Wednesday, January 25, 2012

bird conservation news

Bird conservation news from the Bird Conservation Alliance is available here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

some recent research papers in ornithology

From the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, see the most recent (Vol. 6, Iss. 2) papers linked here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

more on kestrels

Am. Kestrel BBS Trend, Boreal Hardwood Transition

Am. Kestrel - photo by Robert Burton - USFWS National Digital Library
With the recent discussion of kestrels in WI, you all may want to see some additional information. In some parts of North America, kestrels are in decline.  As a result, The Peregrine Fund is starting a new conservation effort. See more about it at this link. See BBS trend results at left. The Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory plans to partner on this project in 2012 - more info to come...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Great Backyard Bird Count 2012, (and results from '11)

If you have not previously participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count (scheduled for Feb 17-20 this year), you can learn about it here. And what is it, anyway?  See more details about the count at this link -and read about the results from 2011, at this page. See Wisconsin's results, with maps. 

Last year's results for Snowy Owl, for example, are likely to be easily surpassed this year:

State/Province Number of Birds   Number of Checklists
Reporting the Species
Alberta 3       3      
Manitoba 7       5      
Michigan 4       4      
New York 1       1      
North Dakota 2       2      
Ontario 1       1      
Pennsylvania 1       1      
Saskatchewan 44       12      
Vermont 1       1      
Wisconsin 2       2      
Total 66             

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BirdVoices and much more

If you're new (or maybe not-so-new) to birding, you should know about these resources:

Todd Wilson has an excellent blog devoted to the bird song recordings he has made - it's called Bird Voices, and you can find it here.

Of course we also have the great work done here in WI by John Feith; see the audio links at the WBBA site at this link.

If you want to range outside our borders in terms of song and bird sounds, many experienced birders know about Xeno-Canto - see it here. And Cornell's All About Birds song pages are linked here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

learn about (and join) SEWISC

SEWISC is the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.- It is a "broad-based coalition that promotes efficient and effective management of invasive species throughout Kenosha, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha Counties". Invasive species have a powerful and negative influence on native wildlife. Learn more about SEWISC at their website.

from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

Summaries of the Center's output on migratory birds from recent months can be found at this page.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Evening Grosbeak in WI in winter

Evening Grosbeak - Wikimedia Commons
One of the favorite winter birds for many people, the numbers of Evening Grosbeaks in Wisconsin in winter are most assuredly not what they used to be! Christmas Bird Count results reported to NAS over a 40-year period are graphed at left. Although this analysis is a bit dated already, it offers some facts and explanations for this decline. Interactions with spruce budworm infestations are described here. A more recent - and much more technical paper, with some possible        (and related)  conclusions can be found here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

news from BirdLife International - the global programs

Some very worthwhile reading for the new year: BirdLife International has the following global programs in place; to learn more, go to this page.

Climate Change
Global Seabird Programme
BirdLife's Flyways
Preventing Extinctions
Forests of Hope
Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
Local Empowerment Programme

Friday, January 6, 2012

reconciliation ecology

Lesser Kestrels by Neil Gray, Wikimedia Commons
"Reconciliation ecology"? What's that? One excellent definition is "reconciling biodiversity conservation with human development". Some scientists are working to accomplish exactly that; you can read about Dr. Michael Rosenzweig's work,  at his sites, here and here - and Madhusudan Katti's work, here. Read some more about this concept here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

some American Bird Conservancy news

Puerto Rican Parrot by Tom MacKenzie
Learn about the most "effective threatened bird conservation" aspects of the American Bird Conservancy's international programs at this page. Many threatened species, including a variety of rare parrots (like this Puerto Rican Parrot) need more protection, and ABC's programs are aiming at that goal. Especially important are ABC's  "Building and sustaining a private and public reserve system for the 82 bird-triggered Alliance for Zero Extinction sites and the most important stronghold sites for declining birds in the Western Hemisphere".

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wisconsin Stopover Initiative

When you're looking for some good reading on a cold winter night, try going to the website of the Wisconsin Stopover Initiative - you'll find a fascinating collection of information on bird migration there, with a variety of web-based resources. Learn more about how threats to birds are critical during migration, why sites along the Great Lakes are so important, and why protecting stopover habitat is vital - and much more.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

more on eBird

... and how it has changed things for some people: see this link...and a new publication resulting from eBird data, at this link.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

the life of birds as a "doorway"

Many of us realize that as the world around us becomes more and more complex in social structure, economic and political realities, and with expanding technology and the mixture of benefits and threats those things involve - the natural world still underlies and provides everything we need, and makes possible all of our activities. The concept of "nature's services" is one conceptual model that is useful for understanding these things. But how are we to get that information across? For some of our friends and colleagues and families, we look to find a doorway into the natural world that would provide the opening - a way to begin the discussion. For some of us, sharing what we know about the life of birds may be that "doorway". So, in 2012, take someone you know to one of your favorite birding locations - and "open the door".