North-central Wisconsin Volunteers are needed to help track bird populations.
After the third year of the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas survey, volunteers have documented 220 bird species breeding in the state, most recently including a family of rare and secretive marsh birds called king rails. With this addition, 12 new species have been observed nesting in Wisconsin that weren't found during the first Breeding Bird Atlas survey two decades ago.
DNR Breeding Bird Atlas coordinator Nick Anich says the Atlas is a five-year citizen-science project with a goal of documenting the distribution and abundance all of Wisconsin's breeding bird species.
He says when the project concludes, they will compare the numbers from the first Bird Atlas done 20 years ago...
"....this is year three of five we've just completed. We have the whole state gridded out into three mile atlas blocks. About 30 percent of those are finished, 40 percent are underway, and then 30 percent of those have very little effort into them so far...."
Anich says one finding is trumpeter swans are making a comeback due to improving wetland habitat work. Anich says more volunteers are needed, especially in this region....
"...we have a lot of observations from the most populated southeast part of the state, but the north-central region pretty wide open. We're in particular need of people up north to get involved...."
Anich says to volunteer, visit the project website at wsobirds.org/atlas.
Training sessions and field trips will take place throughout Wisconsin in 2018. When the project is completed, the data will be published in a hard-copy book and online for use by researchers, land managers, conservationists, and citizens interested in birds and their habitats.