Sunday, December 30, 2012

birding ethics, unintentional disturbance, and potential harmful effects on birds

Every year the topic of reporting roosting owls and other "sensitive species" is raised again when birders find and report locations of Long-eared Owls as well as some other species.

Guidance on reporting species is expertly described and summarized at this eBird link.

An "Issues Paper" prepared by the WBCI Issues Committee is also available, here.

To provide some background on the current science regarding the impacts and effects of potentially excessive disturbance to birds, see the following linked publications:

Friday, December 28, 2012

never heard of John Francis?

The Planetwalker: John Francis has a great story to tell, if you've never read it, it's really worthwhile.   A story  of an environmental and human awakening.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

a long walk for birds - part 2

Starting in mid-April of 2013, I'll be walking across Wisconsin to raise funds for the Bird Protection Fund of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Learn  more about NRF's Great Wisconsin Birdathon at this link. My effort will be slightly different, in that I will be asking folks to make a pledge amount per mile that I cover. Funding on these projects gets divided between the Bird Protection Fund and one's "home organization" - but I will divide it once more: 50% to the Bird Protection Fund, then 25% to the Western Gr. Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, and the remaining 25% to Bird City Wisconsin. I expect this "long walk for birds" to take about 3 weeks, and cover approximately 240-260 miles. I'll be starting at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve in Ozaukee County, on the shore of Lake Michigan. I'll walk generally westward, and end up on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, in Crawford County. If you'd like to pledge an amount, or follow the progress and planning, see updates here periodically, or e-mail me. Some folks may like to join me for a few miles or a morning - let me know if you'd like to do that. About 20 people have so far already indicated they will do that. More to come, on the route, and the coming weeks and months.

Why it will be noteworthy if you see an Ivory Gull

Ivory Gull - ph. by Will Sweet - Wikim. Commons
Seeing an Ivory Gull - even in the geographic regions where they normally appear - is becoming more difficult. A dramatic decline is occurring for this species, due to a number of factors. Read more at this link.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

rare and declining bird species of the world and their conservation

(Ph.: Wikim. Commons -- Leandro Prudencio)
Go to this BirdLife International page to learn about current happenings in international bird conservation and an array of rare or declining bird species. One of my favorites (the Gouldian Finch) is pictured here. This species, while popular with aviculturists and cage bird fanciers, is threatened in the wild, in its home country of Australia.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Clean Air Cities

The Center for Biological Diversity's Clean Air Cities campaign is worth learning more about.
"The equation is simple: If we want clean air and a healthy climate, we have to cut greenhouse gas pollution. The Clean Air Act is our current best hope to reach this goal in the United States. But the Act is under significant attack from the fossil fuel industry and its allies in Congress."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

illegal world trade in wild birds

My theme for today - learn something about the worldwide illegal bird trade (especially parrots). This is an immense conservation problem.  
"Wildlife trafficking is thought to be the third most valuable illicit commerce in the world, after drugs and weapons, worth an estimated $10 billion a year." ( 
Learn more at:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Get the lead out to protect birds and other wildlife

Help defeat a misguided and dangerous piece of legislation, the anti-wildlife "Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012". This proposed legislation is bad for wildlife.  "At least 75 wild bird species in the United States are poisoned by spent lead ammunition, including bald eagles, golden eagles, ravens and endangered California condors. Thousands of cranes, ducks, swans, loons, geese and other waterfowl ingest spent lead shot or lead fishing sinkers lost in lakes and rivers each year, often with deadly consequences."
The proposed legislation would prevent the EPA from  regulating toxic lead ammunition.

Read more at this link.
Take action by clicking in the box on the right hand side of that page. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

some international bird conservation news

Read some news from BirdLife Cyprus at this link.

Then click over to BirdLife International's site to learn more, from around the globe.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

walking to raise $$ for the NRF Bird Protection Fund in 2013

I am hoping I can coax all of you to support a new effort next spring. I will be attempting to raise some funds as part of a rather unusual "birdathon" in spring of 2013. The Natural Resources Foundation will be organizing another year of Great WI Birdathon events. (For more information, see: ). For mine, I will be attempting to backpack across the state of Wisconsin. Unlike most birdathons, I will be asking for folks to donate an amount per mile walked. I am working on planning my route at this time. One additional feature of this effort is to challenge each of you to join me for a half-day or a day at some point along my route. So, get out your hiking boots and think about going for a walk, sometime in May of 2013! If that isn't possible, your support in other ways will also be greatly appreciated. More info to come... William P. Mueller Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory WGLBBO online: Blog: 414-698-9108 Milwaukee, WI