WBCI e-News vol. 1, no. 2 (December 13, 2001)

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

Welcome to the second issue of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, a periodic e-newsletter to quickly share what is happening in bird conservation across Wisconsin (and occasionally beyond). If you missed the first issue, please see below for the announcement of our new website.

We'd like to welcome the most recent WBCI endorsers which now number 101 partners: American Transmission Co. LLC, Gathering Waters Conservancy (special congratulations to Vicki Elkin and her group which was #100!), Heart Lake Conservation Associates LLC, Lawrence University, Madison Gas & Electric Co., Mississippi Valley Conservancy, Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Prairie Future Seed Co., Prairie Nursery, Ripon College, and Wild Bird, Wildlife & Backyard Habitat Expo.

In this issue:

Invitation to contribute news

I.     WBCI Website
II.    Kicking Off IMBD (International Migratory Bird Day) 2002
III.   Bald Eagle Radio Telemetry Project - Sauk City - volunteers needed
IV.   Grassland Bird Point Count Project - Southeast Wisconsin - volunteers needed
V.     Neotropical Migratory Bird Act Funding

Invitation to contribute news. Please submit items for the WBCI e-News to this e-mail address. Items can be anything that you and your group, company, or agency wish to share about what is being done for birds and bird conservation, 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; announcements and workshops; 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.

I.    WBCI Website

The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology is hosting a new WBCI website is at http://www.uwgb.edu/birds/wso/wbci.htm  It includes the four-page WBCI document in three parts: background, goals and objectives, and implementation schedule; the May 12, 2001 signing ceremony, including a photo of WBCI signers, the DNR press release, and the governor's proclamation; a list of current endorsers; the memorandum of agreement form; and back issues of the WBCI e-News.

--submitted by Jennifer Davis, WSO and Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas Webmaster (wbba@uwgb.edu)

II.    Kicking Off IMBD 2002

-----Original Message-----
From: IMBD@fws.gov
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2001
To: FWS-IMBD@lists.fws.gov
Subject: Kicking Off IMBD 2002!

Hello Everybody!

With the clocks turned back, and the long winter ahead, my thoughts turn to spring...and International Migratory Bird Day 2002!

Sue Bonfield and I, as national IMBD coordinators, have been busy planning for next year's celebration, and are eager to share developments:  As always, the "official" date for IMBD is the second Saturday in May (May 11, 2002) -- though you are encouraged to celebrate anytime the birds are around.

The art for IMBD 2002 is a colorful collection of flying birds by artist Charley Harper.  Visit http://birds.fws.gov/imbd to take a look!  This website also offers an introduction to the IMBD 2002 Theme:  A Celebration of Special Places.  Over the next several weeks, we'll be adding to this website as well as updating the On-Line Store at http://www.BirdDay.org with great, new products and information.

Please let us know your plans and thoughts for IMBD 2002...the IMBD Events Registry, accessible via the websites, is a great way to share your events. Of course, feel free to contact me (Jennifer Wheeler at IMBD@fws.gov) or Sue Bonfield (SBonfield@aol.com) directly with questions or comments.

Thank you for supporting migratory bird conservation,

Jennifer Wheeler

--submitted by Noel Cutright, Wisconsin Energy Corp (noel.cutright@wepco.com)

III.    Bald Eagle Radio Telemetry Project - Sauk City - volunteers needed

The Ferry Bluff Eagle Council, Sauk City, is looking for volunteers for this year's Radio Telemetry Project.  We will be tracking up to 15 wild (non-rehabilitated) eagles and two rehabilitated eagles.

In a nutshell, we are looking for one person per day, every day of the week.  Tracking will take place during daylight hours. Each bird needs to be located just once during the day. When all requested information is logged - bird ID, time, location (including asmuths if needed), habitat and behavior - for all radioed birds in the area, you are done for the day.

Training will be provided.  If you would like more information, please contact Kay Roherty at downhomecomputing@yahoo.com

--submitted by Kay Roherty, Ferry Bluff Eagle Council, Sauk City (downhomecomputing@yahoo.com)

IV.   Grassland Bird Point Count Project - Southeast Wisconsin - volunteers needed

Volunteers wanted

Location: Horicon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties
               Leopold Wetland Management District in (WMD) 16 counties of SE Wisconsin

Time Period: May 25 to July 1, 2002

Project Description: Horicon NWR manages about 4,000 acres of uplands and Leopold WMD manages 45 Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) in 16 counties for approximately 5,500 total acres of grasslands.  Horicon NWR is located in almost the center of the WPA counties.  A majority of Leopold WMD's points are in Columbia County (such as Rowe and
Schoeneberg WPA's), and Dane County (such as Harvey's Marsh and Shoveler Sink WPA's), but there are also WPA's in Dodge, Fond du Lac, and Winnebago Counties.  Grassland bird point counts were conducted from 1995-1997 to serve as a baseline index.  Horicon has 38 points established, Leopold has 81, and Fox River NWR in Marquette County has 2.

Survey points are surveyed for 50 and 100 meter distances with species recorded under 5 or 10 minute time slots.  Points are plotted with a GPS unit.  Surveys are conducted from 15 minutes after sunrise to 3-4 hours after sunrise in good weather conditions.  Starting date begins May 25 and all surveys must be completed by July 1.  Each point is surveyed twice during the season.  Surveys are conducted at the point, observing and listening to all bird calls within 50 and 100 meters for 10 minutes and recording the birds on a data sheet and an aerial photo of the plot.  Birds seen or heard outside of the plot and on the way to the plot are also recorded.   A second survey needs to be conducted within a few days of the first.  In addition, a Robel survey will also be conducted once and can be conducted at anytime of day.  The Robel
consists of sticking a Robel pole into the ground and taking measurements off the pole such as litter depth, maximum vegetation height and density.  Robel readings will be made at 8 locations on each plot.

Survey Requirements: The person conducting the survey must be an advanced birder and be able to identify birds by sight or sound with emphasis on grassland birds.  Many of these points are a considerable walking distance.  We are looking for a long-term commitment from
people to conduct the surveys each year at the same sites.  The number of sites each observer is responsible for is up to the observer.  The established methods for the survey must be followed exactly so that data is valid and comparable to other sites.

Objectives: The objective of the survey is to have an index of birds for each plot and to monitor whether habitat management is effective in reaching the desired results.   Leopold WMD has been divided into nine areas in which 4 areas have been determined to be priority.  Our goal is to have all plots within the priority areas surveyed each year and plots outside the priority areas surveyed every 3-4 years or when a large-scale habitat modification is planned.

If you have any questions, please contact Diane Penttila, Horicon NWR, Refuge Biologist, (920)387-2658 ext. 13, diane_penttila@fws.gov

--submitted by Diane Penttila, Horicon NWR (diane_penttila@fws.gov)

V.   Neotropical Migratory Bird Act Funding

Proposals seeking Neotropical Migratory Bird Act funds will be accepted following an official
announcement to be made soon.  I wanted to give you advance notice to begin thinking about
how you might like to capitalize on this opportunity.  Remember that even if not funded, the
more good proposals received the better the chances of demonstrating to Congress the need
for continued and increased funding in future years.

The current appropriation was $3 M, of which $750 K is available for domestic projects.
International projects will be considered from those working with partners in Mexico, C.
America, S. America,  and the Caribbean (excluding Cuba).   Both Research and Habitat projects will be funded. Habitat projects should focus on the conservation of upland habitats and associated priority birds.  Research projects may address wetlands as well as uplands issues/species given that NAWCA (North American Wetland Conservation Act) does not fund research.

Domestic research and habitat projects must demonstrate a 3:1 non-federal match with diverse
partnerships preferred.  Habitat proposals may request upwards of $100-125 K.  Research
projects of $10-20 K will be considered.

Proposals will be rather informal this go around, and will be limited to 10 pages in length.
Contact Bob Ford for details at Robert_P_Ford@fws.gov or 703-358-1935.

--submitted by Greg Butcher (gregbutcherwi@hotmail.com)


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