The Enigmatic Avian Resident of North American Forests: A Compelling Mystery.

The population of Evening Grosbeaks in North America has decreased significantly by 92% since 1970, even though they were once a popular favorite among bird feeders. In a recent survey conducted in Wisconsin during 2015-2019, it was discovered that the number of Evening Grosbeaks reduced by 86% compared to the previous two decades. Michael Parr, the president of American Bird Conservancy, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Bringing Birds Back conference in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on March 24-25.

Parr collaborated on two important reports: the 2022 State of the Birds report which examined bird populations in the United States, and a groundbreaking research study from 2019 which revealed that North America has lost three billion birds since 1970. During his talk, he will discuss the findings of these studies and global initiatives aimed at bird conservation. Jennifer Lazewski, the executive director of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, expressed her enthusiasm for the impressive lineup of speakers who will address both national issues and local opportunities for action in Wisconsin. Given the diverse habitats and needs of birds, it is important to keep the bigger picture in mind when observing and learning about the birds in your vicinity, whether by foot or car.

The upcoming conference aims to shed light on the dire situation faced by birds and highlight the efforts of Wisconsin’s tribal nations, municipalities, conservation groups, and individuals to rescue them. The latest findings about the declining population of grassland birds in North America, such as the Western Meadowlark, will also be presented. Unfortunately, in the past 50 years, these birds have suffered the worst population declines, with 66% fewer survey sites in Wisconsin during the 2015-19 Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II compared to 20 years ago.

On March 24 and 25, a conference in Wisconsin will highlight various local and regional conservation initiatives aimed at identifying and prioritizing important bird habitat areas. These initiatives include the statewide Important Bird Areas Programme, the Southern Driftless Grasslands Project, Milwaukee County‚Äôs Natural Areas, Bird City Wisconsin, and the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory. Oneida Nation properties’ environmental restoration project to monitor birds’ reactions will also be presented. Attendees can learn how to landscape with native plants to provide food and shelter for birds and pollinators and how to deal with reflected windows that may harm birds in workshops. The conference will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Culver Family Welcome Centre, and registration is available until March 6th at $50, inclusive of lunch. As space is limited, it is advisable to register soon.

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