"Making our communities healthy for
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Bird City Communities in the News
The village of Ferryville continues to work hard
to expand birding activities and to remain a birding destination
for visitors from throughout the region. In the fall of 2013,
Ferryville was named a Bird City Wisconsin, and still holds the
distinction of being the “smallest Bird City” in the state.
Read the full story...
One of Bird City Wisconsin’s all-star High Flyer communities was
recently featured in a story in the Cedarburg News Graphic.
Please take a minute to read about the success Ozaukee County
has had in protecting birds, creating a nicer place for people
to live, and strengthening the local economy.
Read the full story...
Fall is a great time to celebrate International
Migratory Bird Day
Many Bird City communities ask us when is the right time to
celebrate IMBD. Birds fly both north and south so fall can work
as well as spring. The Village of Shorewood (just north of
Milwaukee) staged its IMBD event on Oct. 11. Leeann Butschlick,
director of Public Works, reported that the Fish & Feather
Festival was a great success. To see more photos, go to
Kenosha and Kenosha County
also staged a joint fall IMBD celebration; check out these
Bird City Wisconsin names new director
Dr. Bryan Lenz, 36, returns home to lead community
recognition and avian conservation program;
Schwartz will chair Steering Committee
City Wisconsin has announced the hiring of Dr. Bryan Lenz as
director of its program to recognize communities who work with
their residents to make their neighborhoods a better place for
people, birds and other wildlife.
Milwaukee-area native, the 36-year-old Lenz is returning home
after spending a decade in New Orleans while completing his
Ph.D. at Tulane University. For his dissertation research he
spent 16 months living in the Amazon where he examined the
impacts of tropical forest cattle ranching on the mammal
community, especially primates, while also recording raptor
sightings and data on the tree community.
bird watcher, Lenz continues to serve on the board of directors
and conservation committee of the Orleans Audubon Society. Lenz
taught a course on primate behavior, ecology, and conservation
at Tulane University and has published several academic papers
on primates and raptors.
Lenz succeeds Carl Schwartz, 65, who has coordinated BCW’s urban
bird conservation and recognition program for the last five
years. Schwartz in turn will succeed Andrew Struck as chair of
the BCW Steering Committee. Struck will remain on the steering
committee and continue to serve as the organization’s treasurer.
for the complete story
Renewal Deadline: Jan. 31, 2015
If you are one of the 81 Bird City
communities recognized prior to April 1, 2014, your annual
renewal applications for the upcoming recognition year (April 1,
2015 to March 31, 2016) are due by
your community was first honored as a Bird City after our July 1
or Nov. 1, 2014 application deadlines, then your renewal is not
due until Jan. 31, 2016.
Each January, Bird City communities must
renew their recognition. That annual renewal is called
and demonstrates your community’s continuing commitment to the
health of its avian and human populations.
renewal fee continues to be $100.
We have revised our renewal forms for the
Jan. 31, 2015 deadline to make renewal applications easier for
our Bird City communities.
New to this year’s
renewal form is the option to check “continuing” for all
criteria that your community met previously and continues to
meet. For conservation measures documented in previous
applications you do not need to send us any additional
Click here for more information
City Wisconsin now recognizes 87 communities
Avian conservation effort, modeled
on Tree City USA,
spreads to other states,
names new director
In less than four years, Bird City Wisconsin has managed to
salute 87 Wisconsin communities and enlist them in a long-term
commitment to working with residents to make their neighborhoods
a better place for people, birds and other wildlife.
Already in 2014, Bird City has recognized 12 new communities in
a program, modeled on “Tree City USA,” that seeks to spur avian
conservation efforts in cities, villages, towns and counties
statewide. The six communities announced in August included Door
County, a prime regional tourist destination that already
contains three other Bird Cities, along with the Northwoods Town
of Mercer, widely known as the “Loon Capital of the World.”
Rounding out the new group are the cities of New Berlin,
Whitewater and Reedsburg and the Village of DeForest, just
In March, six other communities were recognized, including
County, the villages of Howard and Brown Deer and the cities of
Port Washington, Darlington and Green Lake.
became the eighth Milwaukee County community recognized as a
Bird City, while
New Berlin is the seventh Waukesha County and DeForest the
seventh Dane County community so honored.
Madison are the state’s two largest Bird Cities, whose ranks
also include some of the state’s smallest villages and towns.
Click here to read the full
Ozaukee County Is FOR
is this about Ozaukee County being a “Bird City” and why are so
many individual Ozaukee municipalities following suit?
Along with the county, the city of Mequon, the Town of Grafton,
the City of Port Washington and our neighboring Village of
Newburg have all been recognized by Bird City Wisconsin in the
last four years.
Maybe it is because they understand that the more species of
birds that an area has, the higher the property values will be.
An area that has many bird species needs to have a
diverse collection of trees, shrubs and other growing things.
Prospective home buyers as well as birds love that
diversity of plants and a 2011 study in Lubbock,Tex., indicated
that homes with more than one species of less-than-common birds
in the area sold, on average, for about $32,000 more than
comparable homes without them.
Perhaps Bird Cities understand that birds are the indicators of
and they are willing to take extra steps to improve the
ecological health of their community.
The birds are daily reminders that a community has a
healthy eco-system, something that more and more people are
The Bird City Wisconsin
website sums it up well.
“Like the proverbial canaries in a coal mine, birds serve
as indicators of the ecological health of our planet…. (And)
without the environmental assistance we get from birds, we would
have to spend far more money on pest control and keeping natural
systems in balance. Insect-eating birds reduce the need for
chemical pest control. Birds also are voracious eaters of weed
plants and rodents. They provide us with “free ecological
services” and are unheralded assistants to farmers, foresters
and gardeners.” (And
yes, when you use pesticides, you accidentally harm the birds.
Fewer birds mean more bugs and then you spray more poison.)
Click here to continue
help with Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer is becoming a national problem.
A tree that has been attacked by EAB can die within 2-4 years.
It is estimated that more than 50 million ash trees are dead or
dying in the Midwest because of this insect. Wisconsin forests
contain more than 770 million ash trees, nearly 7%t of the
state's tree population. In urban areas, 20% of trees are ash.
Bird watchers can be on front lines in
confronting this problem. Mark Freberg, the Green Bay City
Forester, suggests that birders should contact their local
forestry program if they see heavy woodpecker activity on ash
trees and suspect EAB. "We appreciate all the help we can get
in fighting this pest. Please call or write yoir local
forestry department if you have any questions or concerns,"
Linda Williams, Forest Health Specialist
with the Northeastern Wisconsin Bureau of Forest Management in
the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Division of
Forestry, offered a list of background resource information:
A research paper on the effects of EAB on the populations of 4
tree identification document:
Signs and Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer showing typical flecking
caused by woodpecker:
Vermont has a page for woodpecker watchers with some nice photos
of the damage:
Opportunity to Reduce Bird Collisions with
Communications Towers by 70%
year at least 7 million migratory songbirds collide with
communications towers in North America. Learn about new Federal
Aviation Administration lighting recommendations that make
possible a 70% reduction in bird collisions while reducing tower
lighting and maintenance costs. These “win-win” tower light
changes are simple, fast, and can be applied to both existing
and new towers.
Click here to see a webinar presented by
Dr. Joelle Gehring of the Federal Communications Commission:
Click here to read a one-page FCC report
on this development:
millions of birds die each year in collisions with manmade
structures, including glass windows and buildings, communication
towers, and wind turbines. The American Bird Conservancy
continues to be a leading force in ongoing efforts to protect
birds from collisions, working with industry representatives,
the federal government, and other conservation groups to find
solutions to this growing problem. To read more on the overall
issue, click here:
Bird City Summit Draws a Big Flock
159 Attend WBCI
Annual Meeting to Share and Learn Best Conservation Practices
Recent news that Wisconsin ranks second nationally in the share
of citizens considered birders could not have been timelier.
planning since fall, the theme of the Wisconsin Bird
Conservation Initiative’s annual meeting at the Oshkosh
Convention Center March 21-22 was
Wisconsin Summit: Making Communities Healthier for Birds...and
With 81 communities of all sizes, from cities to villages to
towns to counties, certified as Bird Cities in Wisconsin, the
WBCI/BCW Summit showcased this innovative program. Some 159
people attended, including representatives from 44 of the Bird
Cities and 30 WBCI partners. In a leadup to the conference, 10
people took the Flying Wild workshop, a program that introduces
students to bird conservation.
Featured talks included:
Project Passenger Pigeon: Dr. Stanley Temple with lessons from our past on
vital to promote conservation of habitat and strengthen the
relationship between people and nature
Why Birds Matter - IMBD Lets Us Celebrate the Future:
Sue Bonfield, executive director of
Environment for the Americas
The Power of Partnerships: Personal stories from 8
Bird Cities -- New Tools for Conservation Education:
naturalist and wildlife educator
Habitat Improvements on a Backyard Scale: Vicki Piaskowski, author of “Recommendations
for Landowners: How to Manage Your Land to Help Birds”
Twenty other presentations covered the complete range of
conservation best practices, everything from green tourism and
birding festivals to window collisions, cats indoors, making a
difference for Purple Martins, and getting kids hooked on
As one participant
said, “It was an amazingly energizing meeting. I typed up six
pages of notes – all great ideas. What a wonderful group of
people, all doing great things.” Many said they left with their
heads bursting with ideas. Once post-conference survey results
are in, a summary will be posted of what inspired attendees the
most to take home and
implement in their community, neighborhood or
The conference -- which
included speakers from the Department of Natural Resources’
Urban Forestry, Wildlife Management and Natural Heritage
Conservation divisions, the Department of Tourism, National
Audubon and Environment for the Americas -- followed by one week
the release of a new
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service report showing that
fully one-third of state
residents 16 and older report that they travel to watch birds,
or actively watch and identify birds around home.
Outdoors TV show focuses on a Bird City
Bird City Wisconsin was the focus of a Sept. 7 segment on
“Northland Adventures,” a widely syndicated TV show that tells
“unique stories about the people, places and issues of our great
outdoors.” The 7-minute
segment explains the goals of the program by focusing on how
Stevens Point became a Bird City.
WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports
And to read more of the powerful story behind Bird City
Wisconsin, go to the June issue of
Wisconsin Natural Resources
Prevent birds from striking your windows
As many as one billion birds die each year by flying into window
glass because they simply cannot see it. An amazing new product
called BirdTape helps the birds to see the window while still
allowing you to look out from the inside. The price for this
tape ranges from $10.95 to $14.95 per roll; a small price to pay
to save the lives of the birds in your neighborhood. You can
find this life-saving tape through the American Bird Conservancy
They provide you with instructions and application patterns so
you can get the best results from the tape. For an overview on
Birds and Collisions, go to
Window Strikes and
Birds and Collisions.
Outdoor Cats: Single Greatest Source of
Human-Caused Mortality for Birds and Mammals, New Study Says
Cat with American Coot - Photo by Debi Shearwater
A new peer-reviewed study authored by scientists from two of the
world’s leading science and wildlife organizations – the
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) – has found that bird and mammal
mortality caused by outdoor cats is much higher than has been
widely reported, with annual bird mortality now estimated to be
1.4 to 3.7 billion and mammal mortality likely 6.9 – 20.7
The study, which offers the most
comprehensive analysis of information on the issue of outdoor
cat predation, was published in the online research journal
Nature Communications and is based on a review of more than 90
previous studies. The study was authored by Dr. Peter Marra and
Scott Loss, research scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation
Biology Institute and by Tom Will from the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds.
provides the following resources that may be helpful to you in
understanding more about the problems caused by outdoor cats,
dealing with those problems, and conducting a Cats Indoors
Campaign in your neighborhood. (Click logo right to access
discussion of this study and related information,