Friday, December 30, 2011

more about Snowy Owls

 Find some additional information about Snowy Owls at this link
and more here. Read about satellite tracking of this species at this page.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

birds and climate change

Read this latest web information from National Audubon on birds and climate change 

thoughts on big years from ABA members - and contrary thoughts from others

Some posts on the ABA Blog focus on executing Big Years; read about them here and here.

From my perspective, it's just something I cannot choose for myself any longer. I'm heading in a different direction. The more I think about these things, the more all sorts of "green birding" options are appealing. Look at this link, (also on the ABA Blog!) for a great example, and for a very erudite discussion.

BirdLife International at Durban

Climate change is due to affect bird populations worldwide. Read info on the recent climate talks at this link.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the ecological footprint of nations

"The Ecological Footprint measures the amount of nature's resources an individual, a community, or a country consumes in a given year". Learn about ecological footprints at the Redefining Progress website, linked here.

Friday, December 9, 2011

the illegal wildlife trade

Read information from WWF about ongoing issues with illegal wildlife trade worldwide.

See other information on this topic at this link-

and learn about CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora ), at this one.

Photo: captive owlet fr/Wikimedia Commons; from Jakarta, Indonesia

Friday, December 2, 2011

What to Aim For, and Expect, at the UNFCCC Climate Talks in Durban

For those who are interested, here's an excellent discussion on what lies ahead - and what's happening now.

22nd report of the ABA Checklist Committee

This link takes you to the 22nd report of the American Birding Association (ABA) Checklist Committee.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Green Birding - ideas and links for 2012

As an alternative, the emphasis by some individuals in recent years on "green birding" provides a lot to consider for those who want to take their birding activities in a different direction.

Here are some links to various ideas for green birding - whether your focus is on muscle-powered competitive birding, or just on "simplifying" your birding - the latter is very appealing, in many ways.

I'm trying to find a way to do this myself, but my health and age and schedule just won't permit long bicycling forays these days. Plus, living in inner city Milwaukee, I'd have to really walk a very long distance to get to a  worthwhile birding location. The closest such location is about 5 miles away. But, the Sparroworks discussion linked above provides some suggestions for a BIGBY category using public transport - I think that may be the way to go for me! We'll see what 2012 brings...

Monday, November 21, 2011

international bird conservation news

BirdLife International news for this week can be found at this link. Other recent news from BirdLife is at their news page, found here.

News from India and the Indian Bird Conservation Network can be found here.

Recent info from Environment fo rthe Americas (the organization that organizes International Migratory Bird Day) can be found at this link.

Monday, November 14, 2011

some avian research papers online

An excellent collection of avian research papers is archived at the website of the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology.  Click on the issue number - after the volume number - in each case, to see the titles of papers archived there.

From the Ibis, see the online version of "Understanding bird collisions with man-made objects: a sensory ecology approach", by Graham R. Martin at this link.

View papers in the Open Ornithology Journal at this link.

Friday, November 4, 2011

birds & wildlife conservation news

A variety of sources include:
 American Birding Association conservation page
The Wildlife Conservation Society news page
Environment for the Americas site
National Audubon birds page
World Wildlife Fund news page
Defenders of Wildlife news page

Thursday, November 3, 2011

6th Edition of The National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America

The 6th Edition of The National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of
North America is now out. Multiple improvements make this new edition a
very worthwhile investment. Tom Schultz, WSO President and accomplished
artist has a number of pages of excellent new plates in this guide. Other
new art (by other artists) is found throughout. Some plates remain
unchanged from previous editions, but many are new, as are quite a few new
or updated maps, and "subspecies and migration maps" - a great new feature
not previously found in this guide. I just opened the I have
more to learn about it. My old one is pretty worn out anyway, so "it was

Friday, October 28, 2011

BirdLife International news

Recent BirdLife International news can be found at this link.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

pesticides and birds - updates, news

There's a lot of information available regarding which pesticides are safe for use in your garden and around your home or business. Some excellent sources include:

The American Bird Conservancy birds and pesticides campaign

This link from BirdSource: the BIRDCAST page on pesticides.

Audubon at Home pesticides page.

Environment 360 article.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

the straight scoop: what to do to help birds where you live

A few weeks ago, the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory and Wisconsin DNR hosted a workshop ("Grosbeaks Galore") at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Douglas Tallamy, from the University of Delaware. Dr. Tallamy has written an excellent book, Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens (Timber Press).

If you were not able to attend the workshop, but if you really want to learn as much as you can to help birds where you live, go to this link at the Bird City Wisconsin website. Carl Schwartz, BCW Coordinator, has summarized Dr. Tallamy's message, and you can read the high points there.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

book review: Field Guide to Advanced Birding

Unlike other new field guides in recent years, this guide (published in 2011) is a major re-working of a Kenn Kaufman classic, also titled A Field Guide to Advanced Birding, (Houghton Mifflin; published in 1990). I've worn out  a few copies, and my last one is held together with rubber bands. I've told many people about that book, and how it helps with moving beyond any standard field guide. It teaches the "next level" of identification, and leads to insights on many of the difficult ID questions. Mr. Kaufman has now gone another step beyond his own previous work. This new volume, subtitled "Understanding What You See and Hear", helps to do exactly what that subtitle suggests. Kaufman explains "an integrated approach" to field ID, and has extensive sections on behavior, molt, and then many chapters with specific focus on families or other groups: waterfowl, loons, seabirds, herons and egrets, raptors, shorebirds, gulls, terns, jaegers, owls, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers, swallows, warblers, and sparrows.  Some illustrations are kept from the earlier book, but many new ones are added. I just received my copy, and will likely use it every day. Highly recommended - and useful in many ways.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

raptor watch results Oct 14 FBMP

The raptor watch platform at FBMP was busy today, with many birds seen
and more than 40 people observing (or just visiting). More than 450
raptors were observed.

Our totals (raptors listed first):

29 Turkey Vulture
1 Osprey
8 Bald Eagle
16 Northern Harrier
192 Sharp-shinned Hawk
24 Cooper's Hawk
1 Broad-winged Hawk
54 Red-tailed Hawk
93 Merlin
14 Peregrine Falcon
20 American Kestrel
159 Canada Goose
26 Mallard
7 Gadwall
1 Northern Pintail
1 Double-crested Cormorant
Ring-billed Gull (did not attempt to count)
Herring Gull (did not attempt to count)
1 Rock Pigeon
2 Mourning Dove
1 Northern Flicker
1 Tree Swallow
14 Barn Swallow
14 Blue Jay
20 American Crow
1 Black-capped Chickadee
23 Eastern Bluebird
11 American Robin
3 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 American Pipit
27 Cedar Waxwing
4 Palm Warbler
6 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Eastern Towhee
8 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
15 White-throated Sparrow
7 White-crowned Sparrow
30 Dark-eyed Junco
1 Red-winged Blackbird
5 Rusty Blackbird
16 Purple Finch
17 American Goldfinch

William P. Mueller
Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
Project Coordinator, Milwaukee BIOME Project
Milwaukee, WI
BIOME Project online:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

raptor watch

If weather conditions turn out to be as predicted for Friday, it could prove to be an an excellent day for movement of raptors along Lake Michigan. Please join us anytime between 9am and 3 pm (some people may stay later than that) at the raptor watch platform at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, in northeastern Ozaukee County. Directions to FBMP are here:

After parking in the lot near the former clubhouse, walk north on the paved road until it curves east (see map at the kiosk near the parking lot). After going east about 75 feet (past the row of mailboxes), take the trail going north and then another going east until you get to the northeastern-most corner of the FBMP property - you'll find the raptor watch platform there (to know what you're looking for, see:  ).

(Image: National Digital Library)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

bird conservation and the Joint Ventures

Learn about the USFWS Joint Ventures; they help to drive conservation activities as described here, and there is more at this link.

Quoting from this USFWS fact sheet: the JVs "Working both collectively and independently, joint venture partners conduct activities in support of bird conservation goals cooperatively developed by the partnership. These activities include
  1. biological planning, conservation design, and prioritization,
  2. project development and implementation,
  3. monitoring, evaluation, and applied research activities,
  4. communications and outreach, and
  5. fund-raising for projects and activities."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the WBCI Fall meeting in Green Bay likely to be an event that you won't want to have missed:

I hear that they will still accept walk-in registrations, although you'll probably have to find lunch on you own, now that advance registrations have closed.

Monday, September 19, 2011

bird conservation news

The most recent news from BirdLife International can be found here.

Other, recent bird conservation news from National Audubon can be found at this link.

The BEN (Bird Education Network) Conservation page can be found here.

(Image of Barn Owl from Luc Viatour / - Wkimedia Commons).

Missouri River Bird Observatory

Look what friends and colleagues are doing at the Missouri River Bird Observatory.

Friday, September 16, 2011

more on weather and migration

Here in southeastern Wisconsin, dry conditions have certainly been the rule for many weeks. Since Jan. 1, the precip. total is 23.80 inches; the normal is 25.75 inches of precip. by this date; so we are 1.95 inches below normal.

However, do dry conditions affect migration?

See a good overview of fall weather and migration at:

And a thought-provoking paper on changing bird migration dates can be found at:

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

good conditions for raptor watching in the next few days

If you have the time, It might be a good idea to  find your way to the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, or other lakeshore sites such as Harrington Beach State Park in the next day or so - and I think tomorrow might provide the best conditions - weather is setting up for a potentially good day for raptor movement. Unfortunately, I cannot be at the FBMP raptor watch platform tomorrow - but maybe someone else has the time to be there? Winds are predicted to be northwesterly, with even cooler temperatures than those expected for today. The timing - and conditions - are right for the movement of broadwings (and of course other raptors as well). Big broadwing flights, in several recent autumns, have not been very noticeable in eastern WI; conditions have not always been the best. Thursday morning could also be good, but it looks like winds may shift north/northeast on Thursday afternoon.

If you've not been to the FBMP hawkwatch site and platform before, see directions at the bottom of this notice:

Sites in Harrington Beach SP are of course traditionally good raptor watch locations - and remember the annual WSO Hawkwatch there on Oct. 9th - that same day the dedication of the FBMP hawkwatch platform is scheduled for 1:00 PM, as mentioned in the linked notice given above.

Monday, September 12, 2011

on the river

As part of the Milwaukee BIOME Project, a bird monitoring transect that I cover often lies along the Root River in southern Milwaukee County. Truly one of my favorite places in all seasons - this floodplain forest holds many migrants and breeding birds as well. To learn more about the Milwaukee BIOME Project (and maybe how you can participate...) go to this link.

Friday, September 9, 2011

environmental ethics - online sources

A good source for readings in environmental ethics can be found at this link, from the Markkula Center for Ethics at Santa Clara University. Take a trial run and see how our own, sometimes unexamined beliefs match up - or not - with teachings on these subjects. Another excellent source can  be found at Stanford's (link here) online Encyclopedia of Philosophy. And one of the most comprehensive sites is this one, from  Professor Ron Epstein.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

habitat improvements and avian response at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve

Over the past year and a half, intensive work on the Ozaukee-Washington Land Trust's Forest Beach Migratory Preserve has moved forward, "building" excellent new habitats, including planting trees, shrubs, grasslands and enhancing existing ones. Recent drawdowns on some of the 23 wetlands have made mudflats appear, and shorebirds have responded in less than 3-4 days (both Gr. and Lesser Yellowlegs, and Solitary Sandpipers over the past few days, and a small flock of Least Sandpipers late this afternoon, along with many Killdeer --- and several Green Herons are foraging there as well). The oldfields/grasslands are really in the peak of late summer/early fall bloom, and more warblers and sparrows and other passerines are appearing each day. It doesn't look like a golf course anymore - it is and was deliberately designed to be stopover habitat for migrants - and it's working. Next time you're in the area, whether for a hawkwatch day, or just to walk the trails - take a look, and you'll see the improvements - and if you watch carefully, you'll see how birds have responded and continue to do so on this emerging preserve.

If you go, look for the hawkwatch platform in the northeast corner of the preserve (about 1/4 mile northeast of the old clubhouse).

Find Forest Beach Migratory Preserve at:

See also:

Here is the species list for FBMP for the first 6 days of September:

Canada Goose
Wood Duck


Blue-winged Teal

Green-winged Teal

Pied-billed Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Green Heron

Turkey Vulture


Bald Eagle

Northern Harrier

Cooper's Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

American Kestrel


Sandhill Crane


Spotted Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Greater Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs

Least Sandpiper

Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Common Nighthawk

Chimney Swift

Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Phoebe

Great Crested Flycatcher

Eastern Kingbird

Red-eyed Vireo

Blue Jay

American Crow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Purple Martin

Tree Swallow

Barn Swallow

Black-capped Chickadee

White-breasted Nuthatch

House Wren

Eastern Bluebird

Swainson's Thrush

American Robin

Gray Catbird

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing

Tennessee Warbler

Palm Warbler

Chipping Sparrow

Clay-colored Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Northern Cardinal


Red-winged Blackbird

Baltimore Oriole

House Finch

American Goldfinch

William P. Mueller
Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
Project Coordinator, Milwaukee BIOME Project

Saturday, September 3, 2011

weather and bird migration

One of the absolute best explanations or primers on weather and bird migration was written by Paul Lehman - find it here at Cape May Bird Observatory's site.

Friday, September 2, 2011

shorebird migration news

See where they're coming from:

Subject: James Bay Shorebird Report #5 - From: Jean Iron <jeaniron AT SYMPATICO.CA>
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 22:11:14 -0400

This is my fifth and final report for the period 11 to 14 August 2011 at North 
Point on the southwest coast of James Bay, Ontario, and includes sightings from 
nearby Longridge Point from Mark Peck and Little Piskwamish Point from Doug 
McRae and Barb Charlton. The OMNR chopper flew survey crews from the three 
camps to Moosonee on 14 August. We took the Polar Bear Express train from 
Moosonee to Cochrane on 15th and drove home to southern Ontario on 16th. 
Shorebird surveys are a partnership of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Ontario 
Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and Moose 
Cree First Nation (MCFN). The Longridge crew was Mark Peck (ROM), Roy John, 
Emily Rondel and Antonio Coral. The Little Piskwamish crew was Don Sutherland 
(OMNR), Doug McRae, Barb Charlton and Ron Ridout. The North Point crew was Mike 
McMurtry (OMNR), Jean Iron, Aus Taverner and Minnie Sutherland (MCFN). 

SHOREBIRD OBSERVATIONS: A combined total of 27 shorebird species was recorded 
for the three camps. 

Black-bellied Plover: 56 on 13th at North Point, 28 on 12th at Little 
Piskwamish, up to 50 daily at Longridge. 

American Golden-Plover: 1 molting adult on 11th and 2 on 13th at Little 

Semipalmated Plover: 29 on 12th, including first juvenile, at North Point, 52 
on 13th at Little Piskwamish. 

Solitary Sandpiper: 4 on 11th at Little Piskwamish.

Greater Yellowlegs: 451 on 11th at North Point (70% juveniles) and 148 on 11th 
at Little Piskwamish. 

Lesser Yellowlegs: 309 on 11th at North Point (80% juveniles) and 691 mostly 
juveniles on 11th at Little Piskwamish. 

Whimbrel: 6 on 11th at North Point.

Hudsonian Godwit: 160 molting adults on 12th at North Point and 290 on 11th at 
Little Piskwamish, where a Hudsonian Godwit with red flag CMC from Chile was 
seen and photographed on 31 July. 

Marbled Godwit, 1 adult male with 2 juveniles on 11, 12 and 13th at North 
Point, plus an additional juvenile on 11th. 

Ruddy Turnstone: 49 adults on 13th at North Point and 58 on 11th at Little 
Piskwamish. Longridge recorded a Ruddy Turnstone with a lime green flag from 
Delaware Bay, USA, on 10th. 

RED KNOT: Of the three surveys sites for this period Little Piskwamish had the 
highest one day count of 2400 on 11th, Longridge had 250 on 12th, and North 
Point only 5 on 13th. FLAGS: The combined three sites for the entire survey 
tallied about 2000 individual sightings of flags representing more than 600 
differently marked birds from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, United States and 
Canada. Celebrity knot TY was last seen at Longridge on 11 August. A knot with 
a white flag placed in Quebec was seen many times during the final two week 
period. DATALOGGERS: Longridge recorded 2 dataloggers and Little Piskwamish had 
5, all put on in the United States. JUVENILES: The juvenile knot migration was 
just starting when we left. Little Piskwamish, 7 juveniles on 11th. North 
Point, 2 juveniles on 11th. Longridge, several juveniles on 12th. It would be 
interesting to know how many juveniles stage on the James Bay and how long they 
stay. We hope to survey longer next year. 

Sanderling: 26 molting adults on 11th at North Point, 8 on 13th at Little 
Piskwamish. Longridge recorded a lime green flag from Delaware Bay, USA. 

Semipalmated Sandpiper: 5100 on 11th at North Point were still almost all 
adults. Increased numbers of juveniles arrived on the afternoon of 13th. A bird 
with flag lime OHU from the USA was at North Point on 13th. Longridge recorded 
a yellow flag from Suriname on 28 July and 7 August. 

Least Sandpiper: 308 on 12th at North Point were almost all juveniles. 277 on 
11th at Little Piskwamish were all juveniles. 

White-rumped Sandpiper: 31,657 on 11th at Little Piskwamish. 9800 molting 
adults on 11th at North Point. This is the commonest shorebird in southern 
James Bay. 

Pectoral Sandpiper: 436 non-molting adults on 12th at North Point. 295 on 11th 
at Little Piskwamish. 

Dunlin: 209 adults on 11th at North Point were starting to show signs of molt. 
295 on 11th at Little Piskwamish. 

Short-billed Dowitcher: 27 on 11th at Little Piskwamish, those seen well were 

Wilson's Snipe: 13 on 12th at Little Piskwamish.

Wilson's Phalarope: 1 juvenile on 11th at Little Piskwamish.

Red-necked Phalarope: 1 adult on 11th at Little Piskwamish.

SHOREBIRD MIGRATION: A huge southbound migration took place on 11th and 13th 
during the day, taking advantage of strong north winds. Birds were high and 
very vocal. Flock size varied from 6 to 70 and included Black-bellied Plovers, 
Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Whimbrel, Hudsonian Godwits, Pectoral 
Sandpipers, White-rumped Sandpipers, Dunlin and Ruddy Turnstones. 

(Marbled Godwit image from Lee Karney, USFWS Digital Library)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

links to some recent papers and news on migration biology, other ornithological topics

Click on any link below to find your way to some recent research papers and news on avian migration.

A collection of links to abstracts.

The McGill Bird Observatory's site.

Advances in the study of avian migration

The Austral Bird Migration Research Project

Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center: migratory biology.

(Image of Common Yellowthroat by G. Gentry, National Digital Library.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

alarming declines in European farmland birds

"The Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme has compiled population figures for 145 common and widespread bird species in 25 European countries between 1980 and 2009. Amongst those species covered, farmland birds are the most threatened group, with 20 out of 36 species in decline, and overall numbers at an all-time low, down by 48% since 1980."

"Some of the species that have declined the most over the last three decades include familiar farmland birds like Grey Partridge Perdix perdix (–82%), Skylark Alauda arvensis (–46%), Linnet Carduelis cannabina (–62%) and Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra (–66%)."

Read more at this link.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

new and not-so-new online ornithological resources

Click on the html links below for a variety of online resources:

Neotropical Birds Online is here.

Xeno-canto (bird songs from around the world)

Bird clubs in North America

Electronic resources in ornithology

Friday, August 19, 2011

mapping fall hummingbirds

Maybe you've never looked at the spring or fall hummingbird mapping  effort done by Journey North; if not, go to this link to see the fall map(s). Then try this link to see a display of records in the past 2 weeks - or longer time periods - for Ruby-throats, as well as Rufous, and other species (you'll see a drop-down box that let's you choose which species there).

(Rufous Hummingbird image by Dave Menke; USFWS Digital Library)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory: what's new?

In case you were not aware of this new organization, check out the emerging/unfolding website of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, at

The Observatory is working on a number of projects, among them the Grosbeaks Galore workshop on October 8th, a Citizen-based Monitoring Partnership Program nighthawk project, the building of a database of migratory bird records, setting up an ornithological library at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve in Ozaukee County, and several other initiatives. We'll be involved in the WSO/WBCI/WGLBBO/Cofrin Center fall meeting in Green Bay at the end of September, and working in partnership with Bird City Wisconsin.

To see more about us, go to this link.

fall migration timetable

Although not perfect, I find this migration timetable to be of some value, especially if one travels to a different state where one is unfamiliar with the timing of migration. Find WI in the dropdown box, for example, and see if you agree with their choices - then try a different state in which you may be interested.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

joint meeting for WSO and WBCI - September 29 - Oct 1

In late September, the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, The Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at UW-Green Bay will host a joint meeting in Green Bay. Register soon so you can have a place at this important event!

Here's the agenda:

Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative
2011 Statewide Meeting
DRAFT Agenda

Green Bay, Wisconsin
Thursday, Sept 29 – Saturday Oct 1
Co-hosted by WBCI, Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, and University of Wisconsin – Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.

Location Details:

Thursday – Friday:  Comfort Suites in Green Bay (
Saturday:  UW-Green Bay campus

THURSDAY, Sept. 29

Comfort Suites
Science in the Service of Management
9:00 AM – Registration.
10:00 AMEvaluating Our Work:  Moving beyond surveillance monitoring
  • Introduction:  Closing the loop on adaptive management – moving from surveillance to monitoring in service of management (R. Brady)
  • Example 1: Grassland Evaluation Plan (WBCI Grassland Science Team)
  • Example 2: Leopold IBA monitoring (S. Swenson, Y. Steele, M. Mossman)
  • Discussion: How do we make this work at multiple scales?  What is WBCI’s role?  How do we build the capacity to handle priority monitoring needs?  How do we generate questions that need to be tested?
12:30 PM – Lunch (catered).
1:30 PMMoving Forward:  How do we build quality programs? This session will explore what it takes to build and implement this type of evaluative monitoring program.
  • 10 Steps to an Effective Monitoring Program (K. Koch)
  • Incorporating Estimates of Detectability (TBA)
  • Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey – (B. Howe)
    • We’ll use the NNFBS as a model, assessing it against the 10 steps and discussing implementation in a real-world setting.
  • Monitoring World Café – Engage with discussion leaders across the ten steps discussed above and start developing a monitoring program that will work for your situation.

4:30 PM – Adjourn.
Dinner – on your own.
Evening Social (time TBD) – WSO will host a special get-together (location TBD) following dinner that will explore the future of the Society as well as the future for ornithology and bird conservation in Wisconsin.  Everyone will have opportunity to share their views and help shape the future for birds and birding in the state.

FRIDAY, Sept. 30

Comfort Suites
Ornithological Symposium: What’s up with bird science in WI?
8:00 AM – Registration.
9:00 – 4:00 PM:  Schedule will consist of a series of talks highlighting interesting research on birds in and around Wisconsin. Each talk will be 20-25 minutes with time for discussion/questions.  Confirmed topics include:
  • Marshbird Monitoring (R. Brady)
  • Migratory and Resident Bird Use of Oak Savannas and Woodlands (E. Wood) .
  • Spruce Grouse Ecology in Wisconsin (N. Anich).
  • Great Lakes Offshore Waterbird Surveys (W. Mueller).
  • Old-growth Forest Birds Study (M. Worland).
  • Update on the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership (K. Koch).
  • New Results from the Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey (B. Howe).
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Birds (B. Zuckerberg).
  • The Latest in Common Loon Research – From Wisconsin to the Gulf and Back Again (M. Meyer).
  • Golden-winged Warbler Demographics (H. Streby).
*Includes two breaks and a 12-1pm catered lunch.
4:00 – 5:00 PM: R. Brady will be available to meet with current and potential volunteers for WBCI’s various bird monitoring programs.
Dinner – catered on-site.
Evening (time TBD) – Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory will host two fun and educational events at the Comfort Suites following dinner.  Details are still being worked out but it could develop into somewhat of a raucous affair!


UW-Green Bay campus
Birding Workshops: Becoming a better birder and citizen scientist
8:00 AM – Introduction/welcome/thanks (R. Brady).
8:15 – 10:15 AM:  Concurrent 1-hour hands-on workshops back-to-back
  1. Birder Certification and Online Training Tools (B. Howe).
  2. eBird: Updates – How to use – Advanced skills – Documenting your sightings – Open Q & A (WI eBird team).
10:30 – 12:30 PM:  Large Group Session: Advancing Fall Birding Skills
    • Identification of Hawks in Flight (V. Berardi).
    • Identification of Great Lakes Waterbirds (T. Prestby).
Lunch – on your own.
Optional:  Afternoon Birding Field Trip to Lake Michigan (T. Prestby, A. Paulios).

Find the registration form at this link:

papers on birds and climate change

Partners in Flight has a bibliography of papers on birds and climate change at this link.  The list is growing!

Monday, August 15, 2011

reminder: birds and habitat workshop

We (a group of colleagues from the WISCONSIN STOPOVER
INITIATIVE, including partners within the Endangered Resources 
division of the Wisconsin DNR, the Western Great Lakes 
Bird and Bat Observatory, and other entities) will be hosting a 
October 8, at the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, just north
of Port Washington, in Ozaukee County. LEARN HOW

Fee is only $5, and includes a lunch, a list of excellent
speakers and both indoor and outdoor presentations
and activities. Please register before Oct 1 to be 
on the list for lunch.

Speakers and topics include:

Dr. Doug Tallamy - University of Delaware – (Keynote
Speaker) - author of “Bringing Nature Home”: SAVING

Kim Grveles - Wisconsin DNR: Stopover ecology: PROVIDING

Craig Thompson - Wisconsin DNR: Orioles to Ocelots:
on in the tropics

Vicki Piaskowski - formerly of Birds Without Borders
– Aves Sin Fronteras, Zoological Society of Milwaukee:
 “If You Plant It Who Will Come?: Bird species that will use 
our native plantings.”

Mariette Nowak - author of “Birdscaping in the Midwest”:
plants to choose in your location

Bill Mueller & Scott Diehl - Western Great Lakes
Bird & Bat Observatory and Wisconsin Humane Society
- Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: ELIMINATE THREATS
TO BIRDS - learn about them, how to prevent window
collisions and eliminate other dangers

Dr. Noel Cutright - Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat
THE LANDSCAPE; planning for future events, WGLBBO

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.
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! 
See more at: 
Please register to save your spot at this event!
Call or write Kim Grveles at the Wisconsin DNR
to register:
Phone: 608-264-8594
(Wisconsin Stopover Initiative logo by Roxanne Schrank). 

shorebird news: some conservation, populations, ecology links

To learn a little  more about shorebird conservation, shorebird populations, and shorebird ecology - check these links:

 Shorebird ecology (from AUS, but pertinent here as well) : navigate here

Brad Andres' site this link

Shorebird population information: find it here 

Delaware Shorebird Project: here

(Image of Marbled Godwit  from Lee Karney, USFWS Digital Library)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The future without birds

You would not want to see a future without birds; trust me on this one, OK? Maybe you're "not into" birds, but some future place/space without them would be distinctly unpleasant for many reasons. As I go forward from here, I'll try to point out why that would be - as well as the opposite: why the present, WITH birds around (and all the related corollaries that pertain) is much to be preferred.

This blog follows on the heels of The Bluebird's Laugh, which for a variety of reasons stopped in its tracks on July 9, 2011.