Wisconsin has a rich history of wildlife conservation. WBCI and its partners adopted a new strategic plan in 2018 and is set to embark on phase two of its Important Bird Area program. The Natural Resource Foundation of Wisconsin’s Bird Protection Fund just surpassed the $1 million mark in fundraising for priority bird conservation projects here. Field work for Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II is now complete, results of this landmark survey effort coming in just a few short years. Bird City Wisconsin has grown to more than 110 recognized communities, and the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory has become a regional leader in bird education and monitoring. There’s a lot to be excited about yet much work to do. We can all make a difference, and the time to act is now!
We know conservation works when we invest in it. The same study on bird declines showed increases in populations of raptors thanks to the banning of DDT and endangered species legislation for species like bald eagles and peregrine falcons. Waterfowl populations are up by 35 million, or 56%, as a result of billions of dollars of private and government funding for wetland protection and restoration. We need to expand these models to other birds and their habitats. A promising piece of legislation now sits in the House of Representatives. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would provide a major boost of dedicated funding for states to implement their Wildlife Action Plans for species of greatest conservation need. Ask your congressional representatives to support the Act today!
Wisconsin DNR conservation biologist, Ryan Brady, recently appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time to summarize the recent study on continental bird declines and discuss how results compare across Wisconsin. Learn more and listen here >>>
In less than a single lifetime, North America has lost more than one in four of its birds, according to a report in the world’s leading scientific journal.
Published in Science by researchers at seven institutions, the findings show that 2.9 billion breeding adult birds have been lost since 1970, including birds in every ecosystem.
The losses include iconic songsters such as Eastern and Western Meadowlarks (down by 139 million) and favorite birds at feeders, such as Dark-eyed Juncos (down by 168 million) and sweet-singing White-throated Sparrows (down by 93 million).
The disappearance of even common species indicates a general shift in our ecosystems’ ability to support basic birdlife, the scientists conclude.
This year’s Winter Finch Forecast suggests good food sources in Canada will keep most of the “winter finches” up north this year, at least in areas east of Wisconsin. Check out the full report for details!
The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) typically occurs in marshes bordering the Atlantic and eastern Gulf Coasts. Glossy Ibis are not found in Wisconsin every year, but in recent years it is not unheard of to have one or more wanderers show up at Horicon Marsh, often in the company of western White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi). This year two birds found each other, and produced two young, marking the first time this species has ever been documented as nesting in Wisconsin. Read more here.Read more …
Despite starting the nesting season with 500 blocks left to finish, the five-year Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas successfully wrapped up field work in August thanks to the energy, dedication, and grit of more than 2,000 volunteers. Project coordinators will be crunching the numbers and begin work on a book publication but the final product is several years out. In the meantime, check out preliminary stats & species maps in real time at www.ebird.org/atlaswi. Thanks to all who contributed to this major achievement in Wisconsin bird conservation!