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 http://wglbbo.org/

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 (http://www.comfortsuitesgb.com/)
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:  http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/annualmeeting-registration.htm

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: http://wglbbo.org/events/5-grosbeaks-galore 
Please register to save your spot at this event!
Call or write Kim Grveles at the Wisconsin DNR
to register:
Phone: 608-264-8594
E-mail: Kim.Grveles@Wisconsin.gov
(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.