WBCI e-News vol. 4, no. 4 (June 2, 2004)
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).

Quote: "Whenever I see extensive agricultural fields that are dominated by row crops, I think of the [?]. This species nests quite early in the Upper Midwest and is quite at home in these seemingly barren agricultural habitats. I tallied 57 [?] on the Lockport, OH route, which was dominated by thousands of acres of young corn and soybean struggling to grow in very wet soils." - Noel Cutright, 5/31/04. To find out which species Noel is referring to, check out his campaign website at http://quad30campaign.org/

In this issue:

I. Citizen-Based Monitoring Conference - August 20-21, 2004
II. Neotropical Migrant Birds Symposium - Fri & Sat, Feb 4-5, 2005 - Wisconsin Rapids: Chandler Robbins to be Keynote Speaker
III. WBCI Committee Meetings Announced
Outreach, Wed, June 16, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., DNR Research - Monona
Issues Committee, Wed, July 14 time & location to be announced
Habitat Assessment & Management Committee, Thurs, Aug 26, 10 a.m. - noon, location to be announced
Coordinating Council, Thurs, Aug 26, 1-4 p.m. location to be announced
IV. Coffee, Nicaragua, Social, & Environmental Messages
V. Quad 30 Campaign

Invitation to contribute news

I. Citizen-Based Monitoring Conference - August 20-21, 2004

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Inventory and Monitoring Section, is coordinating a Citizen-Based Monitoring Conference on Friday and Saturday, August 20-21, 2004 at Monona Terrace Convention Center, Madison, WI. The goal of the conference is to produce a collaborative framework for integrating, enhancing, and
utilizing volunteer monitoring in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has many long-standing volunteer monitoring efforts, but there is often little coordination between programs, and data collected may not be utilized as broadly as it could be. This conference seeks to gather citizen groups, environmental and conservation organizations, state agencies, and funding entities to highlight what we have and discuss ways to improve.

The spectrum of organizations co-sponsoring this conference reflects the enormous statewide interest in volunteer monitoring programs. The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, Wisconsin Conservation Congress, Trout Unlimited, River Alliance, Wisconsin Association of Lakes, Gathering Waters Conservancy, Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Sierra Club, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Madison Audubon Society, and Beaver Creek Reserve have all agreed to partner with the Department to develop and co-sponsor the conference.

Activities at the event will include:

* looking at other state models of volunteer monitor coordination to see whether they might be applicable to Wisconsin
* highlighting existing successful volunteer-based monitoring programs in Wisconsin
* identifying volunteer needs regarding training, methods, data delivery, and equipment
* discussing potential uses of volunteer-generated data
* setting species and geographic priorities
* linking monitoring programs with potential funding sources
* collaborating to advance citizen-based monitoring in Wisconsin

For more information, see http://ATRIweb.info or contact Shannon Fenner at 715/966-1048 or shannon.fenner@dnr.state.wi.us

--submitted by Shannon Fenner, Wisconsin DNR, shannon.fenner@dnr.state.wi.us

II. Neotropical Migrant Birds Symposium - Fri & Sat, Feb 4-5, 2005 - Wisconsin Rapids: Chandler Robbins to be Keynote Speaker

We are excited to announce that Chandler Robbins will be the keynote speaker at a symposium on Neotropical Migrant Birds being planned by WBCI and the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. This jointly-sponsored, two-day symposium will take place Friday and Saturday, February 4-5, 2005 at the Hotel Mead & Conference Center in Wisconsin Rapids. Please put this on your calendar now.

Chandler Robbins will give the keynote speech Friday evening, February 4. He is the brother of Wisconsin’s revered Sam Robbins, is a senior ornithologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Maryland, and he has written more than 400 papers, reports, and books on ornithology, including the Golden Guide to Birds of North America.

A recent recipient of National Audubon Society’s prestigious Audubon Medal, which recognizes substantial accomplishments in conservation or environmental protection, Robbins was honored for his outstanding contributions to our understanding of bird migration and identification techniques.

In 1965, Robbins initiated the federal Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), a program that tracks bird populations. One of the keys to the success of the BBS is his understanding of the importance of volunteers and his insistence that amateur birders can contribute a great deal to the science of ornithology.

Bird Migration and Wintering Sites – An Examination and a Call to Action

The two-day symposium will have a two-prong focus: On Friday, speakers will examine what happens to the birds that breed in Wisconsin during migration and on their wintering grounds. At the end of the day, we should have a heightened awareness of the amount of time “our” birds spend away from their nesting grounds and of the risks they face. As a result, we will have a strong base on which to build an understanding of how to help conserve their populations – which leads us to Saturday. Saturday’s speakers will present various projects and provide ways that either we or our organizations can become involved.

Other speakers are already committed to the event. Friday’s luncheon speaker will be Bill Evans, who has worked with monitoring migrant birds across the United States and has refined the identification of night migrant birds by their sounds. Vicki Piaskowski, international coordinator of the Birds without Borders – Aves Sin Fronteras project, will also join us on Friday. In all, there will be more than a dozen speakers from across the U.S.

Watch for further details and registration information in upcoming issues of the WBCI e-News.

If you have questions or would like to be involved with planning, please contact one of the Symposium Committee: Bettie Harriman (bettie@vbe.com), Andy Paulios (andy.paulios@dnr.state.wi.us), Craig Thompson (craig.thompson@dnr.state.wi.us), and Christine Reel (dcreel@execpc.com).

--submitted by Christine Reel, WSO Treasurer, dcreel@execpc.com

III. 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.

Outreach - Jamie Nack, Chair (jlnack@wisc.edu)
Wed, June 16, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. DNR Research, 1350 Femrite, Monona

Issues Committee - Bill Mueller, Chair (iltlawas@earthlink.net)
Wednesday, July 14 time and location to be announced

Habitat Assessment & Management Committee - Gary Zimmer, Chair (rgszimm@newnorth.net), Jeff Gaska, Vice-chair (jgaska@pheasantsforever.org)
Thursday, Aug 22, 10 a.m. - Noon, location to be announced

Coordinating Council - Karen Etter Hale, Chair (masoffice@mailbag.com)
Thursday, Aug 22, 1-4 p.m., location to be announced

IV. Coffee, Nicaragua, Social, & Environmental Messages

I thought you might be interested in this article on socially responsible and shade-grown coffee in the most recent issue of Smithsonian Magazine (May 2004). The article focuses mainly on the reality and the possibilities in Nicaragua.

The piece appears as a downloadable pdf is on the following web page:

--submitted by Paul J. Baicich, Community Leader, Swarovski Birding - North America, P.O. Box 404, Oxon Hill, MD 20750, 410/992-9736, paul.baicich@swarovskibirding.com

V. Quad 30 Campaign

Don't forget to check out Noel Cutright's Quad 30 Campaign website, http://quad30campaign.org/, to find out where Noel is, about the "Bird of the Day", what "Strange Happenings" might be occurring, how to pledge, and much, much more. Noel is attempting the impossible – trying to conduct 30 North American Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) in 30 days in 4 states to celebrate his more than 30 years of running BBSs and to raise $30,000 for bird conservation. All money raised will go to support the Important Bird Areas program.

--submitted by Karen Etter Hale, Madison Audubon Society, masoffice@mailbag.com

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 Chair
and WBCI e-News Coordinator

Executive Secretary
Madison Audubon Society
222 S Hamilton St, Suite 1
Madison, WI 53703-3201
608/255-BIRD (2473)
608/255-2489 fax

--Making Time for Birds