This is a broad, field-based survey of the breeding birds of Wisconsin and the habitats in which they are found. We will study breeding birds and their habitats in wetlands, grasslands, and forests in state natural areas, state and federal wildlife areas, and major plant communities throughout southern Wisconsin. Our objective is to find the majority of Wisconsin’s southern breeding bird species and learn about their ecology, distribution, behavior, and conservation. We will also demonstrate field research and monitoring techniques. Participants will learn the basics of plant-community associations, which is key to understanding where bird species are found during the breeding season and how to assess their habitat needs for effective conservation and management. The course fee covers all transportation costs and lodging.
Schedule: This course is a five-day-long field trip that visits important breeding bird areas of southern Wisconsin. The course begins at 9 am, Tuesday, 6/10, and finishes by mid afternoon Saturday, 6/14. Some days require a very early start (~4:20 am) to be in the field for the peak of bird song. A few evening sessions will allow us to study nocturnal bird species. We will also conduct several early morning bird banding demonstrations. Travel by van to each subsequent day’s location will take place in the late afternoon and early evening.
Instructors: William Mueller is the Director of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, and Project Coordinator for the Milwaukee BIOME Project. Dr. Owen Boyle is the state coordinator for the Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network and an ecologist with WDNR. Tim Vargo is the Manager of Research and Citizen Science at Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center, and is a federally licensed bird bander.
Available for 5.0 CEU or 1 college credit. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit.