Saturday, May 30, 2009

the next level of bird study - getting involved in SE Wisconsin

This is for you if you have participated in MCAMMP, attended an MCAMMP workshop, or are interested in or involved in the new Purple Martin initiative here in SE Wisconsin , or --- if you know someone you think would like to know more about or receive this information, please forward this message to them, or send them the link to this page.

MCAMMP is nearing the end of its seventh field season (see ). Transect counts and our banding operation have been successful this spring, due to ongoing participation by continuing volunteers and team leaders, and some new volunteers, all of whom make us remember why we have been honored several times with Citizen Monitoring awards from the Citizen-based Monitoring Network of Wisconsin - see a link to some information here: Special thanks as always go out to Al Sherkow and Deb Hartmann, new MCAMMP partner and banding leader Jenn Callaghan and Lynn Ratkowski, Robin Squier and Maria Terres-Sandgren, and other volunteers too numerous to mention. (But they will all get mentioned at the end of autumn's field season!). Transect routes were especially helped this year by Karen Johnson (again!), Todd Wilson, Betsy Abert, Mary McQuiggen, Brian Russart, and a few other hard-working folks. We continue to obtain valuable data.

Owen's vegetation sampling and analysis crew are pretty nearly done with data gathering, but the analysis goes on! More news will be forthcoming.

Tim Vargo (Urban Ecology Center) and Owen Boyle (Endangered Resources, WDNR) and Chris Lepczyk (University of Hawai'i at Manoa) and I (Wisconsin Society for Ornithology) have focused our efforts somewhat differently over the past year. Tim and Owen and Chris were the organizers of a Citizen Science Symposium at last summer's week-long annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. News regarding publications resulting from the symposium will be forthcoming.

Many interns have worked on MCAMMP through UW-Milwaukee programs, especially the Conservation and Environmental Science Program, directed by Prof. Glen Fredlund (see ). Currently we have a graduate student beginning a master's project with MCAMMP, Stacy Taeuber of UW-Madison. Interns have moved to various parts of the country and taken their MCAMMP experience along, leading to new endeavors.

Special mention and gratitude must go to one UW-Milwaukee doctoral student, Anne Reis, who did an extensive GIS internship with Prof. Fredlund using MCAMMP data last year. More will be done with Anne's findings as we move forward.

We always need more people who are interested in becoming part of MCAMMP. The diverse talents of many people have enriched us, including artists Prof. Kristin Gjerdset (Wisconsin Lutheran College) and Roxanne Schrank (who designed the MCAMMP logo). Volunteers have ranged in age from about 8 to about 80. We are grateful to them all!

We still need help with banding operations again in the fall (contact Tim if you're interested: ). Transect counts continue through the weekend of June 6-7-8 ( I hope Karen and Betsy can still do some that last Monday!) Contact me (e-mail address and phone below) if you'd like to help with transects in the fall.

Will there be an MCAMMP picnic this year? Maybe in the fall - stay tuned!

Moving on to the next project : The newly-emerging Purple Martin Partners (see attachment) have erected housing in a variety of county parks and other sites, are monitoring them, and are ready to put up additional housing. A scout is working with us to design, build and erect another new colony location. We received special assistance from Lakeshore State Park boss Tom Kroeger, who helped with the new house at that location. If you would like to learn more, see the Purple Martins in Wisconsin blog at We need more used martin housing in good condition, or donations for new housing, poles, gourds, and other equipment. Worth noting here especially is the hard work of Bill Holton and folks from Wisconsin Metro Audubon who purchased and erected the extraordinary new house at Grobschmidt Park, and a great donation from the Enderis Park Birdwatching Club and their president Joe Devereaux. Thanks to all who have helped with work, donations, or both. We need help with scaping, painting, and refurbishing used martin houses or gourds or both.

Want to learn more? See the following links for ongoing information. Contact me with any questions or offers of assistance. We have trained many volunteers, and we always need more help.

Make your interest in birds count, and help with bird conservation efforts by joining either project's active group, spreading the word, and helping in other ways.

William P. Mueller
Conservation Chair - Wisconsin Society for Ornithology (WSO)
Project Coordinator - Milwaukee County Avian Migration Monitoring Partnership (MCAMMP)
(414) 698-9108
On the web:
Purple Martins in Wisconsin:

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