We welcome your data submissions and help with the Bird Project. To participate, contact Roma Lenehan at email@example.com or 608-238-5406
Breeding Bird and Habitat Study 2000-2002
The Habitat and Abundance of Preserve Breeding Birds Study shows the breeding status (confirmed, probable, possible, past) and abundance of breeding birds in the various habitats during the 2000-2002.
The 2000, 2001, and 2002 Breeding Bird Study confirmed the nesting of 69 bird species. In 2003 the Sandhill Crane was confirmed. In 2005 Bank Swallows nested adjacent to Willow Creek. In 2008 a Wild Turkey nested in the Preserve for the first time, bringing the total number of confirmed birds to 72.
The purpose of Roma Lenehan’s and Glenda Denniston’s bird study was to identify the bird species and their seasonal abundance in the Preserve as well as their microhabitat preferences. The study created a base line to allow the detection of bird population changes within the Preserve. The study’s goal was to enable future students and scientists to determine how the restoration of the Preserve affects the bird populations in the Preserve.
The summer of 2001 was the third year of a four-year project. In the 1999, the first year of the project, they compiled the Preserve Bird Checklist. In the summer of 2000 Roma and Glenda began a multi-year Breeding Bird Study and made adjustments to the Preserve Bird Checklist. In 2001 they added data to the Preserve Bird Checklist, continued the Breeding Bird Study, and planned for the Bird Habitat Study. Each part of the proposal is discussed in more depth below. For inquiries on this study, contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
Breeding Bird Study 2000-2002
During the summers of 2000 and 2001 we confirmed the breeding (using the methodology of the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas) of 65 bird species in the Preserve. Another 12 species probably nested. We also had 4 species of birds that were possible breeders. (Copies of our report the Habitat and Abundance of Preserve Breeding Birds (3 pages) is available on the Friends Web Site, while our other reports, the Preserve Breeding Birds full report (9 pages) or summary report (3 pages), and the Breeding Birds of the Class of 1918 Marsh in the Summer of 2000 (5 pages), can be obtained from Roma Lenehan (email@example.com).)
From the 2000 and 2001 Breeding Bird Study and other information collected for the Preserve Bird List, we concluded that 56 bird species breed in the Preserve most years, 21 species breed in the Preserve some years (including one year within the last five years), and 14 species probably bred in the Preserve in the past.
Due to the unusual weather (flooding) in 2000 and lack of time in 2001, several parts of the Breeding Bird Study were not completed. As a result, a number of tasks need to be completed in 2002. In addition, we need to replicate our study to ensure that our results are valid.
Although we confirmed the nesting of 65 species in the Preserve and had 12 species that probably nested, we did not get accurate estimates of the number of breeding birds for most of the common species. This was complicated by the fact that, due to wet weather, many birds were forced to nest two or more times in 2000, often changing their nest location between attempts. In addition, due to the unusual flood year, it is necessary to estimate numbers and reconfirm the marsh birds. If possible the probable species also need to be confirmed. The possible species need to be checked again. Finally, any new breeding species, especially in the area of the Biocore Prairie where the habitat is changing, need to be confirmed.
In order to accomplish these tasks, we would like to invite other bird watchers, including any interested students, to help us continue this project.
The purpose of this new project is to determine the microhabitats various birds use of this new project is to determine the microhabitats various birds use. (For instance, what bird species use the alien shrubs such as honeysuckle and buckthorn? Do these birds use native shrubs in preference to alien shrubs? If so, which native shrubs are chosen?) Eventually, we hope to use this information to form hypotheses about how various bird species will react to changes in the Preserve. When restoration changes the habitat of the Preserve, we will check to see if these bird species behave as we expect. In 2000 we conducted a “trial run” of this project in the 1918 Marsh. We spent extended periods of time watching birds, primarily to locate nests. While observing the birds, we also noted where they fed and sang.
For this project we hope to get volunteers to watch several relatively small areas of the Preserve. These observers will record the birds that are present in their area and the types of vegetation the birds use for feeding, singing, and nesting by spending time observing individual birds. Over time we hope to expand the project to additional areas of the Preserve.
Photos on this page by Glenda Denniston