WBCI e-News vol. 3, no. 2 (May 7, 2003)
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 occasionally beyond). Our apologies for the long delay between issues and for any items which were not included in a timely manner.

We'd like to welcome the most recent WBCI endorsers which brings our number of partners to 120: Science Kit & Boreal Laboratories, Bayfield Regional Conservancy, WWOA Foundation Inc - Seno Woodland Center, Ned Hollister Bird Club, Ellwood H. May Environmental Park, Madeline Island Chamber of Commerce, Cable Area Chamber of Commerce, Upper Green Bay Basin Partnership Team, and Highbridge Hills Northern Lights Educational Center.

Quote: "Each spring, hundreds of thousands of birds return to Wisconsin from long migrations that began in Mexico and Central and South America. These birds are called Neotropical migrants, named after the Neotropics where they spend the winter. 'This is one of the most spectacular events in nature,' says Sumner Matteson, an avian ecologist with the Department of Natural Resources. 'It is occurring right now, and you can enjoy it with nothing more than a good pair of binoculars.'" From the April 29, 2003 Wisconsin DNR News & Outdoor Report. For more information, see item I below.

In this issue:

I. International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) - Saturday, May 10!
II. WBCI Committee Meetings Announced
Wetlands Subcommittee - Tues, May 13, 9 a.m.- noon, NRCS, 6515 Watts Rd, Madison
III. Great River Birding Festival - May 9, 10 & 11 - Mississippi River
IV. Bird Banding Event - Saturday, May 17 - Waupaca Field Station
V. Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey - June 6-8 - Wabeno, WI
VI. Importance of Canada's Boreal Forest to North American Bird Life
VII. Volunteers Needed To Conduct Roadside Bird Surveys - June 2003
VIII. Wisconsin Shorebird Survey

Invitation to contribute news

I. International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) - Saturday, May 10!

For just a sampling of IMBD events that are occurring statewide, please see the WBCI website www.wisconsinbirds.org We know there are many more IMBD events across the state than are listed and are hoping to get a much earlier start next year so that we can list all IMBD events that occur in Wisconsin. To make sure your event is listed next year, contact Karen Etter Hale.

--submitted by Karen Etter Hale, WBCI Chair, 608/255-BIRD masoffice@mailbag.com

II. WBCI Committee Meetings Announced

All WBCI meetings are open to everyone. Please attend if possible and pass along word to anyone who may be interested in attending or joining any WBCI committee. Contact committee chairs for more information and agendas.

Wetlands and Shorelines Subcommittee - Joel Trick & Jim Ruwaldt, co-chairs
Tues, May 13 from 9 a.m.- noon NRCS, 6515 Watts Rd, Madison --Joel (Joel_Trick@fws.gov), Jim (James_Ruwaldt@fws.gov)

III. Great River Birding Festival - May 9, 10 & 11 - Mississippi River

The 2nd Annual Great River Birding Festival: Celebrating Spring, International Migratory Bird Day and the Mississippi River Flyway Friday to Sunday, May 9, 10 & 11, 2003, Mother's Day Weekend. For more information or to preregister for special events, go to www.mississippi-river.org or call 1-877-525-3248.

The Great River Birding Festival is a cooperative event between the Audubon - Upper Mississippi River Campaign and the Mississippi Valley Partners.

--submitted by Bonnie Koop, Coordinator, Great River Birding Trail, Audubon - Upper Mississippi River Campaign, 1707 Main Street - Suite 105, La Crosse, WI 54601 608/784-2992, bkoop@audubon.org

IV. Bird Banding Event - Saturday, May 17 - Waupaca Field Station

Please join the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust and the Waupaca Field Station in celebrating International Migratory Bird Day. On Saturday, May 17, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. we will be catching birds in mist nets to place leg bands on them. Information on the leg bands is shared with USGS. The information is used to help determine population sizes and migratory pathways. You are invited to attend and observe how this process is done. The rain date will be Sunday, May 18. Beverages will be provided but please bring a lunch or snacks. Other items to consider bringing are sunscreen, insect repellent and a camera. The Ice Age Trail is nearby for those that may want to get a little hiking in. For more details about last year's event and directions to the Waupaca Field Station, please go to http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/BbandingWaupaca.htm

--submitted by Deb Martin, Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust and the Waupaca Field Station, 920/731-3130 dmartin@landmarkstaffing.com

V. Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey - June 6-8 - Wabeno, WI

The 17th Annual Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey will be held Friday to Sunday, June 6-8, 2003, with headquarters at the LeFeber Scout Camp on Hardwood Lake, ~ 9 mi NW of Wabeno, WI. The NNF Bird Survey is the longest running volunteer bird monitoring program in a U.S. national forest. Everyone with an interest in birds and a desire for adventure is invited to participate in the Bird Survey. Volunteers work in small groups led by at least one expert in bird song identification. Computerized results are used to guide forest management policies and have been the subject of numerous scientific research articles and master's theses. Results also provide visitors with information about habitat preferences and "hot-spots" for northern Wisconsin's bird species. For complete information, see http://www.uwgb.edu/birds/nnf/

--submitted by Bob Howe, UW-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, hower@uwgb.edu

VI. Importance of Canada's Boreal Forest to North American Bird Life

A new report was released on the vital importance of Canada's boreal forest to North American bird life. One in three birds across North America owes its existence to Canada's boreal forest. New scientific evidence shows the fate of much of the continent's bird life depends on the future of this vast northern landscape, a future that is now at a cross roads. The evidence is detailed in the report "The Importance of Canada's Boreal Forest to Landbirds" by biologist Peter Blancher of Bird Studies Canada. The study, based on an unprecedented compilation of bird census data from across Canada and the United States, was released on May 10th, International Migratory Bird Day.

Canada's boreal forest is the annual birthplace of as many as three billion of North America's warblers, thrushes, sparrows, hawks, woodpeckers and other land-living birds. It is also the largest intact forested ecosystem left in the world. The boreal, however, is under increasing pressure from development. Logging, agricultural conversion, oil and gas exploration and production, mining, and hydropower development are increasingly fragmenting the boreal. The U.S. can play a critical role in protecting the boreal. U.S. consumers purchase much of the pulp and wood products, oil and gas, and hydropower produced from the boreal.

Canada's boreal forest offers an unparalleled opportunity to save one of Earth's most important wilderness treasures.

The "Importance of Canada's Boreal Forest to Landbirds" was commissioned by the U.S.-based Boreal Songbird Initiative and the Canadian Boreal Initiative. The Boreal Songbird Initiative (BSI) is a new project dedicated to educating birdwatchers and naturalists throughout the United States about the importance of the boreal forest to migratory birds and assisting efforts in Canada to conserve it. To obtain a copy of the report, or find out more information about the Boreal Forest and birds, go to www.borealbirds.org or www.borealcanada.ca.

--submitted by Steve Miller, WDNR, 608/266-5782, Steven.Miller@dnr.state.wi.us

VII. Volunteers Needed To Conduct Roadside Bird Surveys - June 2003

Volunteers are needed to conduct roadside bird surveys in central and southern Wisconsin, central Minnesota, and the northeast corner of Iowa. Volunteers must be experienced birders with good hearing and be able to reliably identify birds of the Midwest by sight and sound. Volunteers will be asked to commit to 2 or more mornings during June 2003 (volunteers also will be needed for June 2004 and 2005). Volunteers must provide their own transportation. The data collected will be used to test the accuracy of predicted bird abundances for the region designed to aid managers in bird conservation planning in the region. Volunteers will receive a stipend for their efforts. Interested volunteers should contact Les Murray.

--submitted by Les Murray, UW-Madison, 608/263-7595 (day), 608/274-2090 (evening), ldmurray@wisc.edu

VIII. Wisconsin Shorebird Survey

This year, Wisconsin is again participating the in the Western Shorebird Survey project. Now is the time to begin to observe, monitor and enter your findings on the shorebird survey webpage: http://wss.wr.usgs.gov/ If you are interested in participating, please check out the webpage before your birding trip to become familiar with the survey sites and specific locations, survey protocols and methods for entering your sightings. Under the section entitled Select Maps, click on Wisconsin, then click Switch Maps. A state map of Wisconsin will come up indicating 12 sites which are currently included in the Wisconsin Shorebird Survey.

--submitted by Sumner Matteson, WDNR, 608/266-1571 sumner.matteson@dnr.state.wi.us

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 "new" WBCI Website: http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/


Karen Etter Hale, WBCI 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