Learn to make community attractive to birds

For Daily Tribune Media
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GRAND RAPIDS – Bird City Wisconsin Rapids, in collaboration with Wisconsin Rapids Kiwanis Youth Outdoors Day and supported by a grant from the Wisconsin Rapids Area Progress Fund through Incourage Community Foundation, will present Living in Bird City, USA: What Birds Do For Us and What We Can Do For Birds by Bill Volkert.

The session will be at 1 p.m. June 7 at the Red Sands Beach Pavilion at South Wood County Park.

This presentation will provide an overview of the amazing diversity of birds on this planet and focus on the wonder of the annual migration of our summer birds. We will look at what each of us can do to make our backyards and communities more attractive for birds and how Bird City works as a catalyst for bringing together a range of programs that enhance our land and bring people and communities together to create bird-friendly environments.

Volkert worked as the naturalist and wildlife educator for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at Horicon Marsh for 27 years, where he conducted more than 3,700 education programs for mroe than 220,000 people. His broad audiences included 66 delegations of scientists from 43 countries who came for professional training. In his personal time, he has traveled widely in search of the world’s birds and the wild places they inhabit.

His travels have taken him throughout Central and South America, across the Canadian Arctic, to Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Mongolia. Volkert has been watching and studying birds for more than 40 years and in his travels has sighted more than 2,500 species (a quarter of the world’s birds). To facilitate his studies, he also is a federally licensed master bird bander with the Bird Banding Laboratory of the U.S. Geological Survey.

His work experience includes assisting experts from the Russian Natural Resources Agency (formerly Goscomecologia, Buryatia) and the Russian Academy of Sciences to further protection of Lake Baikal, located in Siberia, Russia. From 1991 to 2004, he made eight trips to the Republic of Buryatia to work on various projects to protect Lake Baikal and two trips to Mongolia to focus efforts on the Selenga River watershed, the largest river flowing into Lake Baikal. Since 2002, he has worked with ornithologists and environmental educators to help develop a National Bird Conservation Education Plan for Nicaragua and continues to support bird conservation projects in the country.

Volkert shares his experiences and understanding of the natural world through lectures, presentations and field trips. He is also working on several writing projects that will give these presentations more permanence and reach an even wider public.

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