Current Projects on Management Banding and Original Research


Evaluation of Migratory Stop-Over and Summering Habitat by Neotropical Migratory Birds in Central Wisconsin 

Working with the parameters of the Wisconsin Stop-Over Habitat Conservation/Monitoring Initiative, several sites within three central counties (Western Central Lake Michigan Basin-Tier 2) are being monitored for bird use and habitat qualities are being measured. Estimating productivity, longevity and survival of target summering species, utilization of habitat characteristics and available foods on migration and summering. Concentrated on arthropod populations, hatching phenology, using ground-level pit-fall traps, shrub/ understory, and canopy elevated malaise traps and beating sheets for sampling. Focusing also on phenology of leaf emergence, persistent fruit availability. These sites are associated with the North-South oriented series of glacial terminal and recessional moraines, East-West oriented glacial drumlins, and other topographic features including eskers, Kames, and rolling ground moraine with both forested (oak-mixed hardwood), shrub, and grassland communities and the scattered open water features and cold, hard water stream corridors.

Shifts in Traditional Summering Habitats and Food Utilization by Neotropical Migratory Birds following Conversion of Pine Plantations (1950-60s plantings) to Oak Woodland in Central Wisconsin

Working with the standards of the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Network, a few sites within the Waupaca Biological Field Station, a private unit of the Emmons Creek Barrens State Natural Area (No. 365/681) are being monitored for changes in bird populations, nesting success, and migration stop-over use during the process of habitat conversion from 1940-60s "plant a tree", often monoculture plantation pines early and simple conservation efforts to more sophisticated multitiered high diversity ecological restoration of native oak barrens savanna, sand and dry-mesic prairie, sand barrens, and shrub communities 

Habitat Succession as a factor affecting certain species traditionally counted during the Breeding Bird Census

Selected observation stations along a central Wisconsin North-South oriented monitoring route of the federal breeding bird census are being compared to determine changes in breeding bird use. Another independent East-West oriented breeding bird census route with similar land use practices is being used to compare breeding bird use within similar habitats.

Mourning and Blue-winged Warbler Habitat Use and Food Exploitation in Late-Successional Riparian Corridors

One important community within the Waupaca Biological Field Station is the alder/ash/elm swamp surrounding the Emmons Creek riparian corridor. Mourning and blue-winged warblers are two common species but have shown population changes due to the invasive buckthorn originating from the surrounding state-owned fishery area. Aggressive management to remove and control this invasive species has altered habitat patches within this extensive community which has changed the way these two bird species use the corridor. Will restoration activities to shore up the native plant diversity in these once buckthorn dominated habitat patches improve breeding success of these and bird other species?

Annual Osprey Nesting Success and Re-Colonization of Former Range within the Wolf River Drainage Basin, East-central Wisconsin

Working with the staff and volunteers of The Feather Rehab and Education Center at New London, WI, several pairs of nesting ospreys are annually monitored and new nesting pairs located to determine productivity, nesting success, and most recent issues facing predation by bald eagles along the Wolf River and its tributaries. Color-marking using leg bands has been underway for several years with a recent live recovery by a wildlife photographer reported one fledgling in the class of 2016 alive and well in a salt marsh near Franklin, Louisiana (Gulf Coast community) in early November, 2016. "Ain't" conservation research fun!!

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