August is winding down and we hope you’re all enjoying the start of fall migration. As birds fly south, we’re reminded of how important it is to protect their stopover sites in Wisconsin. Below, we’ve featured some important opportunities to help protect those sites and the birds that depend on them.
The WSO Conservation Committee has made opposition to the development of the land lying north of Kohler-Andrae State Park one of its priority issues. More than 10,000 birds use the Kohler-Andrae lakeshore as a stopover site during their annual migration. Kohler Company’s plans to build a golf course on the land north of the park, and its subsequent land swap with the DNR to facilitate the construction, have been challenged in court. A decision on the case is pending. In the meantime, we can all take action to protect this vital stopover site.
At 8 am on September 10, the Wisconsin Chapter of the Sierra Club, along with The Friends of the Black River Forest, are hosting a birdwatching event at Kohler-Andrae State Park to raise awareness of the issue. The event will be followed by a rally to call on Kohler Company to cancel their plans and to ask the Governor to protect the park. Learn more about the event and RSVP here. We hope our members will show up in force to voice their opposition to the golf course.
Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
WSO is committed to the enhancement and preservation of Wisconsin’s Important Bird Areas (IBA). The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership (WBCP) is accepting proposals to grow the conservation capacity of Wisconsin’s IBA system, which includes many essential stopover sites.
WBCP’s Request for Proposals is intended to provide support for organizations working collaboratively with multiple partners; or for those who are interested in initiating collaborative conservation action within a designated Wisconsin IBA. Applicants can apply for up to $10,000 in funds to be used over a one-year grant cycle. The deadline to apply is October 1st. For more information and to learn how to apply, click here.
Spectators enjoying a Swift Night Out. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Chimney Swifts have begun their fall migration and our members can help them survive – and thrive – by keeping an eye out for these magnificent birds and locating their roost chimneys. As the Wisconsin Chimney Swift Working Group explains, “If you can count, you can help!”
If you find a roost chimney, monitor it at sunset and count the number of swifts entering it at night. Then enter your sighting on eBird and add #swiftwi in the species comment section.
Another way to help Chimney Swifts is to host or attend a Swift Night Out. The Chimney Swift Working Group compiles a statewide list of upcoming swift celebrations on their website and has prepared a handy how-to guide to help you plan your own!
Blue-headed Vireo photo courtesy of Marsha Rea
Finally, as we all know one of the best ways to protect migratory birds is to help ensure they reach their destination safely. Window strikes kill as many as a billion birds every year.
SOS Save Our Songbirds has instructions on how to treat your windows to prevent bird collisions and is offering discounts on window treatments for a limited time. Please visit their website today and make your home bird friendly, inside and out!