Benjamin F. Goss Bird Club
Waukesha, WI

The Benjamin F. Goss Bird Club was founded to increase knowledge and appreciation of birds through education, research, preservation and conservation, and to provide public awareness of birds and their role in the environment - all of which remains our goal and purpose to this day.



UPCOMING EVENTS


All events are open to the general public.

Unless otherwise noted, events are held Retzer Nature Center, S14 W28167 Madison Street, Waukesha
(Retzer Nature Center is located about 4 miles west of Waukesha, near the end of Madison Street)


Saturday,
October 13, 2018

Special Event: BIG SIT

The Goss Bird Club joins with birders from around the world as we participate in The Big Sit! The Sit, an event started and sponsored by Bird Watchers Digest, takes place the first full weekend in October each year. The idea is to see as many species as you can from a 17' diameter circle in a 24 hour period.

Our local event will take place at Retzer Nature Center on the south facing slope of the hill, just south of the main building. Birders will arrive before first light to listen for nocturnal birds such as owls, American Woodcock. A flury of activity will take place just as the sun comes up with robins, bluebirds and waxwings heading out to scour for breakfast. Throughout the day, birds will continue to fly past our circle, including hawks and vultures who take advantage of the late-day thermals. And as much as The Big Sit! is about birds, a full day of birding provides ample time for socialization with birders in our group and visitors to the nature center.

During our innaguarl Big Sit in 2015 we tallied 37 species. Since then we have continued to find more and more birds each year: 39 species in 2016 and 42 species in 2017. Join us in our count circle throughout the day to have fun adding species to our list!

For more info about the Big Sit sponsored by Bird Watcher's Digest, click HERE.

Sunday,
October 21, 2018

6:45PM

Program: Being an Ethical Birder
Speaker: Andy Cassini - Science Educator at Kettle Moraine High School

Anyone who has spent time in the field observing wildlife knows that our interaction with birds and other creatures inherently has an effect on all parties. Their presence provides enjoyment for the observer, but our presence affects them as well. If we are not careful, our presence in their habitats can have adverse effects on their lives. Given the amount of time birders spend in their habitats, it is wise to adhere to a "birding code of ethics". As an experienced environmental educator, Andy Cassini is uniquely suited to expain the ways in which our interactions affect birds, and how we can ensure we create minimal disturbance in their lives to ensure they continue to brighten our lives.

Cassini, who lives in Delafield, is a Science Educator at Kettle Moraine High School where he teaches AP Environmental Science, Biology, Natural Resources and Ecology. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in environmental science and policy and Ph.D. in zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he researched the endangered Montserrat oriole.

Sunday,
November 18, 2018

6:45 PM

Program: Avian Thermoregulartion in Winter
Speaker: Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Professor, Department of Biology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Ph.D. Utah State Univ., M.A. Univ. of South Dakota, B.S. Northern State Univ.

Small songbirds that overwinter in cold temperate regions such as Wisconsin require prolonged energy expenditure for regulation of body temperature. In addition, the onset of winter decreases foraging time due to shorter days and may reduce the availability of foraging substrates due to snow or ice cover. Concurrently with these seasonal changes in photoperiod and climate, cold temperate-wintering passerines undergo seasonal acclimatization (adjustments) that facilitates thermoregulatory homeostasis. These adjustments include behavioral changes, insulatory changes, and metabolic changes. My lab has studied seasonal acclimatization on Black-capped Chickadees, House Sparrows, and Downy Woodpeckers from Wisconsin.

Our findings on insulatory, metabolic, and ventilatory adjustments in winter-acclimatized birds relative to summer-acclimatized birds will be discussed. In addition, general patterns on seasonal acclimatization from other songbirds will be addressed.

An animal ecological physiologist with research interests in animal thermoregulation and energetics, Dr. Cooper is most interested in thermoregulation in songbirds. His lab uses a combination of both field and lab techniques to address questions on this process of seasonal acclimatization in songbirds. He also gives banding demonstrations to various citizen groups.

Refreshments are served at 6:45. Presentation starts at 7:00.

Saturday,
December 15, 2018

Special Event: CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT

In place of our normal Sunday meeting, the club will conduct the annual Waukesha Christmas Bird Count. The CBC is a nationwide activity coordinated by the National Audubon Society that has been conducted for over 100 years and is the longest running citizen science survey in the world. The Christmas Bird Count provides critical data allowing experts to track trends in bird populations over time. Local results will be reported to the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology and National Audubon Society to be pooled with other counts throughout the state and all across our nation.

The Waukesha Count is conducted within a circle that encompasses a 7.5-mile radius centered at the intersection of Hwy D and Brookhill Road in Waukesha, near Wern Farms. The 15-mile diameter circle is divided into eight sections: from School Section Lake on the west, to the Speedway gas Station at Sunset & Hwy 59 on the east, and the middle of Pewaukee Lake on the north edge, down to Lower Phantom Lake on the south.

If you are interested in joining us for the CBC, please email Don Reel (don.reel46@gmail.com)

Sunday,
January 20, 2019

6:45PM

Program: The Recovery, Management, and Future of Wisconsin's Peregrines
Speaker: Greg Septon

Peregrine Falcon recovery efforts have been ongoing in Wisconsin since 1987. Septon will discuss recovery methods and approaches utilized in the creation of an urban nesting population along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Additionally Septon will detail nest box designs, urban nest site management issues and resolutions, band returns, dispersal of hacked and wild-produced falcons, nesting chronology, prey species, overwintering, environmental contaminants and the role of electric power generating plants in the recovery of the population. The reoccupation of historical cliff eyries along the Mississippi River, Devils Lake and the Door Peninsula will also be covered. And finally, we’ll take a look at what the future may hold for the Peregrine Falcon in Wisconsin.

For the past 32 years Greg Septon has directed and managed a successful and expanding urban peregrine falcon recovery effort in Wisconsin and has banded over 1,100 wild-produced peregrines. Working in conjunction with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Office of International Affairs, he also implemented an urban Peregrine Falcon recovery program in Russia and was involved with initiating a similar program in Poland.

In 2014, he received the Noel J. Cutright Conservation Award from the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to bird conservation in Wisconsin and was presented for his work with endangered and threatened species.

Refreshments are served at 6:45. Presentation starts at 7:00 with a business meeting to follow.

Sunday,
February 17, 2019

6:45PM

Program: The Walk to Save Our Great Lakes
Speaker: Julia Robson & Alyssa Armbruster


The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system on the planet. They provide a vital resource to more than 35 million people who depend on them everyday for drinking water, an economy that generates $4.6 trillion per year, provide over 2 million jobs, as well as habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species. With 20% of the world’s freshwater supply, the Great Lakes can seem infinite, but in reality, water is a finite resource.

The objective of the “Walk to Sustain Our Great Lakes” is to raise awareness for the Great Lakes and freshwater conservation. In spite of their majesty, the Great Lakes are a fragile ecosystem and face serious threats from pollution, invasive species, climate change, and degradation and loss of wetlands. The need for regulation, research, restoration and education on local, statewide and national levels is imperative now more than ever. We all have a stake in what happens to our natural resources; a stake in the future of these streams, rivers, lakes and Great Lakes.

Refreshments are served at 6:45. Presentation starts at 7:00 with a business meeting to follow.

Sunday,
March 17, 2019

6:45PM

Program: The Island Refuges
Speaker: Sadie O'Dell - Wildlife Biologist with the Horicon NWR Complex


Green Bay and Gravel Island National Wildlife Refuges were preserved over 100 years ago as breeding grounds for water birds. Today these refuge islands remain as critical habitat for native birds and endangered species in the Great Lakes Basin.

Sadie O’Dell will discuss the birds and other wildlife found during survey efforts, past research projects, habitat management, and public use opportunities. She will also provide information on what is planned for the coming year and how people can get involved.

Sadie will also give a brief overview of Horicon NWR focusing on management strategies and challenges the marsh faces. A Habitat Management Plan was recently completed for the marsh, and Sadie will describe the planning process, highlight bird species selected as resources of concern, and demonstrate how that will help guide future management and monitoring programs on the refuge.

O’Dell is the lead biologist for Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Complex which includes Horicon, Fox River, Green Bay and Gravel Island National Wildlife Refuges and the Leopold Wetland Management District. A graduate of UW-Stevens Point, she has been a biologist with the USFWS and stationed at Horicon NWR for 11 years.

Refreshments are served at 6:45. Presentation starts at 7:00 with a business meeting to follow.

Sunday,
April 14, 2019
MOVED UP 1 WEEK DUE TO EASTER
6:45PM

Program: TBA
Speaker: TBA


Refreshments are served at 6:45. Presentation starts at 7:00 with a business meeting to follow.

Saturday,
May 11, 2019

Special Event: MAY COUNT

Our May Count is conducted within the same circle as our CBC. The count is conducted as a 24 hour event, from midnight to midnight, finding as many species as possible.

If you are interested in joining us for the May Count, please email Don Reel (don.reel46@gmail.com)