ABC president to speak at Wisconsin conference

Evening Grosbeak

Michael Parr, president of the American Bird Conservancy, will deliver the keynote address at the Bringing Birds Back conference, scheduled for March 24-25 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Parr co-authored a landmark 2019 study that found 3 billion birds have disappeared from North America since 1970 and the 2022 State of the Birds Report assessing bird populations in the United States. He will discuss the findings of the reports and international efforts to conserve birds.

“We are thrilled with the incredible speakers we have both on national issues and on what we can do in Wisconsin,” said Jennifer Lazewski, executive director of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. “Birds live in many different habitats and have different needs. It’s important to keep this big picture in mind even when observing and learning about birds in your neighborhood or places you can drive to.

The two-day conference will share the latest research on the perilous situation of birds and what is being done internationally and in Wisconsin by conservation groups, communities, tribal nations and individuals to save them.

bring back the birdsGrassland birds like the Eastern Meadowlark have suffered the largest population losses in North America in the past 50 years. In Wisconsin, the bird was found in 66% fewer study areas during the 2015-2019 Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II than 20 years earlier. Photo by Ryan Brady

Presentations on March 24 will highlight regional and community conservation efforts in Wisconsin, such as the statewide Important Bird Areas program to identify and prioritize key bird habitat areas, the Southern Driftless Grasslands Project, Milwaukee County Natural Areas, Bird City Wisconsin, and bird conservation efforts. by the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory.

March 25 programming includes a presentation on a collaborative effort to monitor birds in response to environmental restoration of Oneida Nation lands. Presenters will be Tony Kuchma, Oneida Wetlands Project Manager, language and cultural educator Tehahukótha (Randy) Cornelius, and Erin Giese, President of the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society and Acting Director of the UW-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity , both partners in project monitoring.

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The conference then shifts to focusing on actions people can take at home, with sessions on landscaping with native plants to provide birds and pollinators with food and shelter, and solutions for treating reflective windows which can be deadly to birds.

The conference will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Culver Family Visitor Center, 625 Pearl Ave. Registration is open until March 6. The fee for the two-day event is $50 and includes lunch. Find the complete schedule of presenters here. Register today as places are limited.

“Birds are in trouble everywhere and they need our help now,” says Karen Etter Hale, president of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership, host of the conference with the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and Bird City Wisconsin. “We hope this conference will be the special spark that inspires all of us, wherever we live, to take action to help birds. Together, our collective work as individuals, communities or organizations will bring the birds back.