Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of Milwaukee

HIGH FLYER

Community Achievements

Habitat Creation, Protection, and Monitoring

A. Comply with Wisconsin's "Smart Growth" law for land use planning and resource management. This criterion is an option only for applications submitted before July 1, 2017.

State of Wisconsin “Smart Growth” legislation was passed in 1999, with all municipalities in Wisconsin required to have a comprehensive plan in place by Jan. 1, 2010.

Projects that exemplify the goal of Smart Growth and the promotion of sustainable urban living and healthy lifestyles include the Milwaukee River Greenway Project, which was formed out of a grass roots effort to protect 6 miles of urban river from insensitive development.

Partners included the Urban Ecology Center, River Revitalization Foundation, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Environmental Consortium, Village of Shorewood, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Friends of Estabrook Park, Milwaukee Friends Meeting and the Cambridge Woods Neighborhood Association.

B. Describe organized bird monitoring or data obtained from researchers or volunteers in the local park system. (Exclusions: Programs that receive credit under 4C: Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out)

The Milwaukee BIOME Project began in 2006 as MCAMMP, the Milwaukee County Avian Migration Monitoring Partnership. This included vegetation sampling, bird-banding, avian transect counts, and expanded research to include a focus on bats. Transect counts, point counts and mist-netting were conducted to determine avian species richness, timing of migration, and abundance at 8 study sites in Wisconsin’s largest urban area. The beginning phases of this project are winding down and they are now focusing on publishing the results and looking forward to future phases.

The Urban Ecology Center conducts Citizen Science Bird Banding during fall and spring migration. In 2015, the team of staff and community scientists banded 318 birds representing 46 species at Riverside Park, Washington Park and Three Bridges Park. In addition, 156 weekly surveys are now conducted annually at the three sites and have recorded a total of 193 species of breeding and migratory birds. 2016 results are being compiled.

Since 2001, The Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens has been conducting a Migratory and Resident Avifauna study which includes a minimum of weekly mist-netting and bird banding during spring and fall migrations to determine which species are utilizing the grounds as well as identifying species that are nesting. Visitors observe the bird banding process and release banded birds. This program is highly educational as there is also a discussion about the birds’ migratory requirements and the hazards they encounter (i.e. hitting windows, predation by cats, etc.) To date, 175 species have been identified with 44 species confirmed as nesting. Recently, a member of the zoo’s staff was trained to capture and band hummingbirds and became one of the only banders in Wisconsin trained to do this.

During fall and spring migration, Warbler Walks are led at Lake Park in Milwaukee, and Duck Walks are led during the winter months. Records are kept of species sighted and participants learn about the resident and migratory species in the park.

The Wisconsin Humane Society’s Wisconsin Night Guardians for Songbirds (Wings) program monitors and collects dead and injured migrant birds in downtown Milwaukee

C. Provide evidence (e.g., official designation of natural areas, easements, etc.) that existing bird habitat within community limits has legal protection. (Exclusions: Leash laws; prohibitions against disturbing nests and wildlife; areas consisting primarily of mowed grass)

Milwaukee has more than 15,000 acres of parkland providing habitat for a number of species of birds. The habitat is legally protected by park planning. Unlike most urban areas in the country, the county government controls the majority of open spaces within the City of Milwaukee.

In 2010, the Milwaukee Common Council approved a special zoning district between the bluffs of the Milwaukee River north of the former North Avenue dam to the city limits at Silver Spring Drive.

D. Document that current municipal planning seeks to provide additional bird habitat.

One of the principals of “Smart Growth” is to convert barren land and brownfields to green space and parklands. As stated in the City of Milwaukee’s presentation of Comprehensive Planning and Smart Growth, “There are global benefits to the redevelopment of brownfields. The existence of brownfield sites within Milwaukee provides both problems and opportunities. These once productive, industrial and manufacturing sites lie abandoned or underused and are in need of land assessment and remediation.”

As stated in the Milwaukee Citywide Policy Plan, Milwaukee is a national leader in brownfield remediation. Milwaukee received one of the largest EPA grants for brownfields clean up, assessment and establishment of a revolving loan fund. The City’s existing and planned brownfields redevelopment projects have the potential to generate significant demand for entry-level and advanced-skills environmental work.

The Urban Ecology Center/Menomonee Valley Project restored a blighted railyard to become the newest city park, Three Bridges Park, a 24-acre park and outdoor classroom. This will result in an ecologically diverse park with the creation of multiple habitat zones native to southeast Wisconsin. The American Society of Landscape Architects announced that Landscapes of Place, LLC has been recognized with a 2011 Honor Award in Analysis and Planning for the project, “Making a Wild Place in Milwaukee’s Urban Menomonee Valley.” According to ASLA, the plan is “an example of what we can and should be doing in all cities: replacing a highly polluted area with a native landscape. The overarching goal: to transform the irreversibly altered land and hydrologic conditions to a mosaic of biodiverse landscapes, including forest, prairie, and ephemeral wetland, native to Milwaukee and ecologically appropriate for new conditions, with systemic and meaningful engagement of the community.”  In July of 2013, the Three Bridges State Park was officially opened to the public in the Menomonee Valley. This 24 acre park is now the largest city-owned park. Thousands of newly planted trees and shrubs fill the park and native grasses and wildflowers such as Asters, Sunflowers, Indian grass, Little Bluestem and Prairie Drop Seed are abundant throughout this once brownfield industrial area. The park offers two miles of paved trails and plenty of river access for recreation and wildlife. Three Bridges State Park exemplifies the dedication of city organizations to connect jobs, people and nature in an urban environment. The park is currently monitored by the DNR.

The Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum was a joint project of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, the Urban Ecology Center, the River Revitalization Foundation, Milwaukee Urban Rivers Foundation, Wisconsin Department of Resource’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, the County and City of Milwaukee to turn a brownfield into 3.7 miles of trail and 40 acres along the Milwaukee River newly planted with 1,000 trees. Over time it will be the most significant and biologically diverse native ecosystem in southeastern Wisconsin, and serve as a gateway to the Milwaukee River Greenway.

Lakeshore State Park is a man-made 22 acre island lying just east of downtown Milwaukee. This is a small island but offers great recreational opportunities. The park is currently developing a prairie habitat for breeding and migratory birds. The park was opened in 2006, and connects to both the Oak Leaf Trail and the Hank Aaron State Trail. It is part of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail. The park provides opportunities for citizen scientist to conduct bird surveys and provides Milwaukee residents with opportunities to learn about natural plantings.

Groundwork Milwaukee, part of Groundwork USA, is a network of independent, not-for-profit, environmental businesses called Groundwork Trusts. Locally organized and controlled, they provide cost effective project development services focused on improving their community’s environment, economy and quality of life. GWM helps people transform derelict land and wasted public space into valued community assets such as pocket parks, community gardens, recreation facilities and nature preserves. GWM partners with government agencies and the private sector to engage residents in the remediation of brownfields to build consensus on reusing these sites for community benefit. In 2009, GWM partnered with Lisbon Avenue Development Corporation (LAND) to transform the site of a former gas station into a neighborhood pocket park honoring victims of gun violence.

As part of the Greenseams program of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), two properties adjacent to the Milwaukee River and North Commerce Street covering about 7 acres were purchased through a partnership with the River Revitalization Foundation (RRF) in 2004 and 2009. RRF strives to connect the community and urban waterways to not only preserve rivers, habitat and water quality, but also to improve the quality of life for those living in Milwaukee. Contributions to the RRF of $400,000 from MMSD and $700,000 from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Stewardship Program enabled the organization to purchase the former Wheelhouse property. This property will serve as the gateway to the Milwaukee River Greenway and further the revitalization of this natural area.

E. Describe your community’s ordinance demonstrating that your community does not restrict natural/native landscaping that emphasizes native plants and non-turf lawns.

The only City of Milwaukee ordinance restricting “wild” or natural laws and landscaping is one that states that lawn grass may not exceed 9” in height. There are a number of programs promoting natural landscaping according to the Milwaukee Citywide Policy Plan which encourages the use of diverse native and regionally adapted plants and discourages the use of invasives in landscaping. Efforts are made to select plants on public lands which require minimal maintenance, irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides, and that tolerate urban environmental conditions such as soil compaction, heat and drought conditions, minimal water infiltration, and salt spray or other urban pollutants.

F. Show that your community offers the public information on how they can control and remove invasive species in order to improve or maintain bird habitat.

Southeastern Wisconsin is a gateway for invasive species into Wisconsin due to maritime and roadway travel to and from Illinois, and increasing urbanization. The Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium (SEWISC) estimates that 5 new plant and animal species may enter the area each year. The City of Milwaukee works closely with SEWISC to raise awareness of the problem and promote efficient and effective management of invasive species. Milwaukee County Parks is a partner of SEWISC, as well as Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District, Lake Park Friends, Preserve our Parks, WE Energies.

Examples of community efforts to control invasive species include Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture and the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension - Milwaukee County’s joint Natural Areas Management Program. One of the activities of the Natural Areas Management Program is the partnering of The Park People of Milwaukee County and Corporate Work Days for invasive species removal and natural areas restoration.

Each May, the Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens holds a “Party for the Planet.” At this event, information is provided on the benefits of natural plantings, and native plants are sold to encourage the creation of bird-friendly yards.

Weed-Out, a grassroots volunteer program begun in 1996 to raise public awareness about invasive species, improve natural areas management, educate citizens about the environmental threat and recruit volunteers for hands-on weed control in the Milwaukee County Parks System --has conducted weed-out events on a regular basis.

Groundwork Milwaukee (GWM) worked with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in removing trash, debris and invasive species from an island in the Milwaukee River. GWM has made a long term commitment to the Kinnickinnic River Trail (KKRT), a City of Milwaukee bike trail that will connect Bay View and Lincoln Village to downtown Milwaukee. GWM works with the Milwaukee Christian Center Youth Build Program on invasive species management and pedestrian path building between the bike trail and the Kinnickinnic River.

Johnson Controls conducts Green Jobs Day for Milwaukee youth to work on invasive species removal.

The Urban Ecology Center provides information on the control and removal of invasive species for neighbors through brochures available at the Center. The UEC also runs a program called Burdock Brigade that gets the public involved with the removal of invasive species at Riverside Park. This program provides both education about effective invasive species removal as well as the opportunity to use that knowledge in the park.

Friends of Lake Park conducts weekly efforts to remove invasive species and plant native vegetation.

G. Document that there is a segment of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail or a designated Important Bird Area within or adjacent to your community.

Milwaukee offers many segments of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail with the following parks and sites: Discovery World, Havenwoods, Lakeshore State Park, Lake Shore Parks, County Parks, Urban Ecology Center, and the Milwaukee River Parks.

Milwaukee is part of a newly designated nearshore Important Bird Area, called the “Milwaukee-Racine Lakeshore Migration Corridor,” as the City of Milwaukee is along a major migratory pathway. The Wisconsin Stopover Initiative divides stopover sites into two tiers where Tier 1 Migratory Bird Stopover Sites are estimated to support >10,000 birds per season for one or more bird groups, and Tier II Bird Migratory Stopover Sites are estimated to support > 1,000 but < 10,000 birds per season for one or more bird groups. Lake Park East and the Inner Harbor-Kinnickinnic Mouth are both Tier 1 stopover sites for waterfowl, and Lake Park, the North Branch Milwaukee River, North Milwaukee River Parks are Tier 2 sites for land birds.

In 2001, the Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture joined in a landmark conservation agreement, The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, pledging to preserve habitat for resident birds and birds that migrate to or through Wisconsin. Recognizing the recreation significance of nature in general and birding in particular, the Milwaukee County Parks developed the Oak Leaf Birding Trail. The Oak Leaf Birding Trail includes parks within the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County. This unusual urban birding trail is visited by sea ducks, Neotropical migrants, and raptors of all kinds, thanks in part to the lakefront location.

H. Show that the local Chamber of Commerce or a similar group (e.g., an Audubon chapter, Wild Ones, etc.) takes an active role in the planning process for protecting and enlarging favorable bird habitat.

The Rotary Club of Milwaukee contributed $400,000 as a catalyst for building partnerships to create the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum.

L. Show that your community has restored at least two acres of woodlands, wetlands, or prairie.

The Urban Ecology Center/Menomonee Valley Project is restoring a blighted rail-yard to a 24 acre park and outdoor classroom. This will result in an ecologically diverse park with the creation of multiple habitat zones native to southeast Wisconsin. The American Society of Landscape Architects announced that Landscapes of Place, LLC has been recognized with a 2011 Honor Award in Analysis and Planning for the project, “Making a Wild Place in Milwaukee’s Urban Menomonee Valley.” According to ASLA, the plan is “an example of what we can and should be doing in all cities: replacing a much polluted area with a native landscape. The overarching goal: to transform the irreversibly altered land and hydrologic conditions to a mosaic of biodiverse landscapes, including forest, prairie, and ephemeral wetland, native to Milwaukee and ecologically appropriate for new conditions, with systemic and meaningful engagement of the community.”

On Saturday, July 20, 2013, “Three Bridges Park” opened to the pubic (see sub-category 1D in the basic requirements).

The Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum is a joint project of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, the Urban Ecology Center, the River Revitalization Foundation, Milwaukee Urban Rivers Foundation, Wisconsin Department of Resource’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, the County and City of Milwaukee to turn a brownfield into 3.7 miles of trail and 40 acres along the Milwaukee River newly planted with 1,000 trees. When completed, it will be the most significant and biologically diverse native ecosystem in southeastern Wisconsin, and serve as a gateway to the Milwaukee River Greenway. The arboretum increases the opportunity for ecological research in a unique urban environment and the diversity of native species provides a source of seed stock for the region. Replacing invasive species with deep rooted, native species improves water quality and reduces storm water runoff.

In the Wisconsin Humane Society’s 1/3 of an acre “Wildlife Compound” at 45th and Wisconsin Avenue, they organically suppress invasive plant species and encourage native plant species to improve this area as a stopover site for migrating birds and other wildlife and a sanctuary for local birds, bats, and pollinators.

N. Show that your community works on public lands to control invasive species that have significant negative impacts on bird habitat.

The Urban Ecology Center provides information on the control and removal of invasive species for neighbors through brochures available at the Center. The UEC also runs a program called Burdock Brigade that gets the public involved with the removal of invasive species throughout the park. This program provides both education about effective invasive species removal as well as the opportunity to use that knowledge in the park.

T. Document that your community maintains a birding trail or hot spot location with educational signage and/or literature. (Note: A birding hotspot alone is not sufficient - your community must actively promote birding and public education at the site itself.)

Recognizing the recreation significance of nature in general and birding in particular, the Milwaukee County Parks developed the Oak Leaf Birding Trail. The Oak Leaf Birding Trail includes parks within the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County.

V. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

The Milwaukee Southwest/Wehr Chapter of Wild Ones gives grants to organizations to enhance and protect wildlife habitat. One grant is to the River Revitalization Foundation of Milwaukee to enhance the wildlife habitat along Southbranch Creek.

The River Revitalization Foundation serves as the urban rivers land trust in Milwaukee, caring for the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers.

Community Forest Management

A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

The City of Milwaukee continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1979.

The City of Milwaukee also received the “Tree City USA Growth Award” in 2009, for demonstrating progress in its community forestry program through improved education and public relations, planning and management and tree inventory and analysis.

F. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

Greening Milwaukee is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and preservation of the city’s trees. The Milwaukee Citywide Policy Plan states that one of its goals is to preserve existing trees and significantly increase the citywide urban tree canopy and tree diversity through a tree planting initiative. The policy aims to prepare and implement a strategy to minimize the impact of major urban forest die- off due to the threat of invasive pests and disease, and to support efforts of community organizations to increase the tree canopy on private property.

Limiting or Removing Threats to Birds

A. Describe your community’s educational program to control free-roaming cats and/or the manner in which you actively publicize the Cats Indoors! initiative.

The Wisconsin Humane Society operates a low-cost Spay-Neuter Clinic that provides these services for cats (and dogs) for all Milwaukee Metro area residents. The Society also offers advice on its webs site for helping people train their cats to become “indoor-only” cats and teaching one’s cats to walk on a leash; and has a “Pets for Life Program” (PFL), one of the goals of which is to provide free spay and neuter services for pets of residents of two of the City of Milwaukee’s underserved zip codes. 

B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).

Milwaukee County participates in a program called WiNGS (Wisconsin Night Guardians for Songbirds). This program educates the public on the dangers of window strikes and how to prevent them. Printable brochures are available at the Wisconsin Humane Society website for interested individuals to hand out to building managers. Businesses, classrooms and individuals can register a “bird safe” home, business, classroom or campus. In addition, displays of different types of bird collision prevention materials are displayed at the Wisconsin Humane Society building. Volunteers also patrol key buildings in downtown Milwaukee during migration to log avian fatalities due to bird strikes and to transport injured birds to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at the Wisconsin Humane Society. Hundreds of avian window collision victims are admitted to the wildlife rehabilitation hospital each year. In addition, the data collected aids in encouraging building managers to make their building bird-safe.

Each May, the Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens holds a “Party for the Planet” where one of the activities focuses on educating visitors about bird collisions. Literature from the American Bird Conservancy is available and a myriad of materials is provided for guests to make their own decals or stencils to be taken home and applied on their windows.

H. Document that your community operates a significant Lights Out program that dims building lights to reduce collisions during spring and fall migration or that you have an outdoor lighting ordinance that includes Lights Out during bird migration.

The WiNGS program (mentioned in further detail below in sub-category 3E) encourages businesses to turn “lights out” during peak migration seasons.

I. Demonstrate that your community has enacted a bird collision monitoring program and has treated problem windows to reduce collisions with municipal and commercial buildings.

Milwaukee County and City of Milwaukee participates in a program called WiNGS (Wisconsin Night Guardians for Songbirds). This program educates the public on the dangers of window strikes and how to prevent them and is also headquartered in Milwaukee. Printable brochures are available at the Wisconsin Humane Society website for interested individuals to hand out to building managers. Businesses, classrooms and individuals can register a “bird safe” home, business, classroom or campus. In addition, displays of different types of bird collision prevention materials are displayed at the Wisconsin Humane Society building.

Volunteers also patrol key buildings in downtown Milwaukee during migration to log avian fatalities due to bird strikes and to transport injured birds to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at the Wisconsin Humane Society. Hundreds of avian window collision victims are admitted to the wildlife rehabilitation hospital each year. In addition, the data collected aids in encouraging building managers to make their building bird-safe.

J. Document that your community has registered a municipal building(s) in the Wisconsin Humane Society’s WIngs BirdSafe Business program AND show that this building has made an effort to reduce window collisions (see “Things that can be done at businesses”).

The Urban Ecology Center was the first public building to be registered in the Wings BirdSafe Business Program.

Additionally the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Milwaukee Campus is also registered in the Wings BirdSafe Business Program.

Public Education

B. Provide web links or a community newsletter demonstrating that your community educates property owners on methods to create and enhance backyard habitat for birds.

Community newsletters such as Washington Park Beat and Riverwest Currents, provide information to neighbors on methods to create and enhance backyard habitat for birds.

In addition, a neighborhood program in Riverwest organized a “Think Spring! Plant a Serviceberry  event where residents could purchase a serviceberry tree for their own backyard, or one to be planted along the Milwaukee River Greenway, in honor of Arbor Day.

The Urban Ecology Center now hosts an annual Native Landscaping Workshop with a series of classes and lectures that lead up to an Open House. Many of the talks relate specifically to birds.

The Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s “Birds without Borders” program also gives Milwaukee residents information on how to make their yard bird friendly.

The Wisconsin Humane Society’s website gives information on how to enhance backyard habitat for birds.

The Urban Lawn Reduction Project is a blog about converting a Milwaukee yard into a no-mow, native plant environment.

Wild Birds Unlimited provides Milwaukee area residents with birdscaping information.

The Milwaukee Chapter of Wild Ones presents educational conferences on natural landscaping.

C. Demonstrate that your community is represented in at least one citizen science bird monitoring program (e.g., the Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out).

Typically, birders participate in two Chimney Swift Counts in the month of August annually. Also, The City of Milwaukee has been a long-time participant in the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count. Both counts are normally organized by the Urban Ecology Center and the Lake Park Friends organization. The Milwaukee BIOME Project also conducted migration transects and point counts at various sites within both the City and the County of Milwaukee.

For the last few decades an annual May Day Count has been held that covers much of the city. The results are sent to the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.

Many volunteers monitored parks and other areas of the City as part of the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II, and reported their observations of breeding bird activity via the Atlas’s online portal.

D. Describe your community-sponsored annual bird festival. This must be a multi-day event or a truly exceptional one-day event.

The Urban Ecology Center holds an annual Wisconsin Green Birding Challenge day where participants compete to see which team can find the most species of birds within walking/biking/canoeing distance of their home.

Havenwoods State Forest dedicates every fourth year its annual winter festival to a focus on birds, including bird feeding information, habitat improvement, identification and general enjoyment. In 2012, Havenwoods also promoted “Celebrate Urban Birds!” and plans to do so in the future.

E. Illustrate a program that involves schools, garden clubs, or other organizations in bird conservation activities.

Several City of Milwaukee organizations are involved in city, county and state bird conservation activities. The Urban Ecology Center sponsors birding trips within the city of Milwaukee, as well as throughout the state and neighboring states. In addition, UEC has pioneered the BIGBY effort in Milwaukee, encouraging birders to catalog “green birding” sightings within walking, biking or canoeing distances from their homes in Milwaukee.

Monitoring efforts occur regularly within city limits sponsored by Milwaukee BIOME project, the Urban Ecology Center, Havenwoods State Forest, Lake Park Friends, Wisconsin Society of Ornithology, Milwaukee Audubon Society and Madison Audubon Society. Lake Park Friends sponsors a series of monthly lectures that have included the topics of backyard enhancement for birds, ”Birding by Ear” given by John Feith, “Migrating for Food and Family” given by Paul Hunter, and the ecology of Red-headed Woodpeckers given by William Mueller.

The Wisconsin Humane Society’s WiNGS program has Bird-Safe Classrooms and Bird-Safe Campus components. Featured under the former are The Migration Game, how to make home-made bird-collision-prevention window clings, and the new Chimney Swift Adventure Game.

K. Demonstrate that your community actively raises awareness of its bird assets. Examples include placing a remote web camera on a nest platform, offering bird watching field trips, or creating a significant educational resource on your community's bird life.

The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology has been sponsoring since 2013 an Eye Spy Bird Camp at the Urban Ecology Center. This is a week-long camp for urban middle school youth in which campers receive a free field guide and pair of binoculars, participate in bird banding and explore birds in urban settings.

The Urban Ecology Center sponsored day and also overnight field trips to various points in the Milwaukee, in Wisconsin, and out of state to study birds of the area. A major riparian artery of the City, the Milwaukee River, has had seven miles of river bank preserved through the Milwaukee River Greenway. This ambitious undertaking preserves habitat, will present educational signage and foster plant and animal diversity.

In 2013, a web camera was placed on an active nest of an American Robin at the Urban Ecology Center to the delight of visiting school children. Additionally, WE Energies features a webcam in the Peregrine Falcon nest on its Valley power plant in Milwaukee.

N. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology has been sponsoring since 2013 an Eye Spy Bird Camp at the Urban Ecology Center. This is a week-long camp for urban middle school youth in which campers receive a free field guide and pair of binoculars, participate in bird banding and explore birds in urban settings.

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)

B. Document and describe your event that incorporates the annual IMBD theme in some fashion. If the event has not yet occurred, please share your detailed plans. For information on the current year’s theme and event materials, please visit the International Migratory Bird Day website. To see what other Bird City communities have done in the past, please view some other profiles on our website.

The Milwaukee IMBD event for 2015 was the Urban Ecology Center’s Green Birding Challenge. It’s a fossil fuel-free competition for registered teams to record as many birds as possible in 5 hours. This event now has more categories to include both the serious and casual birder as well as families and has also become a fundraiser for the Research & Citizen Science program at the Center. Next year will be our 7th year hosting the event.

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Community Details

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 594,833

Incorporated: 1846

Area: 96.8 mi2

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