From: Madison Audubon []
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2002 3:50 PM
Subject: WBCI e-News vol.2, no.1 (March 8, 2002)
WBCI e-News vol. 2, no. 1 (March 8, 2002)

The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative: "A cooperative partnership to deliver the full spectrum of bird conservation emphasizing voluntary stewardship."

The WBCI  (Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative) e-News is a periodic e-newsletter to quickly share that is happening in bird conservation across Wisconsin (and occassionally beyond). We'd like to welcome the most recent WBCI endorser which has brought the number of partners to 102:  S. Paul Jones Naturalists Society.

In this issue:

I.     First WBCI Coordinating Council Meeting March 14
II.    WSO Speakers' Bureau - Looking for Speakers
III.   Golden-winged Warbler Survey Volunteers Needed
IV.   Study of How Electronic Rare Bird Alerts Affect Birding Behaviors Which Impact Local Community Economies
V.     UWM (Milwaukee) Field Station Workshops

Invitation to contribute news

I.     First WBCI Coordinating Council Meeting March 14

The first meeting of the WBCI Coordinating Council (CC) will be Thursday, March 14 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the Lussier Family Heritage Center in Madison. All partners and the public are welcome to attend this and all other WBCI meetings. Participation on the standing, ad hoc, and subcommittees is open to all and we invite and encourage you to sign up for one or more of these. The discussion and voting at CC meetings, however, will be primarily by CC members.

This first meeting is important as we will setting the course for implementing WBCI: reviewing where we're at - past, present, and future, setting procedures, looking at an overview
of WBCI funding, electing a chair and vice-chair, setting up the standing committees and more.

Directions to the Lussier Family Heritage Center (3101 Lake Farm Road): From the
Beltline Hwy in Madison (Hwy12/18) exit on South Towne Blvd. Turn south on South Towne
Blvd and go past the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District buildings, then turn left on
Moorland Road. Moorland Rd turns south and becomes Lake Farm Rd. The Lussier Family
Heritage Center (part of Lake Farm Park, owned by Dane County Parks) is on the left less than
half a mile from Moorland Rd.

For more information or a complete agenda, please contact Karen Etter Hale.

--submitted by Karen Etter Hale, WBCI ad hoc committee chair (

II.    WSO Speakers' Bureau - Looking for Speakers

I am putting together the second edition of the WSO (Wisconsin Society for Ornithology) Speakers' Bureau. This small booklet lists persons who are willing to give presentations about birds and bird-related activities to groups such as bird clubs, Audubon groups, nature centers, and maybe to school groups. You will be listed with how to reach you, travel restrictions, subjects you speak on, amount you charge, etc.   Anyone interested in having you speak to their group, contacts you directly and you make the arrangements to give the talk. You get to say which talks you give and which you don't.  The booklet is just a listing to help groups find you.

I would like to list a few people who are willing and able to discuss WBCI and the various projects/activities within WBCI. I also am happy to list anyone from WBCI member organizations who give talks about birds. Just email me at  and I'll send you the form to fill out for the information I need for the booklet.  You can do it all via email.

Thanks for your help.

--submitted by Bettie Harriman, Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Publicity Chair (

III.    Golden-winged Warbler Survey Volunteers Needed

This is the final year for conducting surveys for the Golden-winged Warbler Atlas Project (GOWAP) organized through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  As the Wisconsin Coordinator for GOWAP, I'm seeking volunteers to help survey Golden-winged Warblers, Blue-winged Warblers, and their hybrids around the State.

There are 2 surveys conducted from mid-May through June 20: (1) The Hybrid Index Survey involves conducting 20 point count surveys throughout a DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer page, and (2) The Population Density Survey involves revisiting a site multiple times to determine the density of singing Golden-wing males within a known or estimated area of contiguous habitat.  For the Hybrid Index Survey, most attention is needed in the southwest corner of the State (DeLorme Atlas pages 40, 41, 32, 33, 34, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 48 (insert only)) and a couple scattered pages elsewhere (pages 44 and 79).  For the Population Density Survey, we need help anywhere in the State where golden-wings are found.  We especially need some estimates of male densities in non-aspen shrub communties including alder/willow, barrens, abandoned farm fields, hardwood clearcuts, young conifer plantations, or any other shrub community.

You don't need to be an expert birder to volunteer.  Cornell will send you all the materials you need to ID the birds and conduct the surveys.  The survey kit will include a cassette tape of Golden-wing and Blue-wing songs that works very well at attracting the birds to you. To learn more about the project, the birds, and the survey protocols go to

Wisconsin birders are leading the Midwest in the percent of the states covered for the Hybrid Index Survey.  I would appreciate your help in achieving total state coverage this year and making a strong contribution to this important effort.  If you are interested in helping out with the
final survey season or have questions about the surveys, please contact me via email or at my home phone number (715-282-5303).   Thanks!!

--submitted by Amber Roth, Wildlife Reseach Technician, WI DNR, Bureau of Integrated Science Services, 107 Sutliff Avenue, Rhinelander, WI 54501 (

IV.    Study of How Electronic Rare Bird Alerts Affect Birding Behaviors Which Impact Local Community Economies

Sarah Hume has finished her Master's project and the results are available at California State University, Fullerton.  Eventually there will be a web version of the project.  Below is the abstract from the project.


This project examined the relationship between birder's use of electronic rare bird alerts and how their birding behaviors impact local community economies.  A web-based survey was devised and conducted to understand how knowledge regarding rare birds is transferred through the Internet and how subsequent birders' behavior and spending habits might change.  The survey
had 77 questions, some with multiple parts, divided into: demographics, birding background, use of non-electronic and electronic rare bird alerts, economics and identity.  Identity results are presented elsewhere.  To be able to reach the population of birders that use electronic bird alerts, a request to advertise the survey was sent to as many North American alert listserv owners as could be found.

From 9 April 2000 to 24 April 2000, the survey was posted on a web site that automatically presented survey questions and scored the answers, and 632 valid responses were received.  The respondents came from almost every state in the United States as well as several other nations.  Through the use of principal component analysis, the population of respondents was found to be one group with large amounts of variation rather than distinct separate groups.  The Internet respondents were demographically similar to other birder samples, but were slightly younger (average age = 46.0) and more ethnically diverse than other studies of birders (Asian-American = 2.0%, Eurasian-American = 92.2%, and Hispanic-American = 1.2%).

Respondents indicated that the rarer a bird, the greater the distance they were willing to travel to see it.  Also, birders using the Internet checked the electronic rare bird alerts from more places more frequently (every other day) than non-electronic rare bird alerts (1.7 times a month).  Although Internet usage did not appear to change the frequency a birder went into the field, it did influence where the birders chose to go and thus where they spent their money.  Birders spend money in wide variety of venues.  Per month, the birders spent the most money on transportation and eating expenses. As more of the birding community becomes connected to the Internet, more birders will utilize the Internet to help determine where they go birding.  Communities and localities that are better connected to this part of the Internet should be able to attract more birders and thus increase their impact into the local economies.

--submitted by Noel Cutright, Wisconsin Energy Corp (

V.  UWM (Milwaukee) Field Station Workshops

The UW-Milwaukee Field Station (a WBCI partner) in the Town of Saukville, Ozaukee County, offers a selection of high quality workshops.  One of the 2002 workshops, which goes for an entire week in late August, focuses on bird population censusing and territory mapping.  The instructor is Dr. Scott Tarof, a post-doc student at UW-M, who worked on the Least Flycatcher for his dissertation at the University of Toronto. For the complete listing of workshops and information on how to register, please visit the Field Station's website at

The Field Station also schedules a few public walks into the Cedarburg Bog during the year.

--submitted by Noel Cutright, Wisconsin Energy Corp (

Invitation to contribute news. Please submit items for the WBCI e-News to this e-mail address. These could be anything that you and your group or agency wish to share about what is being done, where, and by whom: projects that are in the works, whether large or small, local or state-wide; activities, programs, and workshops; what the average birder might do to help out; what the problems are; or what help you might need on specific projects.

No attachments will be allowed. Instead, try to include web links whenever possible for more detail. Or if the information is lengthy, and only an attachment would be efficient, provide an e-mail contact so that those interested can ask for the attachment. The source of the item posted will be included at the end of each message.

Back issues of the WBCI e-News can be found on the WBCI Website:


Karen Etter Hale, WBCI ad hoc committee chair
and WBCI e-news coordinator

Executive Secretary
Madison Audubon Society
222 S. Hamilton St., Suite 1
Madison, WI 53703-3201
608/255-2489 fax