The Friends of the Cedarburg Bog has received a 2012 Wisconservation Award from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin as this year's Outstanding Conservation Partner.
The award recognized the Friends group, organized in 2005, for its "incredible commitment to the Natural Re¬sources Foundation of Wisconsin, and to the protection of our state's lands, waters, and wildlife."
The foundation presented the award at its annual Celebration of Conservation event on Sept. 20 in Madison. It was accepted by Friends board President Carl Schwartz, Field Station Director Jim Reinartz, and DNR Property Manager Andy Krueger.
The Cedarburg Bog was designated a State Natural Area in 1952. Only the second property added to this program, it is owned primarily by the Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which maintains its Field Station there. The State Natural Area has grown to 1,656 acres today.
The uniqueness of the bog's natural history has been recognized by its inclusion in the Wisconsin Natural Area System, and it also is registered as a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.> Add a comment >
Bill Mueller, a scientist at the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, led 22 participants on a two-hour bat hike at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Field Station at the Cedarburg Bog on the evening of Aug. 27.
The event, the second sponsored by the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog this summer, was co-led by Friends Board President Carl Schwartz, who discussed the role the Friends played in acquiring the ANABAT acoustic bat detection device that was used to locate approximately 35 individuals of 2 species (Little Brown Bat and Big Brown Bat) on a walk from the Field Station down Blue Goose Road and out to Mud Lake.
The screen on the device -- purchase of which was made possible by a grant from the Wisconsin Energy Foundation -- displayed each individual's acoustic signature.
Bats use echolocation to navigate the night skies and to hunt. As the word suggests, bats emit ultrasonic pulses of sound that bounce off of both their prey and stationary objects in their landscapes, and they monitor the sounds that return to them.
Not all bats worldwide use echolocation, but all Wisconsin bats do, and although there are similarities in the patterns of some calls, Wisconsin bats can be identified to species by their sounds using technology like the ANABAT.
The upper limit of human hearing is about 20 kiloHertz (kHZ), but these high frequency bat vocalizations range from 14 kHz to more than 100 kHz.
A Common Nighthawk buzzed the group as they set out from the Field Station, and later in the evening some hikers also were fortunate enough to hear a Barred Owl and an Eastern Screech-Owl.> Add a comment >
Thirty-five Friends of the Bog turned out on the evening of Oct. 19 for what is proving to be one of our most popular fall and winter events. The fall version of our Owl Prowl yielded at least three species for those who were patient and in the right place at the right time. Perhaps it's the very elusiveness of these nocturnal creatures that explains why the event is so popular.
The field trip was led by John O'Donnell, Tom Uttech, Mary Holleback and Carl Schwartz -- all members of the board of directors for the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog -- and began with an indoor look at preserved specimens of the species and recordings of their calls. The group then walked from the UWM Field Station along Blue Goose Rd., where we heard one vocalizing Saw-whet Owl and one vocalizing Eastern Screech Owl, before splitting into two groups that drove north and south.
The south group, led by O'Donnell, got good looks at a Barred Owl near Pleasant Valley Rd. and heard it calling back and forth with its mate. The usually dependable pair of Great Horned Owls in that same area failed to respond to our recording of their calls.
The north group, led by Uttech and Holleback, had exciting looks at a gray Screech Owl just a few feet away along St. Finbars Rd. Tom's report:
"It called from far back in the woods for a long time but we were able to coax it right up to us. It was fun to watch it looking everywhere for the taped call, but never at us even though we were shining a light on it and giggling nearly uncontrollably. It flew across the road and we giggled some more and then it began calling again. We struck out on the Barred Owls that live near me and when all that we roused by our recordings were two terrified Morning Doves right next to us we decided to call it a night.
Under discussion is scheduling an Owl Prowl in August when there seems to be maximum owl activity, but when we'd have to start out much later in the evening. Your feedback is invited; just click on the email icon at the beginning of this article.> Add a comment >
The 2012 edition of Treasures of Oz helped introduce more than 100 Wisconsin residents to what it correctly labeled "A State of Wisconsin Treasure."
Two members of the Bog Friends Board of Directors team up to lead the Master Naturalists program at the Riveredge Nature Center near Newburg, WI. Take a look at the work of Kate Redmond and Mary Holleback in this article from the West Bend Daily News. They lend those same talents to programs at the Cedarburg Bog sponsored by the Bog Friends. Here's the recent story in the West Bend Daily News> Add a comment >