Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory

Headquarters at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve

Southeastern Wisconsin Conservation Summit banner

Director Updates

April 2017

WGLBBO Director’s and Chief Scientist’s Report – April 2017

W. Mueller and B. Lenz

Many projects are underway as of early April, with continuing progress through late winter:

“Conservation Center” meetings, with M. Tomter, J. Torinus, WGLBBO Board members, OWLT Director and staff, Andrew Struck

Planning and outreach is underway for our fall 2017 “Southeastern Wisconsin Conservation Summit”.

WBBAII – Wi Breeding Bird Atlas II Training/Regional Kickoff workshops in

  • Vernon County, WI at the Kickapoo Reserve
  • Rice Lake, WI, at the Rice Lake Public Library, with a morning field trip
  • Green Bay, WI, at the UWGB Env. Studies Computer Lab, with a nocturnal field trip in Door Co
  • Upcoming on Apr 29, in Kenosha, at Kenosha Pub. Libr., with nocturnal field trip nearby
  • These are funded by two grants: A WI Citizen-based Monitoring Grant, and a Coastal Grant

Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative Steering Committee – Strategic Planning is underway, for this largest bird conservation umbrella organization – the largest in the Midwest.

Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative Issues Committee “Issues Papers” – more are currently in preparation, with edits/updates to the existing Lead Poisoning and Birds paper

Meetings with Governance, Finance, and Science Committees “re-organization”

Kestrel Nestbox Workshop, in partnership with Ozaukee County Planning and Parks, March 22

Data management for the deployment of new AMKE nestboxes w/ our Madison Audubon partnership

Planning for IMBD 

Calvin Brennan started a new 2017 Spring Season of the Waterbird Watch on March 1. Calvin lived at the UW-Milw Field Station house until April 1. This worked well.

Our banding crew is setting up for an early start to the 2017 spring season.

Meeting with OWLT staff to coordinate breeding bird surveys, and a new migration point count project. We hope to eventually coordinate with Ozaukee Co. Planning & Parks on this also.

Ongoing participation in Great Lakes Commission pelagic bird survey data analysis.

Added a part-time data management consultant, Jesse Peterson, to our staff – Jesse is helping us coordinate and organize data for the next paper on the 2016 Waterbird Watch results, work on the Clausen dataset, and more potential projects to come.

Jean Clausen lived on the banks of the Wisconsin River west of Madison, and lived into her mid-nineties. She kept daily records of her bird observations, 365 days per year, for multiple decades. We are examining these records to consider possible analyses.

Another potential dataset is that of long-term banding records and sight observations from Tom Erdman, Curator of the Richter Museum of Natural History at UW Green Bay. To work with these data would require funding. Seeking funding is under consideration.

Addition of Jill Kunsmann to Board of Directors – welcome Jill!

Social media: WGLBBO Facebook page has weekly additions: https://www.facebook.com/wglbbo

Aerial Insectivore Facebook Discussion Group is increasingly active, with 52 current members from across the Midwest Region; recent posts on swallow decline, Golondrinas Network, Purple Martin research

I participated as reviewer for a PLOS-One journal article on bird collision research, at the request of editor Dr. C. Lepczyk.

I participated as corresponding reviewer for a bird climate change assessment for GLIFWC, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission: http://www.glifwc.org/

Ongoing good news re: bird collisions work in southeastern WI, and our involvement:

A group of us attended an excellent event at UW-Madison on bird collisions on Fri. moderated by Dr. Stan Temple. I had this news to share from our southeast WI activities/progress:

  1. Dr. Glen Fredlund, Director of the Conservation and Environmental Science Program (https://uwm.edu/conservation-environmental-science/ ) at UW-Milwaukee, started mapping locations of and identifying window-killed birds on the UW-Milwaukee campus several years ago, in an effort to identify the buildings that were the source of the greatest level of mortality. (Glen is at )
  2. As a result of Dr. Fredlund's work, and in conversation with faculty in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP: https://uwm.edu/sarup/ ) at UW-Milw., a response has grown on several levels.
  3. There is now an Institute of Ecological Design within SARUP.
  4. Dr. Filip Tejchman, a faculty member in SARUP, is engaged in research described in this presentation: http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/annualmeeting2016/presentations/6_Fri145_CollisionsSolutions_Tejchman.pdf (Filip is at )
  5. A group of us in s.e. WI are working with Dr. Fredlund and Dr. Tejchman. You already know these folks:
  • Shawn Graff - American Bird Conservancy
  • Dr. Bryan Lenz - Bird City Wisconsin and WGLBBO
  • Carl Schwartz - Chair of the Bird City WI Board of Directors, and Chair of the WGLBBO Board

We hope to have much more exciting news to share in the near future on several other related fronts.