Date: 3/13/21 6:33 pm
From: Hephziabah Beulah <hephziabahb...>
Subject: [wisb] Re: Reporting nest sites
Thank you very much Bill.
I agree with Scott, lets keep it to strictly Birds Seen.

Hep
Brookfield, WI

On Saturday, March 13, 2021, Bill Volkert <billvolkert11...> wrote:

> Hep:
>
> I realize that watching a bird banding operation can seem stressful to
> some of us, but as in medicine we attempt to do no harm. It is our concern
> for birds that drives our need to learn more about them. Watching and
> listening to birds still remains one of the best methods we have to
> understand their occurrence, distribution and relative abundance, but it
> also has its limitations. There are many things about birds that we simply
> cannot learn without capturing and marking individuals so that we can
> identify them and follow them to some varying degree. Through the art of
> bird banding we have learned and continue to learn about birds in a way
> that would never be possible if we didn't undertake this. Since the
> welfare and care of all captured birds is a top priority this is the very
> reason why it is so difficult to obtain a federal bird banding permit. For
> me, bird banding has been one of many avenues I have relied upon to learn
> about birds and it has taught me things I could not have learned otherwise.
>
> In the spring of 1988 I captured a female yellow warbler at my banding
> site at Horicon Marsh that I used for over 25 years. In May of 1997 I
> recaptured the same bird at the same clump of bushes. She was obviously an
> adult when I first caught her, as it was prior to that year's breeding
> season. This meant that this bird was at least 10 years old when I
> recaptured her! Of all of the yellow warblers that I have sighted in this
> particular area over so many years, I never would have known who was who or
> how long a bird of this species could possibly live if I wouldn't have
> banded hundreds of yellow warblers only to have one return, survive this
> long, and reveal this to me.
>
> This bird migrated each year to its wintering grounds in Central America
> or northern South America. It traveled at least 2,000 to 2,500 miles each
> way adding up to 40,000 or 50,000 miles of travel between there and Horicon
> Marsh over that period. If this bird or other banded birds were so
> traumatized or encumbered as a result of my attaching a leg band to it, a
> banded bird would never live to 10 years.
>
> I also had a chickadee which I banded at my home. Over its lifetime it
> was recaptured 33 times during a period of 4 years and 3 months - its
> minimum longevity. I am sure that it was agitated with me (or at least my
> banding efforts) and felt "frustrated" by being captured in a mist net so
> many times, but again it never would have made it that long if this was in
> some major way interfering with its survival. Of course, I felt bad for
> its inability to avoid my nets over several years but I doubt it was
> harmed, albeit inconvenienced.
>
> As a result of modern technology and the development of increasingly
> smaller radio tags, geotags, and MOTUS tags we are learning about birds in
> a way that wasn't possible only a decade or so ago. We are now learning
> that birds don't just go south, or fly to the neotropics, but for many
> species distinct populations migrate to different wintering grounds. This
> could never have been discovered without banding and also can be a
> significant driver for conservation.
>
> We are discovering that Wisconsin's wood thrushes appear to migrate to
> southern Mexico and Belize rather than the South Carolina population that
> winters in El Salvador and southern Guatemala; or the Pennsylvania, Ohio,
> southern Ontario population that winters in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This
> kind of information can only be obtained by tracking a marked bird - one
> that has been captured, tagged, and released back into the wild. If any
> sort of band or tag that we affix to a bird were to interfere with its
> behavior, then the information we would obtain would be biased and rather
> useless.
>
> I have had my federal banding permit since 1982. I have captured and
> tagged (banded or ringed) over 10,000 birds which isn't even that
> considerable compared to other banders who have worked for an equal amount
> of time. I have devoted my life to birds; enjoying birds, and learning
> about birds. I would have given up banding birds a long time ago if I
> thought that I was unduly harming the very subject I love so much. If
> there were nothing more to learn about birds that we can only discover
> through banding, then we certainly would have ceased this a long time ago.
>
> Bill Volkert
> FdL Co.
>
>
>
> On Sat, Mar 13, 2021 at 6:06 PM Hephziabah Beulah <hephziabahb...>
> wrote:
>
>> > You got my blood boiling and my heart pumping and I have been silent too
>> > long. Well said Brian and I am in 100% agreement.
>> >
>> > I've seen bird banding with the River edge group and at the Zoo. I
>> > observed birds trapped in a net trying to free themselves, taken out
>> > carefully, (not always cuz some are trapped into the net deep) placed
>> in a
>> > sack that gets tied at the top and placed off to the side until it's
>> time
>> > for it to go through the testing to which the bird is stuffed into a
>> toliet
>> > paper roll head first and placed on a scale for weight. In the meantime
>> as
>> > the wings are looked at for age, wear and tear, a band is then chosen to
>> > put on it's leg for the rest of it's life. What does the bird do when
>> it is
>> > in the nest with babies, that chunk of metal has got to be
>> uncomfortable.
>> > Plus, now the bird has to adjust it's flying due to the handcuff on it.
>> > Okay, if the bird does not respond to a release from all the trauma it
>> > experienced, there is a box with a warmer inside a glove to which the
>> > bird is placed upon and the box is closed. I have seen both a joyful
>> > release and birds that have perished, sick!!! A Free bird trapped in a
>> net
>> > to put a stupid band on it ruins it's Free Spirit. Has anyone followed
>> it
>> > to see if it continues to sing. In my strong opinion, it is cruel
>> trapping
>> > a free bird into a net and Yes, banding is OVERDONE!!! It needs to
>> stop! I
>> > agree we have enough data, we've done radar chips in the back of birds
>> > (Nexrad) to follow them from here to over the ocean, etc. We learn from
>> > nature and technology is overrated and ruining the earth.
>> >
>> > (I request you do not back channel me about this text because I will
>> > exploit you)
>> >
>> > Hep
>> > Brookfield, WI
>> >
>> > I now know why it came out as gibberish. Thank you.
>> >
>> > -------- Original message --------
>> > From: Brian <courthousehollow...>
>> > Date: 3/12/21 2:41 PM (GMT-06:00)
>> > To:
>> > Cc: wisbirdn <wisbirdn...>
>> > Subject: [wisb] Re: Reporting nest sites
>> >
>> > Hello everyone,
>> > First off, this is LONG and a bit of a rant, so don���t read this if
>> that
>> > bothers you. Before posting I reread the WisBird rules, and yes, I���d
>> be
>> > ok
>> > with my mother reading this ���� But my ultimate goal is to get people
>> > thinking so that birds can thrive.
>> >
>> > I'm wondering if there's a pink elephant in the room in this
>> conversation?
>> > Are all banding ���studies��� self-justifying? I have a question for the
>> > forum
>> > if people would be so kind. I'm curious if anyone could summarize for me
>> > how most of the bird banding that is done is anything but HARASSMENT to
>> > them? I am honestly sending this out of genuine curiosity, have no
>> > mal-intentions, and am not being derogatory towards anyone's interest in
>> > banding. I really do want to understand.
>> >
>> > I've been birding for 15 years or so now and in my quest to wrap my head
>> > around banding: I have helped with bird banding multiple times over
>> > multiple years for grad students in the UW system and elsewhere, read
>> many,
>> > many articles by professionals, USGS, as well as lay folks perspectives
>> via
>> > articles and on forums, yet I could only come up with 4 examples of how
>> > banding could ACTUALLY benefit birds.
>> >
>> > The 1st, is using banding for translocating, ex. to determine which
>> males
>> > are which in order to move some of the younger ones in the interest of
>> > populating other areas due to habitat loss, etc. The 2nd, involves
>> > endangered species or soon to be endangered, ex. using banding for the
>> > purpose of knowing who���s who, where they go, how many successfully
>> > fledge,
>> > etc. The 3rd, is to assist with game bird hunting regulations. The 4th,
>> is
>> > determining survival rates after oil spills or for toxicology in
>> general.
>> > But
>> > all 4 examples don't seem to justify the majority of banding.
>> >
>> > With the exception of those uses, every example I've ever seen/heard as
>> to
>> > the "benefits" of what we have learned/learn from banding could be
>> > distilled down to "satisfying human curiosity" or worse, giving humans
>> > doing these projects "something fun to do" with a carte blanche
>> > psychological safety net, say, when they stuff a passerine headfirst
>> into a
>> > pill bottle to weigh them, that, "I'm doing this to help birds!" Some
>> > examples of what I've come across of how banding "helps" birds are:
>> > learning that certain birds move here or there in their lifetimes, fly
>> in
>> > one stretch over the gulf, live for X amount of years, territorial
>> > behavior, territory size and fidelity, mate fidelity, reproductive
>> behavior
>> > (which bird builds the nest or feeds the young and how often), etc.
>> Again,
>> > satisfying human curiosity....
>> >
>> > To me, learning that a bird uses this or that summer/winter site, with
>> the
>> > exception of not destroying existing habitats (...but, really, where a
>> few
>> > recaptured birds go isn't much help to the THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of
>> > others of that species that go elsewhere), is more or less irrelevant to
>> > conservation efforts in 2021. We've known for 60 years minimum that
>> birds
>> > need habitat in general and they generally need most varieties of
>> habitat.
>> > So, in my mind, learning a certain Warbler passing through Wisconsin (or
>> > anywhere) winters in X particular patch of forest in Venezuela is
>> > questionable conservation at best, and most likely, just
>> > harassment/wasteful. Perhaps it could generate local interest during
>> > fundraising, but so could MANY other things. And wouldn't birds be
>> BETTER
>> > served by using those funds for protecting/acquiring as much quality
>> > habitat with as much habitat diversity as possible?
>> >
>> > It appears scientists need to be reminded that in their vigor and
>> eagerness
>> > for "data", publications, career cache, tenure, job security, a raise,
>> etc,
>> > that they might be forgetting to consider just how "essential" an
>> invasive
>> > study (banding) is to the population���s (or individual���s) future
>> > survival,
>> > short and long term. And that needs to be asked for EVERY "study" using
>> > bands/transmitters. The problem is... it appears to rarely be asked.
>> > "Banding is good", is the inculcated mantra....and "the more the
>> better"!
>> >
>> > I can't help but think that most efforts by concerned birders,
>> especially
>> > banding, are beating a dead horse, or worse, diluting resources for
>> > conservation that could be better spent by giving birds a greater
>> chance at
>> > living LIFE. Knowing any of the aforementioned things we learn from
>> banding
>> > (aside from my first 4 examples) seems a stretch that it���s helping
>> birds
>> > any. It's been long established that birds decline without habitat in
>> which
>> > they can thrive, and we know enough (and have known enough for a LONG
>> time)
>> > to assist most of them with that. Banding just seems like a bizarre
>> thing
>> > to do to another creature so we can "learn" about them. An antiquated
>> and
>> > insensitive holdover that appears to be kept around because "it's what
>> we
>> > do". I would guess eBird provides FAR more useful data without harassing
>> > the birds (with the exception of a few knuckleheads ���gathering��� data
>> > for
>> > eBird).
>> >
>> > But what COULD benefit birds, and benefit them in a BIG way, is if
>> everyone
>> > who has ever banded (or many other data collection methods) took ALL the
>> > costs over the years associated with such efforts (gas, equipment, time,
>> > funding/grants, etc, etc) and pooled those resources to buy/restore
>> habitat
>> > globally; critical areas being of 1st concern. Birds, and Nature in
>> > general, would be FAR better off than the "value" of the reams of data
>> that
>> > was/is/will be collected or the costs of the tremendous resources used
>> > worldwide to further such endeavors.
>> >
>> > Essentially, I���m wondering if our efforts are truly making any
>> difference
>> > or if we're just swimming in interesting but ultimately useless data
>> about
>> > birds.
>> >
>> > Any feedback contrary to my view is much appreciated.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Thank you!
>> >
>> > Brian Pierce, Green Bay, Brown County
>> >
>> > On Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 6:30 PM Bill Stout <stoutw...> wrote:
>> >
>> > > Hi Tom,
>> > > I decided to forward my email to you to the entire group because I
>> > believe
>> > > that a good number of people do not understand the perspective of a
>> > > researcher. In fact, some even may be considered hypocritical (e.g.,
>> > > Madison Eagle Nest Watch seems to depend on volunteers to REPORT and
>> > > MONITOR eagle NEST LOCATIONS for them, but they are dead set against
>> > anyone
>> > > reporting nests to anyone else). I have read several other viewpoints
>> > that
>> > > also seem one-sided or perhaps uninformed. It is certainly not my
>> intent
>> > > here to offend anyone; however, I am not so naive as to think that
>> this
>> > > won't happen. Nevertheless, it is not my intent.
>> > >
>> > > Most Sincerely,
>> > > Bill Stout
>> > > Ashippun, USA
>> > >
>> > > My email to Tom on Wednesday in response to his post:
>> > >
>> > > Thanks for your insights, Tom, as I greatly appreciate them. I just
>> > wanted
>> > > you to know that I am very conservative in my work when it comes to
>> > > alerting others of nest sights. I do not list locations such as on
>> eBird
>> > or
>> > > report locations to anyone. However, as an educator, if someone is
>> very
>> > > interested in the birds or if a nest is in the immediate vicinity of
>> > their
>> > > home, I work to provide them with a "one of a kind" educational
>> > experience.
>> > >
>> > > Last year I did not accommodate the general public and followed the
>> North
>> > > American Bird Banding Council recommendations for bird banding in the
>> > time
>> > > of a COVID-19 pandemic (with the exception of one of the fist Great
>> > Horned
>> > > Owl sites as it was before recommendations were out). This year will
>> be
>> > > more complicated as we try to move back to a new normal during this
>> time.
>> > > Nevertheless, I will be very cautious.
>> > >
>> > > Thanks again for your post.
>> > >
>> > > Sincerely,
>> > > Bill Stout
>> > > Ashippun, USA
>> > >
>> > > William E. Stout
>> > >
>> > > ________________________________
>> > > From: Bill Stout <stoutw...>
>> > > Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 12:58 PM
>> > > To: <sykes...> <sykes...>
>> > > Subject: Re: [wisb] Reporting nest sites
>> > >
>> > > Thanks for your insights, Tom, as I greatly appreciate them. I just
>> > wanted
>> > > you to know that I am very conservative in my work when it comes to
>> > > alerting others of nest sights. I do not list locations such as eBird
>> or
>> > > report locations to anyone. However, as an educator, if someone is
>> very
>> > > interested in the birds or if a nest is in the immediate vicinity of
>> > their
>> > > home, I work to provide them with a "one of a kind" educational
>> > experience.
>> > >
>> > > Last year I did not accommodate the general public and followed the
>> North
>> > > American Bird Banding Council recommendations for bird banding in the
>> > time
>> > > of a COVID-19 pandemic (with the exception of one of the fist Great
>> > Horned
>> > > Owl sites as it was before recommendations were out). This year will
>> be
>> > > more complicated as we try to move back to a new normal during this
>> time.
>> > > Nevertheless, I will be very cautious.
>> > >
>> > > Thanks again for your post.
>> > >
>> > > Sincerely,
>> > > Bill Stout
>> > > Ashippun, USA
>> > >
>> > > William E. Stout
>> > >
>> > > ________________________________
>> > > From: <wisbirdn-bounce...> <wisbirdn-bounce...>
>> on
>> > > behalf of Tom Sykes <sykes...>
>> > > Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 10:43 AM
>> > > To: Wisbirdn <wisbirdn...>
>> > > Subject: [wisb] Reporting nest sites
>> > >
>> > > From time to time the issue of reporting bird nests appears on the
>> list.
>> > > And while there is some disagreement about whether or not a nest site
>> is
>> > or
>> > > is not being disturbed by human presence, I would direct you to both
>> the
>> > > ABA Birding Ethics and WSO Birding Ethics sites as a reminder for
>> those
>> > > wondering about the ethics of reporting a nest site. WISBIRDN
>> subscribes
>> > to
>> > > following both.
>> > >
>> > > https://wsobirds.org/about-wso/code-of-ethics
>> > >
>> > > https://www.aba.org/aba-code-of-birding-ethics/
>> > >
>> > > It is true that many reports of nesting raptors appear on eBird as
>> well
>> > as
>> > > many other listservs and Facebook pages. Citizen Science is a great
>> tool
>> > > but it is also used by a few unethical people. People who don���t care
>> > about
>> > > disturbing birds in order to get ���the perfect shot���, or, people
>> who
>> > would
>> > > traffic in birds. Even curious onlookers. Fortunately, these people
>> are
>> > in
>> > > a minority. But they are out there.
>> > >
>> > > It���s also one thing for one or two people to observe a nest but
>> > consider a
>> > > report in an urban area when many people arrive at the same time - as
>> > with
>> > > the eagle nest recently reported in Walworth city. Birds may be
>> > > intimidated. Or not. The problem is, it���s usually too late to
>> reverse
>> > the
>> > > damage when it���s found to be they are disturbed.
>> > >
>> > > Some years ago an eagle nest was reported in Horicon Marsh. Fish and
>> > > Wildlife staff closed off the immediate area although the nest could
>> be
>> > > observed at some distance. The eagles were successful. There have been
>> > > eagle nests up and down the Fox River near Appleton easily seen by
>> anyone
>> > > who wishes to observe at a safe distance. The same with many lakes in
>> the
>> > > northern part of the state.
>> > >
>> > > I happened to volunteer at a wildlife refuge in Florida for five
>> months
>> > > where a Bald Eagle had set up a nest and produced young. Although the
>> > nest
>> > > was quite high, we roped off the area to prevent disturbing the nest
>> > site.
>> > > These birds were quite skittish whenever anyone approached the base of
>> > the
>> > > tree. A local member of the Audubon Society objected claiming the
>> birds
>> > > were not at all disturbed and was subsequently banned from the refuge
>> > when
>> > > he ignored the roped off area and had gone so far as to fly a drone
>> > toward
>> > > the nest to get video. And this was the local president of an Audubon
>> > > chapter!
>> > >
>> > > It all boils down to using common sense and taking into consideration
>> the
>> > > particular situation. Just because one raptor nest doesn���t appear
>> to be
>> > > troubled by human activity, doesn���t necessarily apply to another
>> raptor
>> > > nest. Great care should be taken when reporting a sighting. If in
>> doubt,
>> > > don���t report.
>> > >
>> > > Tom Sykes
>> > > Wisbirdn List Owner
>> > > <sykes...>
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > ####################
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>>
>>
>
> --
> Bill Volkert
> Naturalist
> www.billvolkert.com
>

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