The Milwaukee BIOME Project started approximately 6 years ago as MCAMMP, The Milwaukee County Avian Migration Monitoring Partnership. We’ve done vegetation sampling, bird-banding, transect counts, and are expanding our research to include a focus on bats.
We use transect counts and mist-netting to determine avian species richness, timing of migration, and abundance, and blood-sampling and plasma metabolite analysis to assess relative habitat quality for refueling.
Here’s an abstract of our project objectives:
Migratory birds utilize a variety of habitats (“stopover habitat”) while migrating between their breeding and wintering grounds. One important set of stopover habitats that are often neglected, but of crucial importance, are those that fall within urban areas. These urban habitats include parks, disturbed habitats, residential areas, and natural areas. Given the paucity of information about urban habitats, our overall objective is to assess habitat quality for migratory birds and changes in habitats within Milwaukee County, WI. To address this overall objective our goals are to: 1) assess habitat use and quality in riparian and upland sites; 2) study habitat use by migratory species; and 3) train citizen-scientists to begin monitoring birds in Milwaukee and to work in conjunction with scientists on addressing urban ecology questions. The Milwaukee County Avian Migration Monitoring Partnership has been formed to accomplish these goals through measuring avian use in 8 habitat patches in an urban matrix, half of which are riparian and half of which are in upland sites. We will use (1) transect counts and mist-netting to determine avian species richness, timing of migration, and abundance, and (2) blood-sampling and plasma metabolite analysis to assess relative habitat quality for refueling. Citizen science volunteer involvement will include training for transect counts, assistance with banding operations, vegetation analysis, and recording of data. Our goal in working with volunteers is to establish a long-term monitoring project of birds in urban centers that can grow larger in future years.