Category Archives: Bird Protection Fund

Bird Protection Fund Updates

Check out these progress updates on the Natural Resources Foundation’s Bird Protection Fund priority projects, made possible thanks to donors to this year’s Great Wisconsin Birdathon.  Click here for the final report on the 2016 Great Wisconsin Birdathon. Kirtland’s Warbler Monitoring and Management The Kirtland’s warbler is a federally endangered bird that has been known to nest in Wisconsin since 2007. This project is an effort to annually monitor breeding pairs and nests, control cowbird...

The first drones: The night-time world of owls

By Jillaine Burton, Open Door Bird Sanctuary Owls are the predator drones of the night. Seldom seen, these mysterious birds are designed to spot and swoop in on their prey silently and effectively. They flew with the dinosaurs—fossils date them back to more than 50 million years ago. And they are everywhere. Owls are found on all seven continents except Antarctica. There are more than 150 owl species, most of them found in Asia. There...

Long flight: Feathered dinosaurs turned into birds

By Jillaine Burton, Open Door Bird Sanctuary The next time you see a red-tailed hawk swoop in on its prey or a turkey vulture soaring in the sky, take time to appreciate the fact that you’re witnessing one of the last remnants of the dinosaurs. That’s right. Our feathered friends belong to the same family tree as the beasts that roamed the earth more than 100 million years ago. They are much more attractive than...

Mercury no longer marring Wisconsin’s loon population

By Molly Sequin   There’s something haunting about the beautiful call of a common loon. This sound, however, nearly vanished from Northern Wisconsin as a result of mercury and lead poisoning and hunting, all of which devastated loon populations starting in the late 1800s. Since then the federal government has taken steps to bring these birds back from the brink and conservationists in Wisconsin are embarking on a new Foundation-funded project to make sure those...

Bald eagle news and events

The recovery of bald eagles is one of our nation’s greatest conservation success stories, and here in Wisconsin we played a key role in the species’ comeback. Here we’ve compiled upcoming opportunities to celebrate, learn about and even see our national bird! Live online chat on eagles (January 12) DNR conservation biologists will give the latest eagle population numbers, viewing tips, and answer questions about these majestic raptors during their online chat at noon Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016....

The thrill of…counting birds

By Lisa Charron, Natural Resources Foundation “That’s the silliest question ever!” Ryan Brady exclaims when I ask him if he has a passion for birds. I guess it is a silly question, seeing as he’s been coordinating WBCI’s Wisconsin Bird Monitoring Program for seven years. Brady recruits, organizes and trains 150-200 volunteers each year to monitor the bird species that fall through the cracks of other surveys: night birds and secretive marsh birds. In 2015,...

Interning with whooping cranes

By Michael Hockey, International Crane Foundation intern Recently graduated and looking for a job in conservation, I remembered an internship I’d seen posted the previous year—working in the field ecology department at the International Crane Foundation. The work seemed right up my alley: building on my prior field experience with birds; so I went ahead and applied. The move from the UK required a lot of planning (not to mention paperwork) but by late February...

The birding bond: Father and son together take on the Great Wisconsin Birdathon

By Matt Reetz, executive director of the Madison Audubon Society, Foundation guest blogger I’m pulled from a deep slumber by a gentle tapping on my elbow. I can hear a faint whisper. My fog lifts slowly and my squinted eyes adjust enough to find the clock. It’s 5:58am on a Sunday. There is a small, adorable person at my bedside. “Daddy…” he whispers again softly. I am able to muster a garbled “Yeah, buddy?” in...

Video’s role in conserving Wisconsin’s wildlife

By Sarah Weber, Foundation guest blogger We’ve all seen the typical nature documentary. Beautiful acoustic music rises up as the screen fades from black into a sunset. We hear the voice of an English narrator telling us about the undisturbed habitat featured as the topic of the film. Close-up shots of wildlife fill the screen, and we learn that we will be following the stories of a few of these wild animals; named something like...

Banding Kirtland’s warblers with USFWS and Wisconsin DNR

We spent a beautiful day in Adams County with USFWS and the Wisconsin DNR banding five adult male Kirtlands warblers. These warblers are a federally listed endangered species and quite beloved in #Wisconsin. We captured the action live on Twitter with #KirtlandsWI: [<a href=”//storify.com/WisConservation/kirtlandswi” target=”_blank”>View the story “#KirtlandsWI” on Storify</a>]...

Of birds and snakes on the Osa Peninsula

By Connie and Peter Roop, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin members While hiking the Osa peninsula of Costa Rica with the Natural Resources Foundation, the deadly fer de lance, one of the most venomous snakes on Earth, slithered right between us. We looked at each other and agreed—it was time to make our will. We are both deeply committed to the natural world. So “naturally” we turned to the Natural Resources Foundation. We learned of...

Birding trash talk: 24-hour Big Day Birdathon

Two hot-shot birding teams in Wisconsin went head-to-head to see who could find more bird species in 24 hours, while raising funds for bird conservation. A communications professional joined each team to live tweet the event…and exchange some friendly birding trash talk. Follow along on the Storify: [<a href=”//storify.com/WisConservation/big-day-teams-competition” target=”_blank”>View the story “Wisconsin Big Day competition 2015” on Storify</a>]...

Natural Resources Foundation funds internship opportunities at International Crane Foundation

By Brooke Hemze, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin The Natural Resources Foundation’s grant in 2014 to the International Crane Foundation (ICF) funded internships important for crane conservation. These unique opportunities provided field experience for future conservationists, and helped ICF with fieldwork projects. “We place a heavy emphasis on building [interns’] capacity to be conservation professionals,” says Anne Lacy, research coordinator at ICF. “This experience ranges from the obvious field component, to conducting their own independent...

In search of snowy owls

By Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation “You’ve got to be really observant looking for these owls,” Mark Martin says to me as he slows the car down to a stop. “You can’t be looking at me.” We’ve been driving around Madison Audubon Society’s Goose Pond Sanctuary for about 30 minutes now, trying to spot a female snowy owl, which Mark and his wife Sue Foote-Martin (who co-manage the sanctuary together) tell me are a...