Sunday, April 26, 2015

my first day of the 2015 Long Walk for Birds

A few members of other Long Walk teams are already starting their segments, and I did my first section today.  I walked part of the lakeshore route in Manitowoc County, and today that brought me 49 species. I had breeding evidence for a good proportion of the species I found, and while walking I crossed from one non-priority atlas block into a priority block, so I entered all data in two checklists into the WI Breeding Bird Atlas II eBird data portal. Highlights were good numbers of Horned Grebes, Bank and Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Purple Martins, a flock of approximately 240 Lapland Longspurs (much easier to notice while on foot as opposed to being in a vehicle) and an incredible number of singing Ruby-crowned Kinglets. To learn more about the 2015 Long Walk for Birds, go to:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Long Walk for Birds 2015 - starts soon!

This year the Long Walk for Birds takes off again - as part of the Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2015. Funds raised through this project are directed to the programs of the Bird Protection Fund, of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.Go to to donate or learn more.. Please help by donating to this fund-raising effort for  bird conservation!

Friday, April 10, 2015

information from the American Bird Conservancy

 Information relayed from the American Bird Conservancy

Northern Spotted Owl Continues to Decline – Endangered Listing Needed

The Northern Spotted Owl will have its status reviewed under the Endangered Species Act. Scientific studies indicate Endangered status is likely warranted because the owl population is in rapid decline due to ongoing habitat loss and the Barred Owl’s incursion into Northwest forests. Long-term demography studies show that in 2013 populations in all eight study areas were in decline and well below historic averages for both total numbers and breeding success. Newly released 2014 studies show a continued overall population decline.

“American Bird Conservancy appreciates that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking this action to help reverse the Northern Spotted Owl’s spiral toward extinction,” said Steve Holmer, senior policy advisor for American Bird Conservancy.   OPB News reports:

BLM Northwest Forest Plan Revision Moving Ahead 
The BLM is moving towards releasing Western Oregon draft resource management plan revisions on April 24 and will be holding a series of public meetings during the 90 day comment period.  A number of potential problems have been identified with the upcoming BLM drafts including not utilizing the most recent Northern Spotted Owl demographic data, not providing a regional conservation framework by working with the Forest Service, and an inadequate range of alternatives that do not assess or attempt to build upon the multiple benefits of the Northwest Forest Plan. 

Groups Oppose Expedited Post-Fire Logging on Klamath National Forest
The Klamath National Forest is proposing a post-fire salvage logging timber sale called the Westside Fire Recovery Project. Logging is planned for 6,680 acres (ten square miles) of Late Successional Reserves established to protect Northern Spotted Owl habitat. The timber sale will impact approximately 70 Northern Spotted Owl nesting sites and log on steep slopes.  Organizations are opposing the use of Alternative Arrangement for NEPA from the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the use if an emergency situation determination by the Forest Service because of proposed post-fire logging in reserves, in Northern Spotted Owl Critical Habitat, and along roads that are closed or not usable by the public.   

Planning for Diversity: A Guide to National Forest Planning to Conserve America’s Wildlife
A Defenders of Wildlife guide on utilizing the new 2012 National Forest Planning rule is available at

Feds Reject Coastal Oregon Forestry:  The US Environmental Protection Agency and NOAA Fisheries Service in January disapproved Oregon’s coastal nonpoint pollution program. As expected since a 2013 environmental lawsuit ruling, EPA and NOAA attacked Oregon’s forest practices rules, claiming small salmon streams and landslide-prone areas are not sufficiently protected from logging, spraying, and forest road runoff impacts.
The Northwest Climate Change Digest is a monthly newsletter jointly produced by the Northwest Climate Science Center and the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative aimed at helping you stay informed about climate change science and upcoming events and training opportunities relevant to your conservation work.  Do you have a published article or upcoming opportunity that you would like to share?  Please send it to

Broad Alliance Critiques EPA’s Announcement on Bee-Harming Pesticides, Urges Agency to go Further to Protect Pollinators
On April 2, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a moratorium on new bee- and bird- harming neonicotinoid pesticide products and uses. While supportive of the partial halt on new registrations, farm, beekeeper and environmental groups were disappointed that the action ignored the huge numbers of other bee-harming pesticides already on the market.

“We need EPA to protect bees and other pollinators from the neonicotinoids and other bee-harming insecticides that are already covering the corn and soybean acres in our area, not just keep new products off the market," said Joanna Voigt at Kansas Rural Center.

Over 125 farmer, food safety, beekeeper, faith and environmental groups sent a letter to the president last month urging a moratorium on all neonicotinoids and their chemical cousins, other systemic pesticides. Additionally, more than four million Americans signed petitions urging the Obama administration to take immediate action on bee-toxic pesticides.

Lowe’s Commits to Decisive Action to Protect Pollinators

Friends of the Earth, Domini Social Investments and Trillium Asset Management praised Lowe’s for making a commitment to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides from its stores. After input from suppliers, NGOs, investors and other key stakeholders, the company announced it will phase out neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as suitable alternatives become available, redouble existing integrated pest management practices for suppliers and provide additional material educating customers about pollinator health.

“We commend Lowe’s for taking a leadership position on this critical issue,” said Adam Kanzer, Managing Director and Director of Corporate Engagement at Domini Social Investments. “Sales of neonic-containing products may be exacerbating a critical systemic risk – alarming declines in honeybees and wild pollinators that support our food systems. As investors and as human beings, we all depend upon pollinators. We believe Lowe’s actions will help protect an irreplaceable resource.” See for more information.

Largest City in Northern California to Adopt Bird-Friendly Building Guidelines
San José, the capital of Silicon Valley, has become the fourth and largest California city to enact bird-friendly building guidelines. Previously, ordinances were adopted by San Francisco in 2011 and Oakland in 2013, while guidelines were adopted by Sunnyvale in 2014.  The implementation of Bird-Safe Building Design Standards in San José concludes several months of research led by the San José Environmental Services Department (ESD) and collaborative work with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society (SCVAS) and the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club. San José’s guidelines are based on American Bird Conservancy's Bird Friendly Building Design and will be applied citywide on a voluntary basis. See
Vancouver, Canada Adopts Bird-Friendly Building Guidelines: Congratulations Vancouver for implementing ‎bird-friendly building guidelines! ABC published "Bird-friendly Building Design" in 2011 as a resource for building professionals, and we're excited to see cities like ‎Portland, Minneapolis and ‎Calgary develop guidelines specific to their own regions.

Light Pollutions Adds to Collisions Risk with Glass Building Facades: A group of researchers in New York examined the effects of light and glass on bird-building collisions in an urban park using New York City Audubon's collision-monitoring data from fall migration 2013 and photographic analysis of building facades.  A significant positive relationship was found between the number of collisions and interior building light; however, the amount of light was strongly correlated with the amount of glass in building facades. Carcass persistence at the site was also examined using tagged, dead birds. Only 37 percent of carcasses were found by our monitors, suggesting that our estimate of bird mortality due to collisions has been overly conservative. Mitigation of both light and glass are needed to reduce bird—building collisions in urban areas.  Light, Glass, and Bird—Building Collisions in an Urban Park. Kaitlyn L. Parkins, Susan B. Elbin and Elle Barnes, Northeastern Naturalist 22(1):84-94. 2015 doi:  

All Nations Urged to Protect Alliance for Zero Extinction Sites

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is encouraging nations to take action to meet Target 11 by protecting Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) sites and to apply to the Global Environment Facility to support this end. AZE, which is currently chaired by ABC, works to identify and protect the remaining habitats of birds and other wildlife facing extinction.  Country dossiers outlining the protected area coverage of AZE sites are being developed to help countries plan for AZE site protection.

CBS News Reports on Cat Caused Bird Mortality
This CBS News video features ABC Invasive Species Program Director Grant Sizemore.

ABC Calls for Changes in Collection of Data at Wind Developments
ABC is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to institute a new system of pre-construction risk assessment and bird and bat mortality data collection in connection with wind turbines.  The ABC proposal was made in a letter to Department of Interior and FWS pursuant to their request for comments on information collection in connection with their land-based wind energy guidelines. It follows the entering of a guilty plea on January 6 from PacifiCorp that will require the company to pay $2.5 million in fines, restitution and community service for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act by killing 38 Golden Eagles and 336 other birds at two Wyoming wind farms.

California Marine Sanctuaries Expanded, By Carolyn Lochhead, SF Chronicle, March 12, 2015
WASHINGTON - After more than a decade of effort by California lawmakers, the Obama administration gave final approval Thursday to a giant expansion of two marine sanctuaries off the coast north of San Francisco that will protect one of the planet's most prolific ocean ecosystems. The Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries will more than double to become an area nearly the size of Connecticut. The 2,220-square-mile expansion to the north and west covers ocean where an unusual upwelling of cold water, driven by winds, brings nutrients to shallow coastal areas. That in turn encourages intense plankton blooms, reefs and sponges that provide food for fish, marine mammals such as endangered whales, turtles and birds, including the largest seabird colony on the U.S. mainland. It is one of four such areas in the world.

Wisconsin NPR Reports on Lead Poisoning and Bald Eagles: Wildlife rehabber gives a first-hand account of the lead poisoning of a Bald Eagle on Wisconsin Public Radio. ABC's position continues to be that if you are going to hunt, use only lead-free ammunition and eliminate the needless deadly poisoning of millions of wildlife that ingest lead fragments or pellets.

Birders and Hunters Support Conservation: Birders and hunters alike make a difference for wildlife, according to a new story. Both groups are about eight times more likely than others to engage in activities like enhancing land for wildlife, donating to conservation groups, and advocating for wildlife.  Conservation Magazine reports: