Jamie Nack, UW-Extension Specialist
Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Pick 24 hours in May and go birding. Jamie Nack explains the Great Wisconsin Birdathon.
3:03 – Total Time
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Sevie Kenyon: Jamie, introduce us to the Great Wisconsin Birdathon.
Jamie Nack: The Great Wisconsin Birdathon is a joint effort between the Natural Resources Foundation and the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative and the goal for the Birdathon is to raise $40,000 to support conservation projects including Bird City Wisconsin, the Bird Protection Fund and many, many other bird conservation oriented projects throughout the state.
Sevie Kenyon: And Jamie, what kind of activities do people do to raise funds for this program?
Jamie Nack: Teams of birders select any 24 hour period in the month of May to go birding, recording as many species as possible in a 24 hour period. And what’s so exciting about this Birdathon is that there are so many ways to help. For example you could pledge a celebrity team. So this is ideal for those that have no time to bird but who do want to help. Our celebrity teams are composed of birders from around the state who will bird on your behalf. You could also participate in a big day field trip. These are great for the novice birder who wants to do their Birdathon with an expert guide.
Sevie Kenyon: Jamie, what kind of birds might we expect to see in May?
Jamie Nack: Well in May, if we hit this right and depending on the timing of your Birdathon we may hit the spring migration of Warblers. That would really help get your species numbers up very quickly.
Sevie Kenyon: And, why is this information important?
Jamie Nack: This project is important because we are raising money and awareness about birds and their plight. Birds need our help, many of the projects that are part of this are raising awareness and money for habitat and conservation for birds.
Sevie Kenyon: And how many birds pass through the state of Wisconsin?
Jamie Nack: Last year was a pilot year for the Birdathon and even though there were only a few teams, those teams found 239 different species of birds in the state. The record for a single team was 162, so that’ll be the team target to beat.
Sevie Kenyon: And if people are interested in the Birdathon, where do they get more information?
Jamie Nack: The best thing for you to do if you are interested in this adventure is to Google the words, “Great Wisconsin Birdathon” and you will get right to the website. It will show you how you can form a team and how you can make pledges to existing teams.
Sevie Kenyon: Tell us about your team.
Jamie Nack: Yeah I’m on one of the celebrity teams, called the Northern Highlands team. It’s made up of state wildlife extension specialists: Scott Craven, David Drake and myself, also 20 of our wildlife ecology undergraduate students. Our Birdathon is going to take place on May 24 and it’s going to incorporate our summer camp experience for our undergraduate students. We will have a day where we’re going to be learning bird techniques with our students, we’ll be miss netting, doing point count surveys, and we’re also going to be taking a tally of all the birds we observe that day and recording it.
Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Jamie Nack, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Madison, WI and I’m Sevie Kenyon.