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."