Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Meeting for May 11 Cancelled due to Deluge

The meeting originally scheduled for tonight at the Spirit of the Woods Conservation Club headquarters has been cancelled due to floods, hail, bridge washouts and other various disasters this afternoon and evening.

Arcadia Dunes Bird Blitz – June 4, 2011

A 4th Bird Blitz is being planned to bring area birders together on Saturday, June 4th to count birds in the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy’s Arcadia Dunes Nature Preserve and in portions of nearby Arcadia Marsh.

What is a Bird Blitz?

A Bird Blitz combines a good morning’s birding with the fun of providing population data on birds that use a property during the breeding season. The survey uses volunteer birders, and is similar to a Christmas Bird Count.

How is the data being used?

Arcadia Dunes Nature Preserve is a 3,800 acre preserve in southwestern Benzie and northwestern Manistee counties owned by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. The conservancy is restoring nearby Arcadia Marsh. The data from the previous three years Bird Blitz’s has already been used by conservancy staff. Arcadia Marsh bird count data was used extensively in a restoration grant application. In the long term, Bird Blitz data from the marsh will measure whether the restoration work is affecting bird populations. At Arcadia Dunes, conservancy staff has already used the data to make management decisions.

Who can participate?

A Bird Blitz is a simple survey method because it can be done by individuals or small groups and does not require complex training. All it requires is that at least one observer in each group can identify birds in the territory by sight and sound.

Date and time

Saturday, June 4th from 5 or 6 to 10 am with refreshments served afterwards. Participants will be asked to be on their birding area sometime between 5 am and 6 am. We are allowing a flexible start time to accommodate both those who want to get out early when the birds start singing and those who drive a further distance and want to start later. If June 4th turns out to be a stormy bad-weather day, participants can go out on their own some morning the week after June 4th and count their assigned area.


Each individual or group is given a map of a territory to cover and it is up to the team to scour their territories as thoroughly as possible, counting every bird they see or hear. Territory size ranges from 100 to 250 acres and habitats include northern hardwood forest, old fields, grassland, and marsh.

After Birding

At 10 am, a light brunch (muffins, juice, and tea & coffee) will be provided where participants can turn in count sheets and share highlights of the day. Everyone will be sent a summary of the Blitz after the counts are tallied.

Want to participate?

Please sign up ahead of time so that you can be matched up with a territory and group. Maps, data sheets, and complete instructions will be mailed or emailed out on June 1st.

Please RSVP by May 31st by sending the following information:

your name

mailing address

email address

phone number

habitat preferences (forest, old field, grassland, marsh)

group preference (Do you have someone you’d like to bird with? Would you like to be paired with a more experienced birder or be willing to take beginning a birder along? Would you prefer to bird alone?)

Please RSVP to: Paula Dreeszen

(231) 275-7199

Spend a Fun Morning Helping our Birds!