Tuesday, March 31, 2009

update at the Boreal Songbird Initiative

See a new update at the website of the Boreal Songbird Initiative.

Monday, March 30, 2009

a great place, and great people

If you live in or visit southeastern Wisconsin and Milwaukee, be sure to stop in at the Urban Ecology Center - see their website here.

The Urban Ecology Center has an amazing staff, great programs, and a wonderful "green" building - all in all, it is an inspiring place with a lot to offer for individuals, families, and kids. If you've never been there, don't miss it. You might find that you'll want to go back again and again.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

ornithology links

Updated information is now available at my three online sources: my two blogs and website:

Purple Martins in Wisconsin: http://puma-in-wi.blogspot.com/

My every-day blog: http://bluebirdslaugh.blogspot.com/

My website: http://home.earthlink.net/~iltlawas/index.html

The website has pages with:
*news and links: http://home.earthlink.net/~iltlawas/id7.html

*information about avian monitoring, now with a link to Ryan B.'s coordinated bird monitoring site and info:

*the MCAMMP Project: http://home.earthlink.net/~iltlawas/id16.html

*articles: http://home.earthlink.net/~iltlawas/id4.html

*projects and research: http://home.earthlink.net/~iltlawas/id5.html

* climate change and birds: http://home.earthlink.net/~iltlawas/id10.html

The two blogs are updated with new posts at least weekly.

William P. Mueller
(414) 698-9108
E-mail: iltlawas@earthlink.net

Saturday, March 28, 2009

declining Evening Grosbeak population, part 2

Learn more about the decline of this species. If you've been following research on this topic, a key may be the loss of large areas of older forests with a great degree of structural diversity. Younger, even-aged boreal forests do not seem to provide the habitat needed by EVGR. This species is also associated with spruce budworm, and spraying campaigns that aim to eliminate this forest insect may have an effect on populations. The population is a fraction of what it was 40+ years ago:




Friday, March 27, 2009

more on Evening Grosbeak

The Evening Grosbeak is favorite species for many people. Learn more about it's recent population decline by reading the following: This link takes you to a New York State Conservationist article.

At this next link
you can read the paper in the journal The Condor, where you'll find the original study results.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

alternative birding and wildlife news

If you've never heard of the Raptor Education Group (REGI) and their success with rehabbing raptors, swans, loons, and other species, take a look at this recent post on their blog at http://raptoreducationgroup.blogspot.com/2009/03/trumpeter-swan-87y-released-lead.html

Lead poisoning: still a huge problem for birds and wildlife.


See recent BirdLife International news at this link.


If you're interested in bats, here are a few valuable links. One is the best paper I've read about bats and wind power, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The authors are some of the most knowledgeable people in this field.


More on bats: a new USFWS cave advisory: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/white_nose.html

Sunday, March 22, 2009

birds and pesticides

Although it's been a familiar topic for many years, one simply does not hear very much about birds and pesticides these days. To stay updated on this issue, go to the American Bird Conservancy pesticides page, which provides an array of information and links to even more.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

learn about and help Purple Martins in southeastern Wisconsin


Read about an effort to enhance the population of Purple Martins in southeastern WI. See the new blog related to this effort, here. Posts with information seeking assistance are here, and information about helping Purple Martins is also available here. If you have wood-working or other maintenance skills, tools, and some time this spring, and if you would like to help our effort with some housing, or if you'd like to donate unused martin housing, gourds, or donate funds to help these projects move forward, please contact me at iltlawas@earthlink.net

Thursday, March 19, 2009

bluebirds in WI - reasons for success

BRAW, the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin, is one successful organization. They've managed to fledge more bluebirds than anyone - and their success has been repeated, year after year. A decline occured in 2008, but still over 21,000 bluebirds fledged last year. A fantastic success.

This is an organization that deserves your support. And if bluebirds are your passion, membership in BRAW is extremely worthwhile. There are many benefits to becoming a BRAW member - among them, their excellent publications, online instructions and assistance, and other resources on their website. See them all here.

agriculture and birds

Learn about the links betwen agricultural practices and changing bird populations. A brief overview is here at National Audubon's website, and a paper from the Journal of Applied Ecology is given here as a pdf. Yet another paper from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is linked here. Penn State's website has this article. Not all of these are recent papers, but they provide a set of introductory concepts and research results. Click on the Penn State ag magazine to find pdfs to previous articles. Finally, a NRCS paper is available here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

celebrate International Migratory Bird Day 2009

This year's IMBD theme is quite different from those of recent years; see more at the IMBD website.

IMBD has lots of possibilities if you are part of a local bird club or other organization. It's a great way to raise awareness about migratory birds and conservation. And this year, the theme presents additional possibilities for connecting with other groups.

And since the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is the wellspring from which IMBD flows, take a look at what's new there, by going to the MBC website - there are many resources available there.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

climate change effects on birds

Read National Audubon's recent report on climate change and its effects on birds at this link.
You'll see the link to the large report in the sidebar at the left when you navigate to that page. It's a pretty big file, so maybe not suitable for dialup users. But other ways to get to this information are given there.

More coverage on this report can be found in articles at these links:


Cornell blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

resources for Wisconsin birders: participation!

If you have not looked at it yet, see the new Wisconsin Bird Monitoring website - it's packed with information on participating in WI projects seeking birders.

If you live in southeastern Wisconsin, this is the fourth year for the MCAMMP project's fieldwork. Learn more about it here.

Take a look at the Cofrin Center's page on biological field stations. Maybe there's a program for you listed there.

Now that the GBBC is over, there's still time for other Cornell-affiliated projects like Project FeederWatch (this season ends on April 3).

Maybe you're looking for something more in-depth, and maybe outside of Wisconsin? Try the Institute for Bird Populations.

bird-friendly shopping guide and other consumer tools

Download a bird-friendly shopping guide from the Boreal Songbird Initiative's website, at this link. Know that your purchases of paper products are supporting bird conservation, and not damaging the immense nursery for northern forest songbirds and other species - it all adds up!


While you're at it, learn about how you can support good forestry practices through the Forest Stwardship Council, at their site.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

bird conservation news roundup

See the great stories at the BirdLife International site, here.

Lead contamination still confounds progress for CA Condor recovery.

Excellent recent issue of the online journal Avian Conservation and Ecology.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

inventive, creative music and art - insects and animals as the sometime focus

I have no idea whether you'll enjoy this or not, but here goes. I've been listening to some new music by an incredibly creative individual, Andrew Bird. For those of us who spend a good deal of our time focusing on the natural world and living things, it is interesting partly because he includes mentions of insects and other invertebrates in his lyrics! I can think of songs that maybe complain about mosquitoes, or the like, but seldom have I heard songs that speak of these "other nations" of living beings in a praiseworthy way.

See more about Andrew Bird here, and here, on NPR.

But it doesn't end there, because learning about Andrew led me to learn about the artist who did the cover art for his most recent CD, Diana Sudyka. See more about Diana and her work here, and here is her tour poster for Andrew's recent tour.

endangered species news

Some excellent news - a new order from the President of the United States

SUBJECT: The Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., reflects one of the Nation's profound commitments. Pursuant to that Act, the Federal Government has long required a process of broad interagency consultation to ensure the application of scientific and technical expertise to decisions that may affect threatened or endangered species. Under that interagency process, executive departments and agencies (agencies) contemplating an action that may affect endangered or threatened species have long been required, except in certain limited circumstances, to consult with, and in some circumstances obtain the prior written concurrence of, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) -- the expert agencies that have the primary responsibility to ensure that the ESA is implemented in accordance with the law.

On December 16, 2008, the Departments of the Interior and Commerce issued a joint regulation that modified these longstanding requirements. See 73 Fed. Reg. 76272. This new regulation expands the circumstances in which an agency may determine not to consult with, or obtain the written concurrence of, the FWS or NMFS prior to undertaking an action that may affect threatened or endangered species. But under the new regulation, agencies may continue the previous practice of consulting with, and obtaining the written concurrence of, the FWS and NMFS as a matter of discretion.

I hereby request the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to review the regulation issued on December 16, 2008, and to determine whether to undertake new rulemaking procedures with respect to consultative and concurrence processes that will promote the purposes of the ESA.

Until such review is completed, I request the heads of all agencies to exercise their discretion, under the new regulation, to follow the prior longstanding consultation and concurrence practices involving the FWS and NMFS.

This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. Agencies shall carry out the provisions of this memorandum to the extent permitted by law and consistent with statutory authorities.

The Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.