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Month of April

Welcome to the Research and Community Science monthly schedule! Due to the continued circumstances regarding COVID-19, the Urban Ecology Center is closed to the public. The only in person volunteer opportunities are our weekly bird walks at each of the three UEC branches. More details below. In the mean time, please check out some of the amazing content on our UEC in My Backyard page where there are informative lectures, activities for kids, and much much more. 

In Person Bird Walks:

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Our weekly bird walks at the three UEC branches are now open to the public. These run every Tuesday at Menomonee Valley, every Wednesday at Washington Park, and every Thursday at Riverside Park from 8:00-10:00am. Register here.

Please read through the following protocols if you wish to attend.

- Participants must register the day in advance here so we know how many people to expect for each walk.

- The group and registration is limited to 15 participants.

- For the health and safety of all participants, a mask must be worn when within six feet of each other.

- And finally there is a health waiver that you must sign when you arrive indicating you are not experiencing any COVID related symptoms or that you have not come in contact with a positive case recently.

We really appreciate your vigilance as we work hard to ensure the safety of all participants.

Backyard Birding Blitz

Saturday, May 8th 7:45-3pm

Spring is finally here, bringing warmth, energy and birds to our lives! Join us for a virtual birding adventure from your backyard or neighborhood as we collectively try to document as many birds as we can without using fossil fuels. This is the perfect FREE event for families, those who have never birded in their lives, or for those who have been doing it their whole lives. UEC staff will be on Youtube live answering all your questions on birds throughout the duration of the event including a live banding demonstration from Al Sherkow, Master Bird Bander as he explains bird banding using mists nest which will all be live-streamed. And finally, raffle prizes will be awarded to successful checklist submissions. See you there!

Home Challenge: Record as many birds as you can within the limits of what you consider home or consider your place of residence. While you bird from your backyard, stay tuned on Youtube Live as we will go through a live bird banding demonstration where we will observe the processes and discus the education and research value of this method of ornithological study. The challenge will end with Live Nature Themed Trivia along with a raffle prize drawing for those that share a checklist on eBird to the account: UrbanEcoCtr. Optional start at 6:45am.  Via Youtube Live, 7:45-10:45am.

Neighborhood Challenge: Record as many birds as you can in your neighborhood without using fossil fuels (bikes are permitted). The challenge will end with Live Nature Themed Trivia starting along with a raffle prize drawing for those that share a checklist on eBird to the account: UrbanEcoCtr. Optional start at 6:45am. Via Youtube Live, 7:45-10:45am.

Family Challenge: Grab the kids and get to know what makes birds different from other animals. Explore the outdoors with your family as we embark on a birding scavenger hunt. Let’s see how many feathers friends we can find outside using monoculars we'll craft ourselves! Via Zoom, 1-3pm CST.

Brew City Birding Festival

Tuesday, May 4th - Friday, May 7th

The Urban Ecology Center presents the Fifth Annual Brew City Birding Festival, a wonderful week of bird-themed field trips, lectures, family-friendly programs and activities, and bird watching opportunities. All are welcome! Be sure to check out the full line up of activities, lectures, and in-person events here.

Virtual Events:

Weekly Virtual Backyard Naturalist Lecture Series

Most Fridays at 9:00am CST

Come join us for weekly Friday virtual lectures on the amazing life that exists in our backyards. Each week will focus on a different Backyard Naturalist topic from birds to archaea. We will cover it ALL, one week at a time! Register here.

Upon registration, you will be sent an email containing the link to the Zoom session. Look for this email 1 hour prior to event start time. (If you do not see this email, it might be based on your personal email filter settings - be sure to check your spam folder)

If you love the Backyard Naturalist Lecture series so much, we encourage you to subscribe to a spring or summer subscription or buy a season for a friend! Register for the spring here, the summer here, or both here! Bonus lectures are included for the Brew City Birding Festival in early May if you buy both a spring and summer subscription!

You can find all the previously recorded lectures on Backyard Wildlife and on an Introduction to eBird series here.

Virtual Yardversity - Top 10 Woody Plant Species for Wildlife

Friday, April 9th, 9:00-10:00am CST

Come learn about the top 10 woody plant species for Naturescaping your yard based on your zip code! We will discuss which trees and shrubs you can incorporate into your landscape that will nurture a plethora of birds, insects, and other wildlife to your home 4-seasons of the year.

Upon registration, you will be sent an email containing the link to the Zoom session. Look for this email 1 hour prior to event start time. (If you do not see this email, it might be based on your personal email filter settings - be sure to check your spam folder)

Virtual - Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers of Wisconsin

Friday, April 23rd, 9:00-10:00am CST

As the snow melts, the greenery around us is beginning to emerge. Join us to learn about those fleeting spring ephemeral wildflowers, their important ecological niche and the wildlife they support in your own backyard! Register here.

Upon registration, you will be sent an email containing the link to the Zoom session. Look for this email 1 hour prior to event start time. (If you do not see this email, it might be based on your personal email filter settings - be sure to check your spam folder)

Virtual Yardversity - Spring Ephemerals

Saturday, April 24th, 10:00-11:30am CST

Connect with the diversity close to your home and contribute to science by joining the Yardversity project! Each month, people from around Milwaukee (and even the world) will virtually gather for a couple hours and document the biodiversity that exists in our backyards. This months theme is spring ephemerals as we document these signs of spring and warmth! This fun and interactive biodiversity challenge is for everyone as we collect data on iNaturalist from our own backyards.

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Virtual - Of Pigeons and Men

Friday, April 30th, 9:00-10:00am CST

Join environmental educator Miguel Santos to learn about one of the most revered and reviled birds: The pigeon! A holy bird, a liaison in war, an utility bird or a medium in scientific research in genetics, since it was pigeons, not finches, that Darwin used to argue the plausibility of natural selection. In this session, you will learn about different breeds, genetics, and their behavior. Whether planning to become a pigeon fancier or simply learning more about this neighbor of our city, I bet—and I hope—you won’t look at them the same way after the presentation.

Upon registration, you will be sent an email containing the link to the Zoom session. Look for this email 1 hour prior to event start time. (If you do not see this email, it might be based on your personal email filter settings - be sure to check your spam folder)

Please stay safe and as always, Happy Researching! - Maggie, Ethan, Tim

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