Audubon Great Lakes
Monthly Newsletter January, 2022
Top Wins for Birds
Big Wins for Birds and People and Bright Skies Ahead
Last year our conservation leaders, bird advocates, college students, ambassadors, volunteers, and scientists accomplished amazing things. There was a lot to celebrate across the Great Lakes region for birds and people including expanded funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Audubon's Great Lakes Vision Plan to restore nearly 300,000 acres of wetlands, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act passing in IL, supporting passage of IL Bird Safe Buildings Act, and advocating for critical stewardship programs in Wisconsin. This year we look forward to working together on many more victories for birds and people across the region! Top Great Lakes Wins
New Indiana Poll Reveals Strong Bipartisan Support for Renewable Energy
Audubon Great Lakes released findings from a new Indiana state-wide poll that shows overwhelming support from Indiana voters – across all party lines – for more renewable energy in the state. Adam Forrer, Audubon Great Lakes Policy Director shares the good news for people and birds in Indiana, since adopting renewable energy is critical to reducing pollution, lowering global temperatures, and preserving the places that birds need to survive, like the Red-headed Woodpecker. Learn more about ways you can take action too! 
Redheaded Woodpecker. Photo credit: Kathleen Johnston
Snowy Owl
Winter Wonderland of Owls across the Great Lakes
Boreal and arctic owls visit the Great Lakes region each winter, making winter a great time to plan an owling trip. If you are lucky enough to encounter one of our winter owls, please remember to keep a respectful distance and follow these best practices to help keep them safe.
Snowy Owl. Photo Credit: Christian Tompkins
Hooded Merganser
Weird and Wonderful Winter Waterfowl
The Great Lakes region is inundated with a great variety of ducks in the winter because many of these fowl are on their “winter getaway." Take some time to appreciate some of ducks’ odder characteristics and special quirks (and quacks).
Hooded Merganser. Photo Credit: Scott Suriano
Piping Plover
Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort
Piping Plovers have only recently returned to nest along all five Great Lakes, and at one time fewer than 20 pairs made the area their summer home. Today, the Great Lakes shoreline hosts around 70 breeding pairs thanks to recovery efforts.

Join Audubon Great Lakes and MI Birds for a free webinar on Friday, February 4, 2022 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM CT to learn about the endangered Great Lakes Piping Plover, the recovery efforts to protect this charismatic shorebird, and how you can get involved!
Guest speakers include: 
  • Erin Rowan, Senior Conservation Associate, MI Conservation & MI Birds for Audubon Great Lakes 
  • Sarah Saunders, Quantitative Ecologist for National Audubon Society
  • Bonnie Van Dam, Associate Curator of Birds for Detroit Zoo
  • Vince Cavalieri, Biologist for National Park Service at Sleeping Bear Dunes
Piping Plover. Photo credit: Merri-Lee-Metzger
Waterfowl take flight on Oneida Nation's restored wetlands. Photo: Lianne Milton
On Oneida Wetlands, Bird Surveys Affirm Tribal Conservation Success
In Wisconsin, birds are flocking back to restored habitat in the Oneida Nation. A collaboration between the Oneida Nation, Audubon Great Lakes and Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society will focus on a yearlong bird survey across restored grassland and marshland sites on the reservation to better understand how bird populations are rebounding. Together volunteers already counted 61 bird species, affirming the Tribe’s conservation success.
Waterfowl take flight on Oneida Nation's restored wetlands. Photo: Lianne Milton
Interns at Dan Ryan Woods
Habitat Restoration Internship Program Building the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders
Over the past decade, Audubon Great Lakes’ Habitat Restoration Internship Program has been successful at building the next generation of conservation leaders and restoring critical habitat. The program is a 16-20 week program in partnership with the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) and the Chicago Park District (CPD) focused on ecological restoration and land stewardship. Impact numbers from 2021 include: 4000+ hours of ecological restoration, 700+ hours of field based trainings and certifications, 230+ acres of natural areas enhanced or restored, 800+ pounds of Invasive plants/plant material pulled and 15 pounds of native seeds collected. Learn more about the impactful work! 
Get Involved
Audubon Policy Town Hall
You’re Invited: 2022 Policy and Advocacy Town Hall
Audubon has big policy goals this year, and we’ll need you to help achieve them! From clean energy to habitat preservation, we've got a lot of work to do. Don’t miss our interactive town hall on January 31 at 6pm ET to learn more and hear how you can help pass the policy birds need most. RSVP to tune in.
Great Backyard Bird Count
Join Us: Great Backyard Bird Count
Join us on February 18-21 as we celebrate 25 years of coming together to watch, learn, count and celebrate birds.  Through this community science program, observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations. You can learn more here.
 Learn more
Northern Cardinal
Calling all Great Lakes Photographers!
The 2022 Audubon Photography Awards are officially open for entries! This year the National Audubon Society has brought back the Video and Female Bird Prizes, along with many others. Enter your best bird photos and videos for a chance to win! You can also learn more tips on Audubon’s guide to ethical bird photography.
Northern Cardinal.
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