For the Birds: AMBLE Along Lake Michigan

AMBLE along the lake this summer and fall and join a local community that cares about lakeshore conditions and bird health. Volunteers are needed to walk parts of the Lake Michigan and Green Bay shoreline to monitor bird health and beach conditions as part of a citizen science program. The U.S. Geological Survey AMBLE (Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events) program is an opportunity to sharpen birding skills, develop a connection with a wild place, and gain a deeper understanding of the disease avian botulism and Lake Michigan ecology. After a successful 2011 season in Door County, the AMBLE volunteer monitoring network is expanding in 2012 to include the southern and western shores of Green Bay.

Participants choose quarter-mile or longer sections of shoreline to monitor every seven to ten days, from June through November. Expertise in bird identification is not required to be an AMBLE volunteer. A free training will be offered that covers disease ecology of avian botulism, monitoring protocols, bird identification, and GPS use. More information is available on the Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE Web site.

To participate in AMBLE, volunteers are asked to register for one of the following free training sessions (More sessions will be offered as needed).  Those who complete training will receive an AMBLE hat or t-shirt, and updates throughout the monitoring season via the "AMBLE Ramble" newsletter:

  • Thursday, May 10 from 1-4:30 p.m. at Washington Island Recreation Center, Mosling Room, 1877 Lakeview Rd., Washington Island.
  • Friday, May 11 from 1-4:30 p.m. at Newport State Park Visitor Center, Hotz Wilderness Room, 475 County Highway NP, Ellison Bay.
  • Saturday, May 12 from 1-4:30 p.m. at Crossroads at Big Creek, Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.
  • Friday, June 1 from 1-4:30 p.m. at Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Peshtigo Service Center, Conference Room, 101 N. Ogden Rd. Suite A, Peshtigo.
  • Saturday, June 2 from 1-4:30 p.m. at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Woodland Room (downstairs), 1660 East Shore Drive, Green Bay.


AMBLE is sponsored by the USGS National Wildlife Health Center with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the following local partners: The Ridges Sanctuary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society, Crossroads at Big Creek, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Oconto’s Promise, and Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

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