Audubon Society will present update on bird atlas project Nov. 18
Project Coordinators Bill Mueller and Mike Reese will team up to present an update on the “2nd Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas Project” at the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society’s program at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the Lincoln Center, 1519 Water St., Stevens Point.
The program is free and open to the public.
The original Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas, published in 2006 by the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, is a 600-page volume that documents the distribution and abundance of birds breeding in the state.
Earlier this year, field work and data collection commenced for the Atlas 2 project, which will provide insight regarding changes in bird populations since the original survey and help identify conservation needs of breeding birds.
Mueller and Reese will describe the history of Atlas 1 (it included more than 1,600 observers, 160,000 field records, 70,000 hours in the field), a chronology of activities and most important findings, and the ways in which Atlas 2 is different.
They will show the results from the first year of work on Atlas 2, including which species have been confirmed, where the work of Atlas 2 has been focused, how many people have become involved and how more people can become a part of the project. By the time Atlas 2 is complete, it will be the largest citizen science project in the history of Wisconsin.
Mueller is director and staff ornithologist at the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory. He was Conservation Chair of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology from early 2002 through fall of 2012.
He is actively involved with a number of ornithological groups around the state, including the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI), where he is co-chair of WBCI’s Issues Committee and a current member of WBCI’s Steering Committee.
He is project coordinator for the Milwaukee BIOME Project, a group of 12 scientists and more than 150 volunteers, operating in partnership with faculty and staff from Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and the University of Hawaii, working on migratory stopover ecology of birds in an urban area.
Mueller completed his master’s degree at UWM. He did his graduate research on the biogeography and recent decline of the red-headed woodpecker.
During the spring of 2013, Mueller walked 246 miles across Wisconsin, from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, to raise awareness about bird conservation and to raise funds for the Bird Protection Fund of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.
Reese, an educator and naturalist, has explored Wisconsin’s natural areas with his camera, in pursuit of insects for more than a quarter of a century. He has been the moderator for the sighting pages of the North American Butterfly Association since 2001 and has written a regular article for their American Butterflies quarterly magazine for over a decade.
Reese makes extensive information about Wisconsin butterflies, tiger beetles, and robber flies available online at his website wisconsinbutterflies.org. His photos have occurred in over a dozen field guides including being the principal photographer for “Damselflies of the North Woods.”
In his retirement his motto is, “Retirement is for the birds” and he has taken on the position with the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology as the director of volunteers for the second Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas.