WMAS Programs 2021

Programs are held on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM at Wehr Nature Center, 9701 W. College Avenue unless otherwise noted.

Currently, Wehr Nature Center requires masks and social distancing as well as other COVID-19 health precautions https://friendsofwehr.org/visit/.

If you need more information, contact WMAS President Diane Lembck at 414-425-9616 or email lembck6492@wi.rr.com. In order to join us at these programs, please make sure we have your most recent email address.

Upcoming Programs

Sunday, December 19th, 2021 – 9:00 AM to 4 PM – IN PERSON EVENT!

The Christmas Bird Count

Join us at Wehr Nature Center for the annual Christmas Bird Count. All birding skills are welcome.  Needed are spotters, counters, recorders, field observers and feeder watchers. You can also report birds seen from the comfort of your own windows. Call Wehr Nature Center to join in the fun. 414 425-8550.

Ongoing Programs

Gardening for the Birds, Bees, and Butterflies

Join us at Wehr Nature Center for the annual Christmas Bird Count. All birding skills are welcome.  Needed are spotters, counters, recorders, field observers and feeder watchers. You Maybe you are just tired of mowing all that grass, and want something that can take its place and take care of itself? Is there a garden you want to change, expand or begin? Are you looking to create your own backyard bird sanctuary or a small patch for butterflies? There are many options that can help create habitat for pollinators and birds. The native planting areas I have bring in so many interesting visitors, and require very little care. A FREE information packet we have created with the help of Wild Ones, can help you decide what you want to do. Please do something to help bring back the birds. For more information, please contact me at cieslakjames3@gmail.com

Past Programs

Bird Walk at Forest Home Cemetery

On this annual event, we enjoyed “Birding 101” and learned how to identify birds from sight and sound. Event is free and open to the public as well as WMAS members.

Dr. Bryan Lenz Ph. D.

Avian Vision, Window Collisions, and How You Can Save Birds
Presented by Bryan Lenz, Ph.D,
Glass Collision Program Manager & Bird City Americas Director

This presentation by American Bird Conservancy’s Dr. Bryan Lenz discussed the scale of the window collision problem, how birds see the world, the science behind collisions solutions, and what you can do to keep your windows from killing birds. Bryan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Masters of Science from Oxford Brookes University and a Masters of Art and Ph.D. from Tulane University. 

Wisconsin Moths
Presented by: Randy Powers, Reconstruction Ecologist and Nature Photographer

Randy Powers discussed Wisconsin moths and the study of butterflies and moths, also known as Lepidoptera. In Wisconsin alone there are approximately 3500 known species of moths, providing both entomologists and enthusiasts alike with a vast array of species to study and admire. Randy has a Masters Degree in Botany and Zoology, with thirty years of ecology field experience in natural area problem solving, restoration, and management.

Promethea Moth (Source Wiscontext.org)

Results of BioBlitz 2021 at Wehr Nature Center
Presented by: Julia Colby, Vertebrate & Invertebrate Collections Manager, Milwaukee Public Museum

A BioBlitz brings together scientists in a race against time to see how many species they can count on a property during a 24-hour biological survey. The Milwaukee Public Museum’s BioBlitz program, now in its 5th year, is an annual event that is part contest, part festival, part educational event, and part scientific endeavor designed to increase the public’s awareness of the variety of living things in their neighborhood and the services these various species provide to improve the quality of life. The 2021 MPM BioBlitz was held at Wehr Nature Center on June 18-19 and Julia Colby, Vertebrate Collections Manager, will present some of the survey’s findings as well as highlight how bringing together experts from many taxonomic disciplines, for a short amount of time, can rapidly gather information and help conservationists and resource managers decide on future actions or management decisions.

Whooping Crane Conservation at the International Crane Foundation
Presented by: Lizzie Condon, Outreach Coordinator International Crane Foundation

In this presentation we heard a brief overview of the history of Whooping Crane populations and human efforts to bring back the species from near extinction. This included an update on the Eastern Migratory Population reintroduction project, the International Crane Foundation ongoing recovery efforts, and how it applies scientific knowledge to present working conservation solutions for the cranes.

The Wetlands and Ecology of the Lower Wisconsin River
Speaker: Mike Mossman with the Wisconsin Wetlands Association

The lower Wisconsin River was named Wisconsin’s 6th Wetland of International Importance at The Ramsar Convention. We learned more about its unique features and why it was named a wetland of international importance.

Antarctica: A Place Like No Other
Speaker: Karen Etter Hale – Conservation Maven

Karen Etter Hale hosted a trip of a lifetime to experience the history, the icebergs, the mammals, and the numerous birds of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, and the Antarctic Peninsula. This vast and often forbidding land is home to Wandering Albatrosses, enormous colonies of King Penguins, southern fur seals, and birds you’ve never heard of. Close views of this incredible place. Karen has had a life-long interest in birds. She has been the chair of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative since its inception in 1999. Since retiring in 2014 after 25 years as the executive secretary of the Madison Audubon Society, she has continued to serve on several statewide committees, including Atlas II, Bird City Wisconsin, Wisconsin Audubon Council, the Wisconsin Chimney Swift Working Group, and the Great Wisconsin Birdathon. The motto of her birdathon team, the Finch Gang, is Give! Or Else!

A Journey of a Thousand Lifers
Presented by Bill Volkert

Bill Volkert, a former Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources educator, discussed his book A Journey of a Thousand Lifers. The book is about the travels of Bill and his wife Connie over 7 1/2 months
through Africa, Nepal and Southeast Asia. Bill saw over a thousand new birds, visited cultural sites and took over 35,000 pictures! Bill’s book includes a summary of how to plan an extensive world-wide birding tour of your own.

eBird – Every bird Counts!
Presented by Carol Howard and Sarah Stokes

eBird is a data collection tool that birders use to help Cornell University ornithologists learn more about birds. You can enter the data via the eBird website or smartphone app. It’s easy to enter your sightings, check your lists, discover what birds are where, and feel good about contributing to worldwide research! Online demonstrations are available by search. Have no fear – anyone can do it, even beginning birders!

Birding in Columbia 
Presented by Dennis Foye, a WMAS member who traveled to Columbia in 2017

Colombia is an incredible country for birdwatchers. It boasts a list of 77 endemics (birds found in no other country) and is home to well over 1930 bird species — around 20 percent of the world’s total bird count.  Dennis will share information about some of the amazing birds.

Swans of Wisconsin
Presented by Marty Robinson Held at Wehr Nature Center.

Marty Johnson, WDNR Senior Wildlife Biologist, will talk about the reintroduction of the Trumpeter Swan to Wisconsin. Marty worked on the project, so she’s able to provide a first-hand report. She’ll also provide identification information regarding Trumpeter, Tundra, and Mute Swans. Please join us in learning more about this majestic birds.

Wisconsin’s Threatened and Endangered Birds
Presented by Richard Steffen. Held at Wehr Nature Center

Wisconsin has twenty-four endangered or threatened bird species. The Peregrine Falcon (pictured) and Kirtland’s Warblers are two of these species. Richard Steffen, a DNR Conservation Biologist since 2001, discussed which birds are on the Endangered and Threatened Species lists. He detailed the work being done to help these birds and discuss how their populations are faring.

A Walk to Sustain Our Great Lakes
Presented by Julia Robson, Conservation Biologist Waukesha County Dept of Parks and Land Use, Held at Boerner Botanical Gardens.

Julia’s passion for environmental conservation and fostering community-based stewardship initiatives all began with her roots as a volunteer. In the fall of 2017, she took her experience as an ecologist, educator, and advocate to an entirely new level. She and a colleague embarked on a 343-mile walk across Wisconsin, from Milwaukee to Lake Superior, to raise awareness for Great Lakes and freshwater conservation.  Her story of her own volunteerism and growth as a conservationist is testament to the fact that the impacts of just one individual can be far-reaching and help inspire change.

Eco-Lodge Costa Rica
Presented by James Cieslak, member of Wisconsin Metro Audubon Society, Held at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Costa Ricanis an Eco-lodge, and the wide variety of birds can be seen there. Our member, Jim Cieslak, was there in December of 2017 for a week. Besides some good photos, he has some good stories to go with them. He has also offered to provide a door-prize or two to raffle off for those who attend.

Spring Warbler ID Tips
Presented by Tom Schultz, Illustrator of Peterson Field Guide to Warblers of North America. Held at Boerner Botanical Gardens.

Spring warbler migration is the most exciting time of the year for many birders. It begins in late April and lasts through May. Unfortunately, it always over before we know it! Tom Schultz illustrated Peterson’s A Field Guide to Warblers of North America and is well-known throughout the state for his astute bird ID skills. This talk allowed you to brush up on your warbler identification skills just in time.  We learned how to recognize warblers using a combination of field marks, song, behavior, and habitat, so you can spend more time looking at the birds and less time looking in a book!

Location Milwaukee, WI Phone (414) 425-9616 E-mail lembck6492@wi.rr.com Hours Call or email any time. Allow 48-72 hours for a response.
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