Monday, March 29, 2010

International Migratory Bird Day at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve in Ozaukee County

Come to Forest Beach Migratory Preserve in Ozaukee County for International Migratory Bird Day, Saturday, May 8th. Activities begin at 7:30 am, and go up to 12 noon, with hourly bird walks, presentations, and informational booths for adults and kids - including news and updates on this new avian migratory stopover site, now being developed by the Ozaukee-Washington Land Trust and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, with help from the Wisconsin DNR, and The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. For more information, contact the Land Trust at 262-338-1794, or the Fish & Wildlife Service at 920-866-1717.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

alternative birding news

The Great Lakes Information Network has a Birds of the Great Lakes Region webpage; it has some recent news articles.


Although this piece originates in the UK where they are fairly rare, this page on Baird's Sandpiper is worth reading for anyone interested in this species.

A new "Heart of the Boreal" website is here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

book review: The Birds of Europe

Princeton University Press has a new edition of a favorite field guide: Birds of Europe (Second Edition), by Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney, and Dan Zetterstrom (with text and maps by the former, and illustrations by the latter two). This excellent new edition meets all of my criteria for usefulness: highly-readable text, excellent layout, fine maps and beautiful, accurate illustrations that help the reader come to grips with the fine points of identification. I'll use mine on a trip to the UK next year, and the very packable size of this volume will be much appreciated. I'll use it here in North America as well; some rarities from Europe show up on our continent every year.

The artwork is especially well-conceived. One of the European species I always page to when looking through a new book is the Wallcreeper: the set of four illustrations for this species depicts this spectacularly-plumaged bird in both sexes, in flight, and on a vertical cliff in its rocky habitat. I'm amazed at the amount of visual information packed into a small space on the page.

The introductory section has a fine discussion on molt, and a kind of "shorthand guide" to relative abundance for the UK and Ireland that could be very useful if offered in North American field guides, although the sheer size of the geographic area of this continent would make portraying a range of abundance across vast regions a feat more difficult to attain.

If there is anything I'd still ask for, it would be a more durable cover. But that's not much. Highly recommended!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

what are these bloggers up to lately?

While looking through the list of blogs I read every so often, I read Mike McDowell's blog, and enjoyed it as I always do. Carl Safina's blog has moved, and after finding it again, read his recent post on bluefin tuna. And then, on toward Laura Erickson's blog - that's as far as I had time to read...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

alternative birding and conservation news

An array of information is available at the following links:

News from the American Bird Conservancy is linked here.

The Boreal Songbird Initiative news page is here.

Video from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is now linked here.

News from the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network is here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ozaukee County's gems

If you spend time looking for birds or otherwise enjoying the many fine natural areas in Wisconsin's Ozaukee County, you'll enjoy the new Treasures of Oz website, and the many activities this organization is bringing together in 2010. To learn more about the "treasures", and events - go to their site and find out what they've got planned for this year!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Human-ecosystem interactions: Perspectives from Long-Term Ecological Research symposium

The interactions between human activities and ecosystems are complex, and providing options for our future will require us to make important decisions. Read this informative post on the Ecological Society of America's blog, ECOTONE.