Friday, February 26, 2010

migratory bird and bat research in southeastern Wisconsin

2010 will be the fifth year for MCAMMP, the Milwaukee County Avian Migration Monitoring Partnership. MCAMMP studies migratory bird stopover ecology on stopover sites in Milwaukee County, using banding, transect counts, vegetation sampling and analysis, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems). MCAMMP is driven by a research team of ten scientists, and has trained over 150 citizen science volunteers. This year, MCAMMP will begin to add to our research agenda and study other taxa on our 8 study sites. We will gather information on bats, utilizing acoustic monitoring technology as part of the Wisconsin Bat Monitoring Program. There is an urgent need for more information on distribution, abundance, movements and other aspects of the ecology of bats. The Wisconsin Bat Monitoring Program, directed by WDNR bat ecologist Dave Redell, is expanding its research throughout Wisconsin.

If you're interested in volunteering, and/or would like to learn more about our research, come to the annual MCAMMP Workshop at Milwaukee's Urban Ecology Center on April 18th, from 1:30 to 4:00 PM. For more information, and to register for the workshop, call Tim Vargo, Manager of Research and Citizen Science, Urban Ecology Center, at 414-964-8505. Or contact any of the research team members - see contact information and more details at the MCAMMP webpage, or contact me at

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

some action on carbon-neutral ideas and policies

Think a big city can't become carbon neutral? Well, maybe you'll be surprised by efforts in Chicago - see this link and also this one, for the Chicago Climate Action Plan. Recommended reading...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

continuing decline of Red-headed Woodpecker

Much study has been devoted to the decline of the Red-headed Woodpecker. It continues to decline in some areas of its range in North America, although declines may have leveled off in some other regions. See a 50-year graph of CBC records for this species in the United States as a whole, below.

For more about this species, see the following online resources:

Thursday, February 18, 2010


My website, Wisconsin Birds - Information, Conservation, Ideas, Ecology, and Biogeography - has been updated. See it at this link.

You'll find some of the following resources there:

News and Links
Avian Monitoring
MCAMMP Project
Projects and research
Curriculum Vitae - Wm. P. Mueller
Wisconsin Birds - links to checklists and other information
Resources: Birds and Climate Change

Monday, February 15, 2010

pending AOU checklist changes, Red Crossbill, and other related topics

Get ready for more AOU changes to the checklist this year. Read a little about these proposed changes at:

As many of you already know, Red Crossbill is probably actually a complex of eight species, or at the very least eight "vocal types". The first one to be officially recognized by AOU is likely to be Loxia sinesciurus.

Read more about the current and ongoing work on crossbills at these links:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

BirdCity Wisconsin

A new effort to promote bird-friendly actions by cities, towns, and other local municipalities builds on several years of prior work, and it's an excellent project. The first BirdCity organization in the United States has started up right here in Wisconsin. See the new website of BirdCity Wisconsin at this link. Carl Schwartz is BirdCity's Coordinator, and he and the BirdCity Steering Committee have done a stellar job. Be sure to read the information at the website, and find out how to get your community involved. It's good for communities, good for people, and good for birds.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wisconsin's state natural areas - special places

If you are planning your trips within Wisconsin this year, be sure to visit some of our State Natural Areas - the gems of our state system. These photos are from one of my favorites: Toft Point, in Door County. Toft Point is a large area (686 acres), described as follows: "wooded with a mesic forest of sugar maple, yellow birch, hemlock, balsam fir, and scattered white pine. To the north, along Moonlight Bay, is an extensive calcareous sedge meadow that grades into shrub-carr and wet-mesic forest dominated by white cedar with occasional paper birch and black ash. Pockets of tamarack swamp and alder thicket are imbedded in the wetland. " To learn more about the State Natural Areas system, go to this link.