Saturday, December 6, 2008

Birders Get Together in Minnesota

Today was the annual paper session of the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union held at the Bell Museum of Natural History on the campus of the University of Minnesota. As usual it was good to see friends who haven't been around as often as we'd like. It is also fun to catch up on what has been happening in ornithology in Minnesota (though I wish there were more research-style papers presented). I thought I'd list a few of the highlights from today:

A Long-term Study of Lead Poisoning in Bald Eagles
by Dr. Luis Cruz.
This really brought home what we have suspected for a long time - lead in the environment is not acceptable.

Purple Martin Revelations by Kelly Applegate.
Interest in martins is on the rise in Minnesota and there is now a martin working group coordinating efforts to restore Purple Martins. It sounds as though we will finally have a chance to do some color banding on the two colonies we band each summer. Minnesota's color for banding is red.

Minnesota's New Breeding Bird Atlas
by Bonnie Sample.
Minnesota is the only state in the Mississippi River Flyway that has not produced a breeding bird atlas. Well, 5 years from now that gap may be filled. Bonnie Sample who is the coordinator has a big job in front of her but the time is now to try to match the wonderful job done in Wisconsin with their atlas.

This was one of those meetings that causes me to look at what I've done lately and I feel like a real slacker. So right after I finish this post I'm going to dream about all those projects I could do next summer and make a list to stare at until the ground thaws.

(not that they'll ever come to fruition...)

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