Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory

Director Updates

Director’s Report – July 2018

W. Mueller

Motus – meetings and coordination continue throughout the summer.

I’ve had meetings with representatives from our multiple partner organizations and individuals who intend to fund – or host – a Motus station, with more forthcoming.

Additional news to come in August and September.

WBBAII Breeding Bird Atlas

I have completed 90% of my teaching/coordination of training for the Atlas for 2018, and a  CBM grant is coming our way to pay for my time on that project.

Our Urban Birds Grant from USFWS involves a series of workshops with our partners at Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center

“From Flowers to Feathers”

We did a workshop about incorporating native plants into urban yards, basic principles of design, and how native plants help many wildlife species, especially birds.

This included presentations from Urban Ecology Center(UEC) and Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory (WGLBBO) staff, sharing their bird-focused experience and expertise. Native plants were once again on sale, so people could be enticed to start creating habitat in their yard right away. A portion of proceeds from the sale benefited the UEC.  

From Flowers to Feathers: Workshops & Native Plant Sale

Saturday, June 23 

Another follow-up workshop at UEC will take place in early autumn. 

Chimney Swift- Common Nighthawk Project

As another part of our Urban Birds grant, we now have 17 cooperators running monitoring routes in Milwaukee County. This is a time-demanding project for this year.  Cooperators do a route once each week, with six stops, at each of which they do a point count for Chimney Swifts and Common Nighthawks.  Interim results will be presented at the Fall WBCI/BCW Conference.

WBCI/BCW Annual Conference

Continuing in this ‘aerial insectivore’ vein, you hopefully all saw a notice for the September Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative/Bird City Wisconsin Conference in our newsletter. I have been part of a four-person planning team organizing the speakers, getting their topics coordinated, and developing the agenda and schedule, and the registration set-up. This year’s theme is the decline of aerial insectivores, which include all six species of swallows found in Wisconsin, both nightjars, Chimney Swift, and a group of forest fly catchers.

Please consider attending this important conference. Aerial insectivores comprise a group of valuable, much-beloved species which are all in serious decline.

To see the entire schedule, refer to our newsletter, or the latest Badger Birder, or go to this link:


Registration is at: http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Registration-form_final_2018.pdf

American Kestrel Partnership

Mike has been coordinating data management with our statewide partners. He also collects data from several of our own boxes, and we are working toward the development of partnerships with additional nature centers, County governments, and individuals. We are progressing toward cooperation with three types of partners:

  • Some collect and enter their own data into the AKP system
  • Some need our help with parts of the implementation of the monitoring process and data entry.
  • Some have kestrel nestboxes in place, or wish to do so, but are at an “entry-level” point in the process, and need our assistance with beginning steps.

Midwest Migration Network

Our work on our MMN grant this year is multi-parted. It involves developing subcontracts with Point Blue Conservation Science, and Mark Shieldcastle. Point Blue will work on a complicated data interface between the Midwest Avian Data Center, and the Bird Banding Lab. Mark Shieldcastle will lead a series of workshops across the eight states of the Midwest Region to implement a new set of protocols for banding stations and the way they record and archive data. We submitted a grant modification to our existing grant in May; it is in the USFWS grant “pipeline,” and will take some time to work through their process.

My Midwest Aerial Insectivore Discussion Group continues to grow.  The number of members  has increased consistently this year, and the Discussion Group now has 122 members. See it, or join at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1581381955435390/

Arial Insect Facebook