Bird City Wisconsin
HIGH FLYER BIRD CITY RECOGNITION
The Village of Elm Grove officially became a Bird City effective August 11, 2011. Recently a new milestone has been achieved – Elm Grove has been officially designated with “High Flyer” status as a Wisconsin Bird City, effective June 2022. Ours is one of only 23 out of 1,924 municipalities to receive this elite recognition. The requirements to attain this status are rigorous, with 20 points of accomplished goals in six different categories: habitat creation and protection, forest management, removing threats to birds, public education for residents, energy and sustainability, and involvement in World Migratory Bird Day each year. View our official letter here! For detailed information about Elm Grove’s High Flyer status application and accomplishments, check out the Bird City website here..
ATTRACTING COMMON BACKYARD BIRDS TO OUR VILLAGE
Bird watching and identification is fun for many of our residents. Planting and maintaining native plants in your yard, providing bird feeders and bird houses, bird baths and window strike decals are all actions that can allow birds to thrive safely in our village. The most common birds found in Wisconsin are: Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, Downy Woodpecker, Red-winged Blackbird, White-breasted Nuthatch, Song Sparrow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, House Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, European Starling, Hairy Woodpecker, Common Grackle, Gray Catbird, Chipping Sparrow, and Northern Flicker. There are more than 454 different species of birds found at different times of the year in Wisconsin.
BIRDERS OF THE GROVE
An Elm Grove committee has been formed called Birders of the Grove. Our members have the goal of maintaining the High Flyer Bird City status and accomplish even more of the state’s criteria to protect birds in our community. We meet on the third Monday of the month at 9 a.m. at Village Hall. New members are welcome to join us. Contact Nicci Sternitzky at firstname.lastname@example.org or Karen Lloyd at email@example.com for more information. Some of the activities our committee has participated in recently are as follows: Great Backyard Bird Count held in February each year, Earth and Arbor Day celebration at Elm Grove Park in April; Great Wisconsin Birdathon at Elm Grove Park in May; and World Migratory Bird Day tent at the Brookfield Farmers Market in June. The Elm Grove Beautification Committee evening speaker series at Village Hall has been recently expanded to include talks by bird experts in our area covering interesting topics.
BIRD ENTHUSIAST WEB SITES AND APPS
The following web sites have an abundance of information to expand residents’ knowledge about birds in our area: dnr.wisconsin.gov, migratorybirdday.org, wisconservation.org, and wsobirds.org. The Merlin bird identification app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (merlin.allaboutbirds.org) and the Ebird app to record your own bird sightings (ebird.org/wi) are excellent resources to get you started in your own bird enthusiast efforts. The photo and sound id features of the Merlin app are very fun to use, even for novices. Also check out the Wildlife Information section on the Village website, under Our Community, and other links regarding Bird Habitat development, prevention of bird window collisions and managing the feral cat population. Each of us can play a significant role to make Elm Grove a bird friendly village!
REMOVING THREATS TO BIRDS
Free roaming cats pose a grave threat to local bird populations. Our village is trying to minimize and potentially eliminate this threat by encouraging residents to provide notice if a stray cat is seen in their yard or neighborhood on more than one occasion. Elm Grove Village contracts with the Elmbrook Humane Society to safely pick up cats that appear to have no owner. The phone number for EBHS is 262-782-9261; please call them to take positive action and protect our birds. See the link “Birds & Cats” on this web page for more information.
Window strikes are also a very real danger for birds with habitats around residential and commercial buildings. Birds can easily be confused and cannot distinguish glass as an obstacle but instead might sense there is a clear flight path ahead of them. Check out the “Birds & Windows” link for information on how you can help eliminate this danger in your home or business.
Light pollution is another negative effect on birds that migrate or hunt at night. The need to protect and restore the natural nighttime environment is urgent, as unnecessary artificial light can cause birds to wander off course and deflect their natural migratory and hunting pathways into dangerous urban areas. Millions of birds die each year colliding with needlessly illuminated buildings and towers. Learn more by opening the “Birds & Lights” link on the web page.
Stay tuned for further updates on opportunities for bird watching here in the Village!