Our chief birder, Noel Cutright, received his lifetime achievement award at the Gathering Waters Award Night on Thursday in Madison. And what does he talk about at some length when he makes his speech? Treasures of Oz! What a great guy!!!
The greater idea:
And that was not the main thing that caught everyone’s attention. He announced the start of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, to be located, where else but at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.
The canary in the mine:
We know that bird health is sort of a bellwether marker for planet health, so the more we know about birds, and bats, the better we can understand planet health including things like climate change.
The concept in a little nest:
The mission would be to advance knowledge of bird and bat populations and their con-servation in Wisconsin and throughout the Western Great Lakes region through coordi-nated research, monitoring, and education using good science.
The “to do” list for starts:
- Conduct bird banding at nearby Harrington Beach State Park and Forest Beach Migra-tory Preserve.
- Serve as a future 'home' for the 2nd Breeding Bird Atlas of Wisconsin, if needed, Bird City Wisconsin, and maybe Cedar Grove Ornithological Research Station.
- Perform bird surveys for: Lakes Michigan and Superior, Wisconsin’s Important Bird Areas, Wisconsin’s State Parks and State Natural Areas
- Study climate change and impact on bird populations.
- Perform bat surveys.
- Perform telemetry studies for high priority species.
- Analyze existing bird data bases.
- Conduct fall hawk watches and water bird migration surveys along the Lake Michigan shore.
- Serve as a data repository for bird monitoring programs in the Western Great Lakes Region.
- Monitor additional priority groups/individual species, e.g., Threatened and Endangered Species, Species of Greatest Conservation Need, At-risk Species.
- Address the many existing management-oriented monitoring and research questions.
This organization will be in the OWLT nest of fledgling organizations, just like Treasures of Oz, until it has grown large enough to stand alone as a non-profit organization and incorporate. It is planning to:
- Hire a Director, maybe part-time at first
- Have full-time & part-time staff, interns, and volunteers
- Select a Board of Directors
- Assemble a Scientific Advisory Committee
- Develop a logo, web site, newsletters, and publications
- Offer a full-time staffed office
- Solicit partners, sponsors, donors
Interested in helping with time, expertise or a little nest egg cash? Connect with Noel. You can do this through “contact us” on this website. For a cash donation, just send it to Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (mark for WGLBB&BO) at P.O.Box 917, West Bend, WI 53095-0917