Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory

Director Updates

WGLBBO Director’s Report March 1, 2018

WGLBBO Director’s Report

March 1, 2018 

W. Mueller, WGLBBO Director

AERIAL INSECTIVORE NEWS: Our “Urban Birds” Project (with its urban aerial insectivore monitoring at the core) grant from USFWS gets underway this spring, with meetings now taking place, workshops in the planning stages, and Bryan Lenz working on the GIS aspects this month.

In other aerial insectivore news, the Midwest Aerial Insectivore Discussion Group that I manage continues to gain new members (now at 93 members region-wide): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1581381955435390/

JOINT VENTURE NEWS: Bryan and I participated in the recent Joint Venture meetings. Bryan gave a presentation on the Midwest Migration Network. What is the JV? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service definition for a joint venture is “a self-directed partnership of agencies, organizations, corporations, tribes, or individuals that has formally accepted the responsibility of implementing national or international bird conservation plans within a specific geographic area or for a specific taxonomic group, and has received general acceptance in the bird conservation community for such responsibility”. Working both collectively and independently, JV partners conduct activities in support of bird conservation goals cooperatively developed by the partnership. There are 18 habitat JVs in the nation today, and JVs are recognized as the standard for effective, science-based delivery of bird conservation through partnerships.  

KESTREL PROJECT UPDATE: We will hold our Statewide Kestrel Partnership meeting on March 19th, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. I coordinated with many state partners to organize this event.

A brief description of the purpose for this meeting: Our colleagues from The Peregrine Fund are coming to Wisconsin to meet with us to improve kestrel nestbox data gathering and project coordination. There are some exciting new developments this year, including a new smartphone app for data.

We are seeking new partner groups to join us, and simultaneously help to improve kestrel numbers while providing data for research.

We are also very interested in sharing all current WI kestrel breeding records with the ongoing Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II, and we'll talk about how to do that if participants in the nestbox effort aren't already doing so. The meeting will be held in Columbia County, at a University of Wisconsin Agricultural Research Station.

I am the new state coordinator for the Kestrel Partnership for WI.


March 10, Birding America Conference in Chicago: Mike Reese and I present on the Atlas.


April 7 (tentative) Nocturnal Field Trip – 2-3 Door County Blocks

Western Regional Kickoff – April 14, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. National Eagle Center 50 Pembroke Ave, Wabasha, MN 55981.  Tom Prestby, Mike Reese, and I are presenters. Optional afternoon field trip.

Eastern Regional Kickoff - April 21, 12–4:30 p.m. Sturgeon Bay Library 107 S 4th Ave, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235.  Tom Prestby, Mike Reese, and I are presenters. Optional evening field trip.

OFFSHORE SURVEY NEWS: I participated in, and presented our Great Lakes Commission offshore survey project poster at the "State of Lake Michigan" conference in Green Bay, where I joined a number of great colleagues from UWGB: