, he retired this past April to relax and and focus
more on his research on the Red-shouldered hawk.
In 1971 he
started a life long study on the nesting ecology of this state
threatened species. He realized that although there were some
scientific articles and general publications on this woodland
hawk there were many gaps in our knowledge of its basic biology
and population dynamics, especially here in
hawks nest in large, mature, contiguous, wet, hardwood forests.
They are rare, threatened, or a species of special concern in 13
northern states as well as here in Wisconsin. The population
seems to have stabilized at a relatively low level.
John has been
active in local conservation causes; he was an officer and board
member with the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society for over
30 years, serving as president for eight of those years,
coordinating the local Audubon Christmas Bird Count for over 30
years. For over 25 years he served on the “Weather Friend”
phenology calendar committee, and the Wisconsin Land Fund
"Celebrate Urban Birds" Seeking Feathers Entries"
Rumpled or resplendent, how a bird's feathers are displayed can
be an indication of how its day is going. The Celebrate Urban
Birds citizen-science project is looking for entries to its
"Fascinating Feathers" challenge-entries may be photos, artwork,
videos, poems, or stories and must be submitted to
www.CelebrateUrbanBirds.org by January 15, 2014.
Birds with tufts or crests can raise or lower them at will,
indicating everything from interest to irritation. Their
feathers may be ruffled by the wind or because they see another
bird trespassing on their territory. They may spread their wings
or tails. And birds spend a lot of time preening to keep their
feathers clean and can twist themselves into some strange
Winners will be posted on the Celebrate Urban Birds website.
Prizes include Pennington bird feeders, Opticron binoculars,
bird sound CDs, and much more.
"Consider the ordinary city pigeon," says project leader Karen
Purcell. "This gray and white bird may be quite boring to some,
but a closer look reveals stunning iridescent purple and green
feathers on its neck and upper chest. That's the goal of this
challenge: to get people of all ages outside looking at birds
more carefully and finding beauty in even the most common
To learn more about the Fascinating Feathers challenge and
contest rules, visit
Celebrate Urban Birds is a free citizen-science project of the
Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Participants collect information
about birds in cities and get communities involved in nature
through science, gardening, and the arts.
Migration Monitoring Coordinator Hired
The Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat
Observatory (WGLBBO) has hired Dr. Amber Roth of Michigan
Technological University as coordinator of the Midwest Landbird
Migration Monitoring Network, effective Jan. 1, 2014.
Roth, a research assistant
professor in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental
Science, will hold a one-year position with WGLBBO,
funded via a grant awarded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,
to continue development of the Midwest Landbird Migration
Monitoring Network, bringing to fruition a vision under
development for the last three years. Roth’s primary charge will
be development of a strategic action plan for the network
covering the eight-state Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Region of
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio,
The 16-member Midwest Migration Monitoring Network, a working
group within the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring
Partnership, was established to increase bird survival
throughout the annual cycle by contributing to the understanding
of migratory connectivity through a well-coordinated network of
Roth can be reached at
Visit the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership at:
It's Now the Wisconsin Purple Martin Association
A message from Tom Rank, president of the Eastern Wisconsin
Purple Martin Association.
"In an effort to expand its influence across the entire state of
Wisconsin, our name has now been changed to the Wisconsin Purple
Martin Association. Up until now, we were the Eastern Wisconsin
Purple Martin Association.
"We still need to make more changes before our name transition
will be complete. We are currently in the process of having our
logo re-designed, and our website updated, which may not occur
until the end of this year. Stay tuned for updates as they
More participants needed to track birds at their feeders
A fresh new season for the Project FeederWatch citizen-science
project kicks off on Nov. 9. Anyone with an interest in birds
and nature is invited to be part of the action. FeederWatch also
has a fresh new look for its 27th season, plus new web tools
that make participation and exploration even easier and more
To learn more about joining Project FeederWatch and to sign up
-- -- both new and returning participants -- visit
call the Cornell Lab toll-free at (866) 989-2473.
Join the tens of thousands of people who keep tabs on the birds
that come to their feeders from November through April.
Participants submit their observations to the Cornell Lab of
Ornithology. These long-term data from across North America
could not be gathered any other way. Observations help reveal
important patterns in bird distribution and numbers that may be
changing over time at a continental scale or in a participant's
It's also a great way for a community to meet one of the
education criteria for Bird City Wisconsin recognition.
"We have a new interactive tool called 'Common Feeder Birds'
that allows people to learn about the food and feeder
preferences of nearly 100 species, based on data collected by
participants," says FeederWatch project leader Emma Greig. "The
tool can be used to predict what birds can be attracted to an
area so you can offer foods strategically to attract desired
Observations from a record number of participants last season
helped scientists follow the changes in woodpecker and nuthatch
populations in the Midwest where trees were infested with
invasive emerald ash borer beetles.
"We need continued FeederWatch data on woodpecker and nuthatch
populations throughout North America to better understand the
long term consequences of this beetle invasion," Greig says. "We
also need renewed FeederWatcher effort to monitor the health of
House Finches, which are susceptible to a disease that causes
swelling around the eyes. Our participants will be asked to
report whether they looked for the disease and whether they saw
In return for the $15 fee ($12 for Cornell Lab members),
participants receive the FeederWatcher Handbook and Instructions
with tips on how to successfully attract birds to your feeders,
an identification poster of the most common feeder birds, and a
calendar. Participants also receive Winter Bird Highlights, an
annual summary of FeederWatch findings, as well as the Cornell
Lab's quarterly newsletter, Living Bird News.
Madison Bird City Celebration Is Sunday
In August 2013, Madison, WI was recognized as an official ‘Bird
City' by the Bird City Wisconsin Project.
This designation indicates the city of Madison's dedication to
working with residents to make our city an ideal habitat for
people and birds alike, as well as other wildlife. In honor of
Madison's recent recognition, Madison Parks is working in
collaboration with the Madison Audubon Society, the Friends of
Cherokee Marsh, Friends of Lakeview Hill to host the city of
Madison and the village of Maple Bluff's first Bird City
Celebration! This event will be held on Sunday, September 29, at
the Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625 Northport Dr.
and neighboring parks with family-friendly activities beginning
at 11 AM and concluding at 7 PM.
Bird City Celebration Schedule - September 29
Modeled after the Arbor Day Foundation's "Tree City USA"
program, the Bird City Wisconsin Project aims to encourage
Wisconsin communities to implement practices that promote the
conservation of birds and to educate their citizens on living
‘bird-conscious' lives. In order to be recognized as an official
Bird City, a community must meet certain conservation criteria
spread across five categories: Creation and Protection of
Habitat, Promoting Effective Community Forestry Management,
Limiting or Removing Hazards to Birds, Public Education, and
Celebration of International Migratory Bird Day. Madison has met
many of these criteria by implementing practices such as
acquiring natural area for the conservation park system,
successfully limiting the amount of bird deaths due to window
strikes, and educating the public on the healthy implications of
having a bird-friendly community.
11a.m. - Kids Bird Song and Puppet Parade, WPCRC
11:30a.m. - Official Bird City Flag Ceremony, WPCRC
Noon - Talk: Migratory birds in your back yard, WPCRC
12:30p.m. - Hoo's Woods Raptors and more kids activities,
Lakeview Library, 2845 N. Sherman Ave.
1p.m. - Talk: Kids and Catbirds in Warner Park
2p.m. - Guided Walk: Wild Side of Warner Park, meet at Warner
2p.m. - Talk: Four Lakes Bird and Baby Rescue, WPCRC
3p.m. - Talk: Looking Back and Visions Ahead, WPCRC
3-5p.m. - Hayrides :$2/person at Cherokee Marsh, 6098 N. Sherman
3p.m. - Village of Maple Bluff Celebration, Maple Bluff Marina,
1321 Farwell Dr., Youth Sailing Boat House
4p.m. - Walk: Trails and Tales, Lakeview Hill Park, 1200
5-7p.m. - Walk: Birds of Cherokee Marsh, led by Madison Parks
staff, Cherokee Marsh, 6098 N. Sherman Ave.
The city of Madison is one of Wisconsin's leaders in exhibiting
environmentally sustainable practices and this Bird City
recognition is aligned perfectly with Madison's goals. "Madison
Parks is proud to receive the designation of Bird City
Wisconsin," says Kevin Briski, Madison Parks Superintendent.
"One of the missions of Madison Parks is to conserve the natural
resources of our parkland, and we see this designation as
helping to fulfill that mission."
Forest birds boost coffee yields
Need another reason to drink what is known as shade-grown or
Intensive agriculture often leaves forests in tatters. But
preserving patches of those natural habitats could end up saving
farmers money. According to a new study, forest birds improve
coffee yields by eating destructive pests.
Coffee is one of the world’s most
valuable crops, worth about $90 billion per year. It is
threatened by the coffee berry borer, an insect that can destroy
more than three-quarters of a harvest and quickly becomes
resistant to pesticides. Borer-eating birds, however, offer a
potential natural control strategy.
The study authors set up experiments at
two coffee plantations in Costa Rica. First, they built barriers
of bamboo and mesh net around some coffee shrubs, which allowed
insects but not birds to pass through. Other shrubs were left
exposed to both insects and birds. Over two seasons, the team
counted the number of the coffee berries infested by borers.
Coffee shrubs that were blocked from
birds had roughly twice the percentage of infested berries as
those open to birds, the researchers report in Ecology Letters.
Borers also tunnelled deeper into the berries when birds were
absent. The authors estimate that birds save the plantations
about $75 to $310 per hectare each year.
Surveys of six coffee plantations
suggested that areas with sparser forests had more borers.
“[O]ur results show that adjusting agricultural practices to
conserve countryside forest elements, and associated
biodiversity, may limit losses from the most damaging pest of
one of the world’s most economically important crops,” the
Karp, D.S. et al. 2013. Forest bolsters bird abundance, pest
control and coffee yield. Ecology Letters doi: 10.1111/ele.12173.
Ecology Workshop Help Meets Bird City Criteria
The Southeast Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium in
cooperation with Johnson's Nursery is holding a workshop on
Sept. 26 called "Where Ecology Meets Economy - A Forum for Green
Industry and Land Management Professionals." Don’t miss this new
opportunity to network with land managers, nurserymen,
arborists, landscape architects and many other professionals.
This innovative event will feature presentations, panel
discussions, plus guided tours discussing ways the green
industry and land managers can benefit each other. Please see
the linked brochure if
you are interested in attending. It would be a good way to meet
a Bird City criteria under Categories 1 or 4 for dealing with
invasive species, or under Category 2B (other) for those
communities that are not a Tree City.
Swift Night Out in Eau Claire
The Regis Environmental Club would like to host the fledgling
(ha!) Chippewa Valley Birders group for a (hopefully first
annual) Swift Night Out at Regis High School on Sunday, August
11 at 7:30 p.m.
As the days of summer inevitably tick away, Chimney Swifts
gather in large communal roosts in preparation for migration.
Each evening around sunset, a living tornado of birds descends
into a chimney or other suitable roosting site. Regis is
fortunate to have one such easily viewable location. We will
gather half an hour before sunset and count birds as they dive
into our chimney. The data will then be reported to the
Wisconsin Chimney Swift Working Group and the national Swift
Night Out databases. Chimney Swift numbers are on the decline
and therefore citizen reported data are more important than ever
in monitoring this population.
This is one of the final criteria for certifying Eau Claire as a
Bird City, so we will also be celebrating International
Migratory Bird Day (our Chimney Swifts migrate as far as the
Upper Amazon Basin!) as we contribute to citizen science.
Anyone is welcome to participate - RSVPs appreciated! (email@example.com)
Join us in the rear parking lot adjacent to the football field.
If you can, bring any of the following: chair, binoculars or
scope, and a snack to share.
Funding for Bird-Friendly Community Plantings
Could your community use additional funding for bird-friendly
community plantings? This year the American Transmission Co. has
launched a program to support tree and vegetation planting in
communities in its service area. The program helps support
efforts to beautify communities in a manner that is consistent
with ATC's safety and maintenance standards. Eligible cities,
villages, towns, counties and tribes may apply for financial
support for planting projects on public property within their
community. ATC is accepting program applications through Sept.
30 and will select award recipients by the end of the year.
Awards will range from $100 to $5,000. Visit
International Migratory Bird Day Team Gets Ready for 2014
for the Americas, home of IMBD, has received a second America’s
Great Outdoors grant from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
This grant supports efforts to train young Latinos in bird
research and education and to enhance their career opportunities
in natural resources. The 2014 funding will support a training
session for 8-10 interns, who will then become part of surveys
of migratory shorebirds in Alaska, Oregon, California, and
Colorado. The project is sponsored by U.S. Forest Service,
Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation. For more
information about the interns, please visit their blog at:
http://environmentfortheamericas.wordpress.com/ If you know
any Latino youth ages 18-25 who would be interested in a 6-month
internship, please contact Natasha Kerr at
continues into fall 2013, and we anticipate the completion of
over 570 events throughout the Western Hemisphere --
many of them in Wisconsin thanks to the Bird City program.
Highlights from the spring events include: new partnerships with
Birds & Beans, Get to Know, Ornilux Bird Friendly Glass, Nature
Canada, and BirdNotes; over 20 organizations received
“mini-grants” to host IMBD programs and events; the event was
widely promoted via social media; and of course, youth and
adults had the opportunity to learn about birds and ways to
conserve them as participation in such events grows.
EFTA has begun to develop the 2014 theme, which will focus on
the ecosystem services provided by birds. Stay tuned for
information on the 2014 artist and the theme.
3rd Annual Eastern Wisconsin MartinFest Is July 13
The Eastern Wisconsin Purple Martin Association will be hosting
MartinFest 2013 on Saturday, July 13, starting at 3 p.m. at
N6018 Highway 32 in
This is open to anyone and is a great opportunity to meet other
Purple Martin enthusiasts, talk to other landlords, and observe
Purple Martins at an active colony.
Please bring a side dish to pass; organizers will provide a
party sub, beverages and dessert. Extra chairs are provided but
usually fill up fast, so if you can please bring a lawn
chair. Those attending will be eligible to win door prizes.
RSVP on or before June 30 to Greg or Deb Zimmermann at
address is being protected from spambots and you will need
Record number of bald eagle nests found
State biologists take to the skies again this month to count how
many young bald eagles hatched this spring, buoyed by April
aerial survey results suggesting a record number of occupied
nests in a record number of counties.
“We’re really close to having eagles nesting in all Wisconsin
counties,” says Jim Woodford, the Department of Natural
Resources conservation biologist coordinating the survey this
year. “We’re well beyond what we would have thought possible in
Earlier this spring, an eagle nest was documented for the first
time in Racine County, a homeowner has reported one near the
Racine-Kenosha county line, and reports are coming in of adult
eagles in Walworth County.
Last year, new breeding territories were documented throughout
the state and, in particular, in northwest and north central
Wisconsin and along the Mississippi River in southern Wisconsin,
according to the Wisconsin
Bald Eagle and Osprey Surveys 2012 [PDF].
A startled eaglet was captured on film by a helmet cam
worn by a DNR biologist who climbed the tree to retrieve
the bird to collect a blood sample.
Preliminary results from the April aerial surveys suggest that
the number of breeding pairs will climb past the record set in
2012 of 1,337 breeding pairs, Woodford says. That 2012 total was
up 50 pairs from 2011, and is a far cry from the 108 breeding
pairs documented in 1973, when the first survey was done,
“What we’re seeing is that eagles are much more tolerant than
they were,” he says. “Their ability to acclimate to humans and
our activities has increased.”
That increased tolerance and milder winter temperatures means
more eagles are living in Wisconsin year-round. “If there is
open water year-round, the eagles will stay here,” he says. The
cold spring doesn’t appear to have affected nesting.
bald eagle has
enjoyed a remarkable recovery in Wisconsin and nationwide since
being placed on the state and federal endangered species lists
in the 1970s. Wisconsin played an important role in that
recovery and were removed from the state's endangered list in
1997 and from the federal list in 2007, although the bird and
their nests remain protected under the federal Bald and Golden
Eagle Protection Act. That law prohibits the killing,
possession, sale or import of any bald or golden eagle, alive or
dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by
Wisconsin’s aerial surveys, which started in March and run
through June, are part of the nation’s longest running statewide
bald eagle survey. This year is the 41st the survey has been
conducted, and they’ve been a foundation of Wisconsin’s
successful program to restore bald eagles to the sky, Woodford
Wisconsin's eagle recovery efforts took flight in the 1960s when
volunteer Chuck Sindelar of Waukesha started spending summers
riding shotgun in a small plane, peering into eagle nests.
Sindelar paid for the contract pilot out of his own pocketbook
so he could check out the reports of eagle activity reported by
citizens. In later years, Dave Evans, a Duluth volunteer, and
Ron Eckstein, a DNR biologist, would follow Sindelar's aerial
surveys by climbing the trees where Sindelar found active nests.
Together, the three banded more than 3,000 eaglets, yielding
information to help better understand Wisconsin eagles and how
to manage their habitat.
pilots now fly the surveys, which are typically done twice a
year with state endangered resources and wildlife management
staff doing the counting. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service staff
survey nests by watercraft within the Upper Mississippi National
Wildlife & Fish Refuge.
staff use the information from the aerial surveys to help
protect and manage eagle nesting territories. Throughout the
state, DNR staff are contacted by public property managers and
private landowners and make recommendations to protect eagle
nests from disturbance. On public and private properties, all
nests are fully protected and habitat is managed to promote tall
snags and large, super canopy white pines.
Donations can be made to the Adopt an Eagle nest fund to help
support the aerial surveys, rescue and rehabilitate sick,
injured or orphaned eagles, and work with landowners to protect
and manage nest trees and winter roost sites. Go to dnr.wi.gov
and search for “Adopt
Picnicking with the Peregrines
Hoy Audubon Field Trip: Tuesdays, June 12 & 19, noon to 1 p.m.
Racine County Courthouse, 730 Wisconsin Ave., Racine.
Back by popular demand. Bring lunch and enjoy watching the
young, newly-fledged Peregrine Falcons and their parents. The
Racine County Courthouse, at 730 Wisconsin Avenue, hosts the
most visible Peregrine Falcons in the state! Hoy will have
spotting scopes set up near the picnic table on the southwest
lawn. Binoculars - bring ‘em if you’ve got ‘em!
These falcons are formidable hunters that prey on other birds
(and bats) in mid-flight. Peregrines hunt from above and, after
sighting their prey, drop into a steep, swift dive that can top
200 miles an hour.
Peregrine Falcons are among the world's most common birds of
prey and live on all continents except Antarctica. They prefer
wide-open spaces, and thrive near coasts where shorebirds are
common, but they can be found everywhere from tundra to deserts.
Peregrine Falcons have nested successfully on the Racine
Courthouse and Pleasant Prairie Power Plant for many years. You
may view the Peregrine families in person or keep tabs on their
eggs normally hatch about May 5.
New DNR Birding and Bird Conservation
Check this out:
Andy Paulios, coordinator of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation
Initiative and a DNR staffer in the Bureau of Wildlife
Management of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, has
the release of a birding and bird conservation website. Lots of
great info on where to find birds, how to report birds and
information on how to get involved with conservation. Click
through to the site and save it to your bookmarks! He'd
appreciate any and all feedback as we ramp up to the peak
"birding" season. Office Phone: 608-264-6137; Work Cell:
Opportunities for Endangered Species
The Wisconsin Kirtland's Warbler Project is seeking two
qualified nest monitors for the 2013 breeding season. These
positions will be based at Wisconsin’s main breeding site in
central Wisconsin. One position will begin in early to mid
May, will not require travel outside of Adams County, and will
continue until end of July. The other position will begin
around June 1, will require occasional travel to sites in
central and northern Wisconsin, and will end in early to mid
Nest monitor duties include the following: 1) observe and
document adult territorial, courtship, and nesting behaviors of
the endangered Kirtland's warbler; 2) record nest phenology and
results; 3) keep daily log of activities at assigned breeding
site(s); 3) participate with mist netting and banding
activities; 4) assist with cowbird trapping; 5) assist with
and/or lead guided tours of site; 6) produce interim and final
reports; 7) conduct other project related duties as assigned.
In addition, second nest monitor will survey for Kirtland's
warblers at assigned sites in Wisconsin.
Candidates must have at least a bachelor's degree in wildlife
biology, conservation, natural resources or related field, must
be able to identify Wisconsin's shrub land birds by sight and
sound, and must be experienced in use of GPS units. Previous
experience with Kirtland's warblers is not necessary. Preference
will be given to those with previous forest songbird nest
monitoring experience. Must have own transportation. Housing
will be provided in addition to pay. If interested, send a
resume and cover letter to Kim Grveles of the Wisconsin Dept. of
Natural Resources at
firstname.lastname@example.org by March 20, 2013. For more
information, contact Kim at the email above (phone:
Grants awarded to help Wisconsin municipalities deal with
Seven Wisconsin municipalities have been
awarded an Urban Wildlife
Damage Abatement and Control grant to aid them in development
and implementation of long-term management solutions for dealing
with problems caused by white-tailed deer or Canada geese.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
provides 50% matching reimbursement grants up to a maximum of $5,000
to communities to help them manage wildlife conflicts. All of
the fiscal 2013 grant funds, totaling $24,700, have been awarded.
Grant recipients and amounts awarded include:
City Of Brookfield, $5,000 for annual
aerial deer survey to monitor wildlife populations and establish
population estimates. Deer population reduction by sharpshooting
and trapping operations.
Village Of Elm Grove, Waukesha County,
$487 to monitor deer and Canada geese populations and establish
population estimates. Remove deer by use of sharpshooters.
Remove resident Canada geese by approved methods and in
compliance with US Fish & Wildlife permit. Process, distribute
or dispose of geese and deer to a charitable organization.
Milwaukee County Parks, $5,000 to monitor
deer populations and establish population estimates. Remove deer
using sharpshooters. Process deer and distribute to local food
City Of Muskego, $2,500 to remove
resident Canada geese. Perform required health and tissue
sampling. Process, distribute or dispose of geese to a
City Of Wisconsin Rapids, $1,713 to
implement managed deer hunts; process and distribute to
City Of Oshkosh, $5,000 to monitor and
establish deer population estimates. Remove deer using
sharpshooters. Remove resident Canada geese.
City Of Sheboygan, $5,000 to develop an
urban wildlife (deer) population control plan. Monitor deer
populations and establish population estimates. Remove deer
In order to be eligible for grant
consideration, an applicant must be an urban area pursuant to s.
86.196(1)(c), Wis. Stats. More grant information and a summary of
the 2013 grant awards can be found on the
Urban Wildlife Damage
Abatement and Control page of the DNR website under "Related
INFORMATION: on grant awards, contact Kari Beetham, DNR Bureau of
Community Financial Assistance, 608- 264-9207; on technical
assistance related to urban areas, wildlife plans, or urban
wildlife, contact Dan Hirchert, wildlife damage biologist,
Crossbills, Owls Top Statewide Birding Report
stories are dominating the birding headlines in the Wisconsin this
week. First, in central and southern Wisconsin, white-winged and red
crossbills are visiting backyard bird feeders with unusually high
frequency. Dozens of excited birders have reported these boreal
finches at their sunflower and thistle seed feeders recently,
suggesting the birds’ usual supply of spruce, pine, and other cone
seeds has become scarce. Readers hosting crossbills at their feeders
in the past month are encouraged to report their sightings to Ryan
for a statewide tally. To the north, boreal owls are causing a stir
across northeast Minnesota, with dozens of individuals being seen in
broad daylight as they extend their hunting activity to survive
winter’s snowy cold. Wisconsin has at least three records of this
small, rarely seen owl this year, and birders in northern Wisconsin
should continue to be on the lookout. Listening for mobbing,
scolding chickadees is the best way to find roosting boreals. Slowly
driving roads through suitable conifer-laden habitat may produce an
active hunting owl. In some cases, they also hunt rodents under
backyard bird feeders, especially near dusk. In other birding news,
northern hawk owls continue in Door and Douglas counties and up to
14 short-eared owls have been reported from Bong Recreation Area in
Kenosha County. As one of our earliest breeding species, some great
horned owls have likely begun nesting activities in the south.
Eagles are being seen in good numbers at traditional wintering areas
along the Mississippi and Lower Wisconsin River. Birders are also
buzzing over the upcoming Great Backyard Bird Count to be held
across the continent from Feb 15-18 (www.birdsource.org/gbbc exit
DNR) is an easy way for bird enthusiasts of all skill and age levels
to contribute to bird monitoring. As always, please contribute your
daily bird sightings to Wisconsin eBird at www.ebird.org/wi(exit
DNR) to help us better track bird populations.
Brady, DNR Bureau of Wildlife Management research scientist, Ashland
Birds and Urban Forestry Program Feb. 7
Matt Koepnick, City Forester for the City of Racine, will discuss
the various benefits that birds derive from specific tree species
and how and why tree species are selected to plant in parks and
along streets. Hoy Audubon Society meeting, Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7
p.m. Kenosha Northside Library, 1500 27th Avenue, Kenosha, WI. Hoy
Audubon worked with both Racine and Kenosha to help achieve their
Bird City recognition.
Glass and migrant birds: a progress report
Glass-and-glare concerns have been aired in past issues of the
Birding Community E-bulletin, most recently in May with discussion
of two crucial court cases in Ontario, both concerned with making
the skies safer for migrant birds:
The first of these two Toronto-area court cases was decided in
mid-November and presents a mixed message for safe skies. On Nov.
14, 2012, Justice of the Peace William Turtle dismissed three
charges against the Consilium Place/Menkes property where an
estimated 800+ birds were killed in crashes between 2008 and 2009.
This cluster of high-rise towers has long been considered Toronto's
deadliest building complex for killing migrating birds.
Turtle recognized that birds had been killed at the location, but he
held that the property owners could not be held responsible for the
natural light discharge and their reflection at the buildings. In
the meantime, the owners – sold by Menkes to Kevric Real Estate
Corporation in July -- have spent thousands of dollars retrofitting
the towers with corrective film to protect the birds.
This is core to the mixed message. Working with Toronto-based Fatal
Light Awareness Program (FLAP), Consilium Place retrofitted towers
with an outer-layer of film intending to steer birds away from the
building. The company also established "bird action stations" to
assist FLAP volunteers to collect and tag bird victims, and obtained
a federal permit to do so on site, all in accordance with Turtle's
"We're disappointed by the decision," said Albert Koehl, lawyer for
Ecojustice, one of the two environmental groups involved with the
case. "However, the irony is that the building has now been
retrofitted with window film. The number of collisions is
dramatically down, so there are obviously solutions that do work."
Michael Mesure, FLAP's executive director, has reported that the
bird collisions at this property have dropped to about 200 in 2012.
Mesure said that the owner's work, as well as the City of Toronto's
mandatory bird-friendly building guidelines, which cover projects
started after 2010, are a "step in the right direction." But more
needs to be done to protect the birds.
The second crucial case involves the Yonge Corporate Center, where
about 2,000 dead birds have been collected between 2000 and 2010,
and 800 between March and November 2010 alone. Judge Melvin Green
should present his delayed judgment in this case in early February.
Here also, the most deadly building in the center has recently been
retrofitted with the same film as an experiment. Again, there have
been favorable results.
According to FLAP at least one million birds are annually killed in
building/glass/reflection collisions in Toronto, and this figure
could conceivably be much higher. According to FLAP's Mesure,
legislative action is what is really needed. "We desperately need to
find a way to make this included in the environmental law."
You can access all the past E-bulletins on the National Wildlife
Refuge Association (NWRA) website:
“Birds in the City” Project
Canada, in partnership with the Royal Ontario Museum and Toronto
Ornithological Club, is launching an exciting new program focused on
connecting Toronto residents with nature through bird conservation,
by engaging urban volunteers in bird monitoring projects.
Thanks to funding from the Ontario Trillium
Foundation, hired Project Coordinator Emily Rondel has been hired
and will work to increase the number of volunteers in Toronto, raise
community awareness, build partnerships, and engage youth in bird
conservation. Emily will be recruiting new volunteers of all skill
levels to programs such as
Ontario SwiftWatch, and the
BSC will also run public education programs for those looking to
hone their bird identification skills, find out how they can
help monitor the city’s birds, or meet other bird enthusiasts in
Toronto! All participants will help to understand the city’s
habitats and the great variety of breeding, migrating, and
wintering birds they support. For more information, please email
Purple Martin Lakefront Conservation Initiative
Here is a story from one of our Bird City communities that is
targeting a species that is a special focus of BCW because of its
decline as well as its importance to our urban communities:
Several houses that the Hoy Audubon chapter installed in Racine were
filled with colonies of Purple Martins this summer.
The two-house colony at the Racine Water Department was filled to
capacity and fledged 79 Martins this summer! A third house will be
added for the 2013 season. The lone house at the Coast Guard Station
fledged 33 Martins. There is no room on that site for expansion, but
the young birds are expected to find their way north one block to
the Water Department. The house at Gateway (off 11th Street) has
finally become a functioning colony after four years. Five pairs of
birds nested, and 14 Martins fledged from that location. The lone
house at North Bay again did not attract Martins and may be
relocated next year. The lone house at Pringle Nature Center in
Kenosha also did not attract Martins; new strategies will be tried
next year. The two re-erected houses at Kenosha’s Water Department
had House Sparrow issues. Only a few pairs of Martins managed to
fledge 8 birds.
Overall, a total of 134 new Purple Martins are now winging their way
south to the Eastern Peruvian Andes, thanks to Hoy Audubon’s
Reducing pesticide use at home
Birds and people thrive better in areas that see reduced pesticide
use. So it was heartening to read about these developments:
As the fall herbicide season approaches, Whitefish Bay officials
will leave Klode, Old School House and Cahill Square parks
untouched, while turning to the public for future guidance on other
areas in the village. In a discussion of the village turf management
plan and use of herbicides and pesticides on Monday, the Village
Board decided the best course of action would be to gather a group
to discuss the options, reach a consensus and make a recommendation
to village and school officials on policy changes. To read more:
And a new study on residential landscape management found that
efforts aimed at educating homeowners about the environmental
impacts of their lawn care choices are likely to have more success
if they are directed at neighborhood groups rather than individuals.
It also showed that alternatives are easy to adopt, affordable, and
can produce the characteristics of lawns that homeowners seek. For
Swift Night Out! in Lake Geneva
will hold it's first annual Swift Night Out!
at 6 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 20 at the Geneva Lake Museum. Come
witness an amazing natural event occurring in this Bird City
here to open a brochure on this event.
Click here to link to Lake
Geneva Bird City page
American Family HQ Designated “Bird-Safe”
Rehabilitation Center at the Wisconsin Humane Society is proud to
announce that the American Family Insurance national headquarters in
Madison has been designated as an official “WIngs BirdSafe” building
as part of the WHS Wisconsin Night Guardians for Songbirds (WIngs)
program. Read more at
GROSBEAKS GALORE: A Birds on Your
Representatives of the Wisconsin
Stopover Initiative, including partners within the Endangered
Resources division of the Wisconsin DNR, the Western Great Lakes
Bird and Bat Observatory and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, will be hosting a one-day workshop entitled "Grosbeaks
Galore!" on Saturday, Oct. 13. The morning session
and lunch will take place at the Country Inn and Suites, 350E Seven
Hills Rd, Port Washington. Afternoon field tours and exhibits will
be held at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve just north of Port
how to use native plants to attract and SUSTAIN migratory songbirds
and the insects they feed on.
Fee is only $15, and includes lunch and break
food, a list of excellent speakers, both indoor and outdoor
activities, and door prizes.
Call or write Kim Grveles at the Wisconsin DNR
to register: Phone: 608-264-8594 E-mail:
•Bill Volkert, Naturalist and
Wildlife Educator – (Keynote Speaker) – Bill was the naturalist for
the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at Horicon Marsh for
27 years and has traveled widely in search of the world’s birds and
the wild places they inhabit
•Kim Grveles – coordinator of
the Wisconsin Stopover Initiative and ornithologist with the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
•Bill Mueller & Scott Diehl -
Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory and Wisconsin Humane
Society - Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
•Vicki Piaskowski - formerly
of Birds Without Borders, Zoological Society of Milwaukee
•Dr. Noel Cutright – Legendary
Wisconsin Ornithologist with the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat
There also will be activities both indoors and outdoors, native
plant vendors and restoration consultants, displays and
presentations on the Bird City Wisconsin program, invasive plants
and how to deal with them on your land, the plants and insects on
which migratory birds depend, and guided walks around Forest Beach
Migratory Preserve, which is being developed specifically for
migratory songbirds. Come look at our preserve, learn what we are
doing, and how you can attract many more bird species to your land
or yard and provide habitat for them!
Introducing the Great Lakes Phragmites
Photo: Jeremiah Kennedy
The establishment and rapid spread of invasive Phragmites
across the Great Lakes poses many challenges for habitat managers,
private landowners, researchers, and others. The Great Lakes
Commission is partnering with the USGS – Great Lakes Science Center
and Ducks Unlimited to develop a comprehensive resource dedicated to
Phragmites management and research throughout the Great Lakes
basin. The Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative will engage
the natural resource community, provide resources and tools to
improve collaboration, and lead to more coordinated, efficient, and
strategic approaches to Phragmites management and
Bird Studies Canada volunteers collect data on this invasive
species as part of the
Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program. BSC’s Aquatic Surveys
Biologist Doug Tozer will participate and provide input as the
Collaborative implements this project.
The initiative will be launched with a webinar on July 19. Please
Great Lakes Commission website for more information.
Sightings needed of Common Nighthawks
Here is an excellent monitoring activity for a Bird City community
July. Nighthawks are thought to be declining based on anecdotal
limited survey information. Because existing bird monitoring
programs did not adequately monitor nighthawk populations, a
nocturnal survey was begun recently but as currently designed it
appears to be inadequate for nighthawk monitoring.
To obtain some background information on nighthawk presence during
season in Wisconsin so that a better monitoring protocol can be
designed, we would like to hear where nighthawks are being
seen/heard this summer, especially in urban and suburban locations.
The Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory is gathering urban
and suburban sighting locations for Common Nighthawks from now until
the end of
We would also like to hear about locations where they are not being
seen. For example, if you drive through Ripon and Berlin and hear
birds in both, let us
know. But we would also like to know that none were found in
Wautoma, Plainfield, and Neshkoro. For larger cities, we would like
to know the locations within the city.
So, if you hear nighthawks booming, see nighthawks diving, or hear
peenting their nasal call after dark this summer (from now through
the end of
July), please make note of the date/time and location of your
sighting and let
us know! Booming is a low sound made with wings that doesn't carry
far, but if you see a nighthawk making a spectacular nosedive, it's
likely booming as well;
booming & diving can both be indicators of courtship or nesting.
your nighthawk information to either Noel Cutright at
email@example.com or Bill
Chimney Swift Working Group - Wisconsin
The WI Chimney Swift Working Group had its first meeting, with
20+state agency, NGO, county, conservation organization, and other
partners from around the state in March of this year. Its second
meeting is planned for mid-July; if you represent a government unit,
environmental organization, or bird club and would like to be
involved, please contact William P. Mueller
Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
Many activities will be planned around the state this year focusing
on swifts. For examples from nearby states (MN is very active) see
info at these links:
Widespread Decline in Shorebird
Noel Cutright, founder of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat
Observatory in Belgium, Wis., offers this follow
up to comments from across Wisconsin on the scarcity of shorebirds
during this spring's migration:
A recent journal article that examined population trends of
shorebirds in southern Ontario, 1974-2009, isn't good news.
Data from a volunteer-based survey at stopover sites throughout
Ontario were used. Of 19 taxa for which trends were estimated, 17
appeared to be declining in abundance. Only American Golden- and
Semipalmated Plover showed a positive trend. Recognized is the poor
precision, and only 4 declines were significant (yellowlegs spp.,
Red Knot, dowitcher spp. and Wilson's Snipe). Total numbers of
shorebirds declined by 4% annually, resulting in an estimated
decrease in abundance of greater than 75% over the 35 years of
observation. Rate of decline also appears to be increasing for some.
The authors also recognize that relating these declines in abundance
at the surveyed sites to population declines is complicated by
several potential sources of survey bias. They conclude, "However,
given that these results are consistent with those of other
migration surveys as well as those on the breeding and the wintering
ground, the most parsimonious explanation remains a widespread
decline in shorebird populations."
The article appeared in Waterbirds 35:15-24, 2012.
issue of the Eastern Wisconsin Purple Martin Association
newsletter is available by
Four men and a Bird-a-thon
Four veteran bird-watchers tuned out the world of politics for about
24 hours to watch and listen for as many different bird species as
they could find. Chuck Quirmbach of Wisconsin Public Radio reports
the adventure was part of a series of fundraisers called the Great
Wisconsin Bird-a-thon. Check out this 3:36 audio clip from 5/18/12
International testimonial for Bird Fest
and Bird City
The organizers of the Oshkosh Bird Fest, which celebrates
International Migratory Bird Day and Oshkosh's status as a Bird City
Wisconsin, saw their event attract a wider audience on May 5, with
numerous visitors from outside Oshkosh. Even beyond the Fox Valley
- Calumet County, Waukesha, and Minnesota were all cited by Oshkosh
Bird Club member Bettie Harriman. "Others in our planning group
commented on how many non-Oshkosh attendees there were. Maybe we
have a reach beyond the actual event," Bettie noted.
Winnebago Audubon's Janet Wissink shared this email from a gentleman
from Berlin, Germany, who attended the event:
I was delighted when I discovered
this activity. So I am here to
congratulate you and all the people who are supporting the idea.
This so much more practised
environmental care than many so-called green ideas; besides I love
birds. My mom is alway telling how simple it is to help native
planting native plants and giving our birds some refuge with
providing shrubs and so on. To make a Bird Fest to promote the idea
behind it is
very nice; I read the web pages about Bird City too.
In a big city like Berlin it seems there's hardly a moment when
think about their own free living animals which are with us all the
and give us so much. Again my best wishes to Oshkosh Bird Fest and Bird City Oshkosh.
With best regards
I visited Oshkosh in the 1990s quite often, because of the Air Show,
along with much traveling through Wisconsin; it's a beautiful state.
Early Morning Bird Walk at Old World
Early Morning Bird Walk at Old World Wisconsin
On Saturday, May 5, Old World Wisconsin will hold an Early Morning
Bird Walk from 6 to 9 a.m. Naturalists will lead small groups of
bird watchers on site trails in search of migratory birds who make
Wisconsin their home this time of year. Enjoy the rare opportunity
to experience Old World Wisconsin before the museum opens. This
event is also great for photographers seeking pictures of rural
landscapes in the soft morning light.
After the walk, there will be a continental breakfast in the
historic Clausing Barn restaurant. Leslie Kiehl, education
coordinator from the Wildlife in Need Center, and raptor ambassadors
Grace the Kestrel and Dakota the Owl will be on hand. Dakota has
educated 80,000 people in his 11 years at the center.
The Bird Walk is hosted by Old World Foundation, a private nonprofit
organization that funds special museum projects. Tickets are $15 per
person or $10 for Foundation members. Reservations are required.
Call (262) 594-2922 for information or reservations, or visit
Initiative Will Benefit 10-State Effort to
Save Declining Songbird
Golden-winged Warbler by Laura Erickson
“Working Lands For Wildlife” (WLW)
project announced by the Departments of the Interior and
Agriculture will provide substantial benefits to birds and other
wildlife, but will be especially beneficial to the imperiled
The WLW project will
provide a huge boost for a Golden-winged Warbler conservation effort
in the eastern U.S. involving dozens of organizations across ten
states. The effort is being facilitated by the Appalachian Mountains
Joint Venture (AMJV), and American Bird Conservancy (ABC). Partners
include federal and state agencies, universities and not-for-profit
conservation organizations. The Golden-winged Warbler effort is
being carried out in the species’ Appalachian breeding range of
Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, West
Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.
Warbler is one of the most seriously threatened, non-federally
listed species in eastern North America. Everyone familiar with its
plight should be excited about the WLW project and the opportunity
it provides to better engage private landowners in the conservation
effort. If we are going to have this bird around for future
generations, we’re going to need both public and private
collaboration,” said Brian Smith, AMJV Coordinator and a wildlife
biologist with ABC.
"The additional funding
from the WLW project will provide for increased on-the-ground
habitat restoration and conservation for the Golden-winged Warbler.
These efforts will be complemented by technical expertise that AMJV
partners will provide through monitoring the species’ response to
habitat work, and the vital educational component designed to
improve understanding of the importance of young forests and
scrubby, open habitat to this bird,” Smith said.
In addition to benefits
to the Golden-winged Warbler, the WLW will also boost conservation
efforts for the Greater Sage-grouse, Lesser Prairie-chicken, and
Southwestern Willow Flycatcher in the western and central U.S., as
well as three non-bird species currently listed or proposed for
listing under the Endangered Species Act: the New England cottontail
rabbit, bog turtle, and gopher tortoise.
This WLW project follows
a sage-grouse initiative in the West that began nearly two years
ago. The initiative is being delivered by the Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) through conservation programs in the
Farm Bill, with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, state fish and wildlife
agencies, and other partners.
Mountains and the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes region are the
population strongholds for Golden-winged Warbler; however the
species has undergone significant population declines throughout the
greater Appalachian region due to loss, degradation, and
modification of its preferred young forest habitat. Hybridization
with the closely-related Blue-winged Warbler, nest parasitism by
Brown-headed Cowbirds, and deforestation on its wintering grounds in
Central and South America are also factors in this species’ decline.
ABC has made the Golden-winged Warbler a major focus of its
conservation work, and is coordinating conservation activities in
both the US and in wintering ground sites in Central and South
ABC is working to boost
Golden-winged populations in a number of ways, including
participation in the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative
- a coalition of federal and local agencies, citizens, and other
groups dedicated to restoring forests on reclaimed mine sites in the
eastern United States. These restored forests can provide
much-needed habitat for the Golden-winged Warbler and other early-successional
species such as the American Woodcock. Also, ABC works closely with
the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Golden-winged
Warbler Working Group to develop and deliver on-the-ground projects
throughout the species’ range.
ABC is also working with
partners in Latin America to restore essential wintering habitat for
the Golden-winged Warbler through cooperative efforts with local
communities, coffee growers, and ranchers that promote bird-friendly
practices such as silvipasture (the practice of combining forestry
and grazing of domesticated animals in a mutually beneficial way)
and shade-grown coffee. ABC is also planting thousands of trees to
restore native wintering habitat for the Golden-winged Warbler and
other neotropical migrants.
On June 2, 2011, FWS
announced that listing the Golden-winged Warbler under the
Endangered Species Act may be warranted, and the Service is now
initiating a full review of the species. In addition, many state
fish and wildlife agencies within the Appalachian region have listed
this bird as a species in greatest need of conservation within their
'Lights Out' program is for the birds
Spring bird migration has started. In the next
few weeks, millions, perhaps billions, of birds will be moving north
along migratory corridors.
Click Logo right for more information
One of their biggest obstacles are well-lighted city skylines.
Chicago, New York and other major cities are turning off lights to
protect the birds – and saving money in the process. Lights Out
Winston-Salem is encouraging building owners and managers to do the
Collisions with building glass account for as many as a billion dead
birds each year. Most
these are migratory birds that fly to their northern breeding
grounds in the spring and return south in the fall. Among
human-related causes of bird fatalities, building collisions are
exceeded only by loss of habitat.
Prairie Chicken Festival and Gala
Here is a link to the winter/spring edition of
the Central Wisconsin Grassland Conservation Area Partnership
newsletter. It has complete information on the 2012 Central
Wisconsin Prairie Chicken Festival later this month, including the
Grassland Gala on April 13.
Click here to link.
Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge Open
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has released for public
review and comment an Environment Assessment (EA) for the possible
establishment of a national wildlife refuge in two
counties along the Wisconsin and Illinois border between Milwaukee
The EA presents four alternatives designed to benefit specific
wildlife and plant habitats within the original study area. The
boundaries were formulated based on the watersheds, existing
conservation areas, habitat requirements of desired wildlife
species, public roads, and comments
received from the public. The preferred alternative identified by
the planning team would link and
expand upon existing conservation areas to benefit migratory birds,
endangered species, and provide for wildlife-dependent recreation.
Land conservation methods for core areas, up to
11,200 acres in total, would include fee purchase from willing
sellers, conservation easements,
and private initiatives aimed at creating contiguous natural
The agency will be hosting two open house events to request input
from the public. The public is invited to attend these open house
events to talk with Service planning staff and submit
comments on the EA.
Birding trip by train into Tiffany
The Lower Chippewa River Alliance is
sponsoring a birding trip by train into the Tiffany Wildlife Area.
The trip is open to the public and is scheduled for Saturday, May
12, from 7 a.m. to noon, More than 70 different species of birds
have been observed on previous trips.
Steve Betchkal, chief photographer for WQOW-TV in Eau Claire, will
be leading the trip. Betchkal is an award winning videographer, has
published many articles on birds, and has compiled a life birding
list of almost 600 species from 42 states. He is also the author of
“All of This and Robins Too: A Guide to the 50 or So Best Places to
Find Birds in Wisconsin”.
The trip is in cooperation with the Chippewa Valley Motor Car
Association. This event is a fund raiser for the Natural Resources
Foundation of Wisconsin’s endowment fund for management of the Lower
People interested in participating can send a check made out to LCRA
for $25 per adult. Children 6-17 years old are $15 and children
under 6 are free. Checks can be mailed to LCRA, PO Box 74, Durand,
WI. 54736. Include name, address, telephone number and email
address. Seats are limited to the first 60 people. Most birding will
be along the railroad grade but several short hikes will be
conducted away from the train. People should wear appropriate field
clothes for the weather. Contact Dave Linderud at 715-672-8595 for
Here's some research
that underpins everything Bird City Wisconsin has been saying about
making our communities healthy for birds...and people.
That blue jay in your backyard could add
$32,000 to your asking price. An innovative study of home sales in
Lubbock, Texas, suggests that planners can use relatively simple
bird counts to analyze the ecological and economic values of urban
landscapes. And it finds that even a single extra species can help
pinpoint relatively rich ecosystems.
This article was shared during a Town of
Grafton Open Space Commission meeting. The commission has been
working for about 10 years to preserve the environment and more
recently to enhance it by adding native woody species to the public
trail systems. The town has also been designated a "Bird City."
Research has shown that that native plant species are very
attractive to native birds.
For more information, click logo below
All kinds of records fell in this year's Great
Backyard Bird Count. Thanks to the participation of so many of our
members, fans, and friends, we topped 100,000 checklists for the
first time ever! Other stunners included more Snowy Owls, Common
Redpolls, and Tree Swallows than ever before reported, and
continuing expansion by Eurasian Collared-Doves and Great-tailed
Grackles. (Click image to link)
Explore the GBBC Top Ten Lists @
Mapping invasives in Southeast Wisconsin
Nearly 150 volunteers collaborated to map four non-native invasive
plant species in eight southeastern Wisconsin counties last summer,
and the data keeps pouring in.
Eight County Leaders were selected to recruit mapping
teams of two for each township in the SEWISC region. Team
members received training, data sheets and maps which were
provided by County GIS Departments and the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee American Geographic Society Library. The
volunteers collectively surveyed more than 11,000 miles of
roadways, devoting over 1,200 hours to the project.
Read all the details about this and
other SEWISC efforts in its Spring 2012 newsletter
Purple Martins on the way back here
The 2012 Purple Martin season is well underway
as birds are streaming into the United States from South America to
head to their summer nesting sites.
Wisconsinites can expect to see the first
purple martins of the season starting around April 1st, with
increasing numbers of new arrivals as the month progresses.
Now would be a good time to start getting
things ready at your site as we anxiously await their return. It's a
lot less stressful having everything set up and ready to go than it
is to wait until the last minute.
Read more in Purple Martin Chatter, a
Publication of the Eastern Wisconsin Purple Martin Association, by
Attracting Birds in Winter
In many parts of
North America, colder temperatures, falling snow, and freezing lakes
and rivers make it harder for birds to survive. Here are a few tips
from the National Audubon Society to make life a bit easier for them
and to attract them to your yard so you can count them when the
Great Backyard Bird Count rolls around Feb. 17-20!
your feeders early. Many people only start feeding birds
once winter arrives, but it can take weeks for birds to find your
feeders. Put them out sooner or keep them filled year-round.
-- Offer a bird buffet. Different species of birds
have different food preferences. Safflower or black oil sunflower
seeds appeal to the greatest variety of birds. Finches go for nyger
seed (thistle), and suet will lure in woodpeckers, wrens, and Blue
-- Install a hot tub. Not for you—for the birds!
Heated bird baths are a great way to attract birds in winter when
other water sources may be frozen. You can buy bird baths with
built-in heaters, or just add a waterproof heater to an existing
-- Give ‘em shelter. Help birds remain safe from
predators. You can buy or build bird houses or roost boxes, or
create a brush pile. Plant evergreens to give birds a place to rest.
Find more tips at
Audubon at Home and
All About Birds.
Purple Martin groups forms in Sheboygan
Eastern Wisconsin Purple Martin Association has
been organized, based in Sheboygan County.
mission is to preserve and restore the Purple Martin population
throughout eastern Wisconsin with an educational emphasis on
attracting, managing, and maintaining Purple Martin colonies for
current and future generations.
The Purple Martin
population has shown a steady decline in Wisconsin, and the goal is
to reverse that trend with a partnership between current and
potential landlords, and the Purple Martin Conservation Association,
a nationally-recognized organization.
do have specific requirements and knowing what those requirements
are can make a difference whether or not you are successful when
trying to attract and manage a colony.
The EWPMA will
meet at the Plymouth Intergenerational Center in Plymouth on
the third Thursday of every month from Feburary through July and
will conduct workshops led by experienced area landlords. If you
already host Purple Martins or are just starting out, the EWPMA
would like to encourage you to attend its meetings and to be a part
of this organization. For more information, contact Tom Rank firstname.lastname@example.org
association officers are:
President: Tom Rank
Vice President: Greg Zimmermann
Secretary: Nicki Schumacher
Treasurer: Joe Francis III
Board of Directors: Joel Schumacher, Ike Kumrow and Les Rhines
San Francisco Mayor Approves New Standards
for Bird-Safe Buildings
Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Golden Gate Audubon have hailed the
signing into law of new Standards for Bird Safe Buildings by San
Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. The signing follows the unanimous
approval of the bill by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
The Standards will greatly reduce
bird deaths and injuries resulting from collisions with buildings in
the city. They include sections on safer windows, night lighting,
and the construction of wind turbines in the urban environment.
“Protecting and helping birds is
not only the right thing to do, it is also good for the economy and
the future of our environment. Birds are invaluable as controllers
of crop insect pests, pollinators of plants, and seed distributors;
they also generate tremendous economic revenues through the pastimes
of bird feeding and birdwatching. We need to do what we can to
protect them,” said Eric Mar, the San Francisco Board of
Supervisors’ member who sponsored the legislation.
To read the entire story, go to
For more bird conservation news:
Sign up for ABC's RSS newsfeed at
Bird Conservation magazine at
ABC’s Facebook page at
YouTube Channel at
For additional information on any of these
topics please use the search feature on our website at
Buildings Using Bird-Friendly Design Now
Eligible for LEED Credit
American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation's leading bird
conservation organization, in cooperation with the
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and Bird-safe Glass
Foundation, have enabled architects, designers, developers, and
building owners pursuing LEED green building certification to earn
credit for incorporating design strategies that reduce bird
LEED (Leadership in Environment and Energy Design) green building
rating system is the preeminent program for the design,
construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings
"Building collision is among the leading causes of bird mortality
in the United States, so it is exciting to see the foundation being
laid to reduce the threats that buildings pose to avian populations.
We are delighted that, with the creation of this pilot credit,
architects across the country will now have the chance to be
recognized for making buildings truly green," said ABC Bird
Collisions Program Director Dr. Christine Sheppard.
"Incorporating design strategies that reduce the impact our built
environment has on wildlife is a logical extension of the philosophy
upon which we've built the LEED rating system for the past decade,"
said Brendan Owens, Vice President, LEED Technical Development,
USGBC. "The LEED Pilot Credit Library allows us to expand the range
of issues LEED addresses while staying true to our mission."
To read the entire story, go to
"Grosbeaks Galore" connects native plants to backyard birds
Are you interested in learning how to use
native plants to attract and sustain migratory songbirds and the
insects the feed on? Then here's an event for you.
The Wisconsin Stopover Initiative, including
partners within the DNR's Endangered Resources Division and the
Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory will host a one-day
workshop entitled Grosbeaks Galore on Saturday,
Oct. 8, at the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, just north of Port
Washington, in Ozaukee County.
The fee is only $5, and
includes lunch, excellent speakers and both indoor and outdoor
presentations and activities. Bird City Wisconsin is a supporter and
its coordinator will be on hand to recruit more communities to seek
recognition. Speakers and topics include:
Doug Tallamy - University of Delaware, author of "Bringing
Nature Home," keynote speaker: SAVING THE ECOSYSTEM-SUSTAINING
MATRIX OF INSECTS
Kim Grveles - Wisconsin DNR: Stopover ecology:
PROVIDING AN OASIS FOR BIRDS
Craig Thompson - Wisconsin DNR: Orioles to Ocelots:
THE WINTER HOMES OF "OUR"¯ BIRDS:
WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE TROPICS
Vicki Piaskowski - formerly of "Birds Without
Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras," Zoological Society of Milwaukee:
WHICH BIRDS TO EXPECT ON YOUR PROPERTY IN WISCONSIN
Mariette Nowak - author of "Birdscaping in the
Midwest"¯: WISCONSIN PLANTS THAT BIRDS USE: WHICH PLANTS TO CHOOSE
IN YOUR LOCATION
Bill Mueller and Scott Diehl - Western Great Lakes
Bird & Bat Observatory and Wisconsin Humane Society's Wildlife
Rehabilitation Center: ELIMINATE THREATS
TO BIRDS: HOW TO PREVENT WINDOW COLLISIONS AND ELIMINATE OTHER
Dr. Noel Cutright - Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat
Observatory: CONNECTING MIGRANT BIRDS WITH THE LANDSCAPE
In addition to these speakers, there will be
activities both indoors and outdoors, native plant vendors and
restoration consultants, displays and presentations on
the Bird City Wisconsin program, invasive plants and how to deal
with them on your land, water features for birds, a bird-banding
demonstration area, and guided
walks around Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, which is being
developed specifically for migratory songbirds. To register, call or
write Kim Grveles at the Wisconsin DNR
Chimney Swift Working Group
Because of growing interest and concern for the declining Chimney
Swift population in Wisconsin, the new
Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory
is proposing to spearhead the organization of a statewide
initiative. The first meeting would be this fall, possibly at the
Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.
Many Wisconsin Audubon chapters are already working on a variety of
swift projects, and there are interested individuals all over the
state. This would be a good way to coordinate on a statewide level.
It also has great potential for community action in areas that
already are recognized as Bird City communities and in places that
would like to use a Chimney Swift project to meet their initial or
High Flyter criteria.
If you're interested, contact Bill Mueller (email@example.com)
and have him add you to his contact list.
Alarming Declines Among Many Common Birds
What's happening to birds we know and love?
Audubon's unprecedented analysis of forty years of
citizen-science bird population data from our own
Christmas Bird Count plus the Breeding Bird Survey reveals alarming
declines for many of our most common and beloved birds.
Since 1967 the average population of the common birds
in steepest decline has fallen by 68 percent; some individual species
nose-dived as much as 80 percent. All 20 birds on the national
Common Birds in Decline list lost at least half their populations in
just four decades.
The findings point to growing impact from the many
environmental challenges our birds face, from habitat loss from
development, deforestration, and conversion of land to agriculture, to
climate change. Only citizen action can make a difference for the birds
and the state of our future.
To read more, click here:
William Mueller and Noel Cutright of the Western Great Lakes Bird and
Bat Observatory report that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is
beginning a process that may lead to listing the Golden-winged Warbler
as threatened or endangered.
USFWS reviews decline of Golden-winged Warbler
The Golden-winged Warbler is one of a group of species that could be
called the "poster children" of declining bird species. Due to changes
in habitat, forest succession, forest management policies, climate
change factors, and potentially from a list of hazards that these birds
encounter during migration, this species is at risk in Wisconsin and
elsewhere. The decline has
been noticeable for some time. The trend for the Breeding Bird Survey
in Wisconsin is an ANNUAL decrease of 2.6% between 1966 and 2009 and
2.9% between 1999 and 2009. It is considered a Species of
Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in Wisconsin. Find out more at this
From the USFWS: "The Service will undertake a more thorough status
review of the species to determine whether to propose adding the
species to the federal lists of
endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. Today's decision, known
as a 90-day finding, is based on scientific information about the
species provided in the petition asking the Service
to list the warbler. The petition finding is the first step in a
process that triggers a more thorough review of all the biological
Big Muskego Lake Bird update
Here are some great examples of the kinds of things
that can happen in a Bird City Wisconsin:
Muskego conservation coordinator Tom Zagar reports:
Checked out the eagle nest yesterday - there
are two young eagles on the nest. The photo is courtesy of John
The Ospreys are currently incubating 2
eggs – should hatch near the end of June. Check out webcam at:
Click our city logo to see our webcam
There are also about 45 American Pelicans on
Big Muskego. With water lower level also many shorebirds on exposed
mudflats. Also Forester’s Terns, Black Terns, Yellow-headed
Blackbirds, Northern Harriers….
Door Islands Bird Festival is June 3-5
There is still one
more birding festival yet this spring.
The fifth annual Door
Islands Bird Festival will be held June 3-5. The festival is based on
Washington Island and includes one or two other islands off the tip of
Door County. Sandy Peterson reports: "We bird from early till late in
various habitats and celebrate Saturday evening with a banquet and
speaker. This year it is Pat Manthey, Avian Specialist with Wisconsin
DNR, speaking about "Eagles All aAound Wisconsin" We tend to find about
130 species, including local, breeding and migrating birds."
For more information
Broad Coalition Contacts Salazar to Discuss Feral Cats
The Wildlife Society, along with more than 50 other
conservation organizations and scientific societies, has sent a letter
to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to call attention to the threat being
posed to wildlife by feral cats and to request a meeting to discuss
feral cat management. Noting the estimated 80 million feral cats and 40
million free-ranging cats in the U.S. that kill hundreds of millions of
birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians each year and the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service’s responsibilities under the Endangered
Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act to conserve threatened and
endangered species and migratory birds, the group underscored the
importance of developing a comprehensive policy to address the feral cat
problem. The letter strongly recommended the development of a
department-wide policy opposing Trap-Neuter-Release and the outdoor
feeding of cats as a feral cat management option, coupled with a plan of
action to address existing feral cat populations on lands managed by the
Nice turnout for Bird Day celebration
Noel Cutright, founder of the Western Great Lakes
Bird and Bat Observatory, reports that approximately 75 people turned
out on May 7 for the second annual celebration of International
Migratory Bird Day at the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.
The event was sponsored by the Ozaukee Washington
Land Trust, which owns the site; the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which
helps manage it; the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the
Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, and Ozaukee County, one of 20
inaugural Bird City Wisconsin communities, all of which are staging IMBD
Numerous good eyes and ears accounted for
identifying 96 species on the 141-acre property. Highlights included
Purple Martins landing within minutes on the re-installed martin house
that was used successfully last year after its inaugural installation at
the preserve and observatory site.
Three species were added to the property's species
list, which is edging closer to the 200 mark. The USFW's Joel Trick
flushed a wren from the grass and it landed on a brush pile where it
sang -- Marsh Wren. Tom Schaefer, at the first of two weekend Big Sits,
this one on the Lake Michigan beach, had a fly-by Willet and
Similar IMBD celebrations were also held May 7 in
Oshkosh and Evansville, which already have been awarded Bird City
recognition, and Elm Grove, which is applying.
For a list of events on May 14 and May 21:
For the Birds: AMBLE Along Lake Michigan
AMBLE along the lake this summer and fall and join a local community
that cares about lakeshore conditions and bird health.
Door County volunteers are needed to walk parts of the Lake Michigan
and Green Bay shoreline to monitor bird health and beach conditions as
part of a citizen science program. The U.S. Geological Survey AMBLE
(Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events) program is an
opportunity to sharpen birding skills, gain a deeper understanding of
avian botulism, Lake Michigan ecology, and develop a connection with
a wild place.
Participants can choose quarter-mile or longer sections of the nearly
300-mile Door County shoreline to monitor every 7 to 10 days, June
through November. Expertise in bird identification is not required to be
an AMBLE volunteer and free training will be offered in May. Information
covered during training includes disease ecology of avian botulism,
monitoring protocols, bird identification, and GPS use.
To participate in AMBLE, volunteers are asked to attend one of the
two free May training sessions (more sessions will be offered as
- Friday, May 20 from 1-4
p.m. at Newport State Park Visitor Center, Hotz Wilderness Room, 475
County Highway NP, Ellison Bay.
- Saturday, May 21 from 1-4
p.m. at Crossroads at Big Creek, Collins Learning Center, 2041
Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.
Those who complete training will receive an AMBLE
hat or t-shirt, and updates via the "AMBLE Ramble" newsletter.
AMBLE is sponsored by the
USGS National Wildlife Health Center with support from the
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the following local partners:
The Ridges Sanctuary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, The
Nature Conservancy, Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society, and
Crossroads at Big Creek.
For more information or to sign up for a training session, contact
Jenny Chipault (AMBLE@usgs.gov
or 608-270-2473) or view the
Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE website.
Bird City, Tree City collaborate for wildlife in Green Bay
The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary
is the site for an exciting new collaboration between Green Bay’s
Bird City Wisconsin organizers and Tree City USA, joining with FFA
students from Preble High School and other groups to demonstrate how to
make your yard “Bird Friendly.” The first phase of a three-year project
planting trees and shrubs that will provide food and shelter to resident
and migratory birds kicked off on April 28.
“Green Bay recently earned
a 2011 Bird City designation from Bird City Wisconsin and has been a
Tree City for a few years. We are really excited that all the partners
in Green Bay’s Bird City have come together to develop this living
demonstration on how to attract birds to your yard,” said Mike Reed,
curator at Bay Beach, 1660 East Shore Dr., Green Bay.
“I am thrilled by how
these remarkable partner’s have come together to demonstrate what anyone
can do to their yard to help our birds to survive,” added Nancy Nabak,
who chairs Green Bay’s Bird City Wisconsin effort.
Other partners include
Mark Freberg, City of Green Bay Forestry Department; Mike Gottfredsen,
Bay Area Bird Club; Kathy Lafebvre, East Shore Drive Neighborhood
Association; Paul Lindzmeyer, NEW Wilderness Alliance; Jennifer Politt,
Greater Green Bay Sustainable Task Force; Bonnie Vastag, Green Bay
chapter of Wild Ones; Mark Konlock, Green Bay Botanical Garden; Maureen
Meinhardt, Baird Creek Preservation Foundation; Tom Duffy, Bird City
Green Bay; Jodi Arndt, Brown County chapter of the Izaak Walton League.
Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, in his State of the
City address, on April 26, said: "The Bird City Wisconsin designation
will bring birdwatchers and economic activity to our area while
continuing to make the award-winning Bay beach Wildlife Sanctuary a
regional and national gem.”
Mornings are for the birds!
Join experienced naturalists on a guided hike
through the rolling wooded hills of the Old World Wisconsin museum at 6
a.m. Saturday May 7 at Eagle in Waukesha County. In past years,
participants have seen about 60 species. Then enjoy a tasty breakfast
and a talk by curator Marty Perkins about the museum’s new efforts to
attract bluebirds to its farms and fields. The fee is $15 for the
general public and $10/ for members of the Friends of OWW.
Click here for more information.
Bird walks resume May 28
at Harrington Beach SP
Harrington Beach State Park -- along the Lake
Michigan shoreline in Ozaukee County -- has long been a bird-watching
hot spot, attracting birders throughout the year from all over the
region. Records kept over many years have identified more species here
than in any other Wisconsin state park.
Beginning Memorial Day weekend, birding
enthusiasts will conduct a series of five spring outings to look for and
listen to resident and migrant birds in the park. The 90-minute walks
will begin at 7:30 a.m., leaving from the observatory area at
Puckett's Pond, and work their way east toward Quarry Lake and the Lake
Michigan shore in order to explore a variety of habitats.
The walks, initiated last summer and fall, are again being organized by
the Riveredge Bird Club in nearby Newburg and co-sponsored by the
Milwaukee Audubon Society, Bird City Wisconsin and the Friends of
Harrington Beach State Park. All three groups will provide trip leaders.
The walks were conceived to serve users of 73
new campsites at the park, located just east of I-43 and south of County
Highway D, but will be open to all park visitors. Standard park entrance
fees will apply.
Walks will be leisurely and geared to all
experience levels; children need to be accompanied by adults.
Participants should dress for the weather. A pair of binoculars will
make for a much more rewarding experience, and some will be available
for loan. If you have a birding field guide, bring it along.
Walks will begin at 7:30 a.m. on:
New Report Analyzes Impact of Feral Cats
A new, peer-reviewed study titled Feral Cats
and Their Management by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, analyzes
existing research on management of the burgeoning U.S. feral cat
population – over 60 million and counting – including the controversial
practice of Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR).
"This report is a must-read for any community
or government official wondering what to do about feral cats. It
encapsulates the extensive research on this subject and draws
conclusions based on that data. Not surprisingly, the report validates
everything American Bird Conservancy has been saying about the feral cat
issue for many years, namely that TNR doesn’t work in controlling feral
cat populations," said Darin Schroeder, Vice President for Conservation
Advocacy for ABC.
"Communities seeking a solution to their feral
cat problems need to consider the science on the issue and the full
humane picture. Birds and other native animals don’t deserve to die at
the hands of a predator introduced into their environment by
irresponsible pet owners. A humane decision-making process on this issue
must also recognize that feral cats live short, miserable lives because
of disease, other predators, severe weather and traffic hazards. Their
life expectancy is less than one third that of owned cats," Schroeder
As a result of these findings, the report
authors stated that they do not recommend TNR as a method to control
feral cats. In their extensive research, they were unable to find a
single real-world example of TNR succeeding in eliminating a feral cat
separate studies showed that 62% to 80% of feral cats carry the
parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis – a condition of special
concern to pregnant women.
impact on birds can be calculated at $17 billion a year.
Feeding feral cats increases the chances
of diseases being transmitted.
Cats are responsible for the extinction of
at least 33 species of birds.
Feral cats kill an estimated 480 million
birds in the U.S. each year.
Cats will kill wildlife no matter how well
they are fed.
The life expectancy of a feral cat is 3-5
years as opposed to 15 years for owned cats.
-- From the February
issue of Bird Calls, published by the American Bird Conservancy
Free-Ranging Cats Pose a Threat, WBCI warns;
for details click
Green Bay birders plan a busy spring
In accepting recognition as one of Wisconsin's 15
inaugural Bird Cities, the committee that put together Green Bay's
application vowed a continuing focus on bird-focused conservation
As part of its bid to maintain that recognition under Bird City
Wisconsin's "Sustained Flight" program, the committee put together a
calendar of birding events and asked Bird City to post it on its web
site as part of the Green Bay achievements page.
What a great idea!
So click here to see the schedule.
Carl Schwartz, Bird City coordinator, encouraged other Bird City
communities to create similar calendars and send them to
Bird City also is looking to publicize any plans for celebrating
International Migratory Bird Day, whenever and wherever communities plan
to observe it.
Anti-bird-collision decals still available
The Wisconsin Humane Society is
still giving away free WindowAlert
static anti-bird-collision decals. The current offer can be seen at:
Scott Diehl, Wildlife Manager at the society, says:
Get up to 10 FREE 4-packs of
WindowAlerts for just $2.50 per pack
shipping and handling per pack, while supplies last (we have about 4,200
4-packs available). WindowAlerts normally retail for $6.00 for a pack
of four, plus
If you need to treat multiple
windows, the cost can add up quickly. But
thanks to a generous grant from the Jeff Rusinow Family Foundation, we
are able to provide you with enough WindowAlerts to affordably treat
multiple windows at your home or office. Help prevent migratory birds
from crashing into windows this fall and winter! This offer is limited
to 10 packs per household, while supplies last, to mailing addresses in
the contiguous U.S.
And if you stop in at our wildlife rehab center at 45th
in Milwaukee during open hours, you can pick up your WindowAlerts and
skip the S&H fee. Though if you want to instead make a donation to our
wildlife conservation and rehab work, we won't stop ya'.
suggestions for installation and spacing can be seen here:
Urban lakefront parks are Important Bird Areas
Public parks along Lake Michigan serve as crucial
stopover sites for the more than 300 species of migratory birds that fly
through in spring on their way to their northerly breeding grounds and
in fall on their way to winter homes in Mexico and South America.
Because these green oases are so vital to migratory
birds, the Chicago lakefront has been designated one of 91 Important
Bird Areas in Illinois.
In Chicagoland, 21 public and private lands have been
designated as IBAs -- from Illinois Beach State Park in northeastern
Lake County south through the Chicago lakefront to Goose Lake State
Prairie in Will County as well as sites in Kane and McHenry counties.
Here's the link to the rest of the story
Green Bay association recognizes Bird Day
The Downtown Neighborhood Association in Green Bay
has unanimously passed a resolution recognizing International Migratory
Bird Day in that community.
Green Bay is one of at least 20 communities in Wisconsin where
interested residents are working with their local officials to apply for
recognition as a Bird City Wisconsin. The BCW Steering Committee
anticipates announcing its first successful applicants later this
The Green Bay resolution was featured in the July newsletter of
Environment for the Americas, a non-profit organization that provides
information and materials about birds, bird conservation, and bird
education from Canada to South America. International Migratory Bird Day
(IMBD), the signature project of EFTA, is the only international
education program that highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly
350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America
and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Official community recognition of IMBD is one of the requirements for
becoming a Bird City.
Public television interview showcases Bird City Wisconsin
Jackie Kahlhamer, host of
"Public Report" on WWRS, the public television station in
Mayville, Wis., interviews Carl Schwartz, coordinator of
Bird City Wisconsin about the project's progress.
Effort offers recognition for protecting birds
is on a community recognition program called Bird City
Wisconsin. His guests are Noel Cutright of the Wisconsin Society
for Ornithology, and Carl Schwartz, coordinator of the program
Listen to this story now using RealPlayer
Saving Our Shared Birds: a Tri-National Vision
Partners in Flight has announced that “Saving Our Shared Birds: Partners
in Flight Tri-National Vision for Landbird Conservation” is now
available. Government officials, on behalf of international bird
conservation leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico,
released the report May 11 at the 15th annual Trilateral Committee for
Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management meeting in Halifax,
Nova Scotia, Canada.
to learn more, download a copy, view our new PIF video, or read the
press release. PIF urges everyone to continue their important bird
conservation work at various scales and consider how you can take even
more action for tri-national landbird conservation.
The tri-national assessment followed Partners in Flight’s process of
scientific evaluations of conservation vulnerability for 882 native
landbirds to Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The messages in this
report are highly relevant to successful conservation of all North
Effort offers recognition for protecting birds
Report Calls Bird Conservation Efforts Critical
Face of Climate Change
Washington, D.C. -- Dr. David Pashley, vice president
of American Bird Conservancy - a leading bird conservation organization
- cautioned today that as climate change impacts are increasingly felt
throughout the United States and beyond, conservation efforts affecting
birds will take on a doubly important role in protecting not only birds
that are already threatened, but also more common birds as well.
Pashley made his comments in a news release issued by
ABC in connection with the March 12 release of State of the Birds 2010,
the first comprehensive vulnerability assessment of bird species to
climate change across the United States.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the report's
release at a press conference in Texas, along with several environmental
organizations (including ABC) that had collaborated on the publication.
Pashley was one of the authors of the report.
"Our findings tell us that birds of conservation
concern today will be in even greater peril in the future as a result of
climate change, and many bird species that are now doing well may soon
become conservation priorities as global warming progresses," Pashley
Conservation efforts that will take on special
importance include: reduction of carbon emissions; conservation of bird
habitat; protection of bird prey bases and food supplies; and removal of
threats, including invasive plant and animal species.
Pashley also said that in order to address the
challenges identified in State of the Birds 2010,
partnerships will need to be strengthened to identify new or
changing bird conservation needs and to carry out projects
to help species adapt.
"The birds that will be the hardest hit by climate
change will be ocean and island birds, whose habitat and food base are
most tied to both a climate-dependent ocean biology and sea level.
Hawaiian birds in particular, are already in deep trouble and may be
looking at even more difficult circumstances," Pashley said.
land-based birds, the key will be in establishing, implementing, or
enforcing land management policies that recognize the increasing threat
that birds are facing," he said.
How lands are managed can help both mitigate global
warming, and help birds adapt to changing climate and habitat
conditions. For example,
conserving carbon-rich forests and wetlands, and creating incentives to
avoid deforestation can keep already stored carbon from dissipating into
the atmosphere, while also providing invaluable wildlife habitat.
Market-based mechanisms that provide resources to conserve biodiversity
and to store carbon should also be encouraged.
The report identified common bird species such as the
American oystercatcher, common nighthawk, and northern pintail that are
likely to become species of conservation concern as a result of climate
The State of the Birds 2010 report is a collaborative
effort, as part of the U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative,
involving federal and state wildlife agencies, and scientific and
conservation organizations. Partners include American Bird Conservancy,
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Cornell Lab of Ornithology,
Klamath Bird Observatory, National Audubon Society, National Fish and
Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, U.S.D.A. Forest Service,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.
The report is available at