Birder's Guide

MAY 2016

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 9 of 59

8 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2016 Henry Ingersoll: Bring Back the Wetland ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– In 2007, Henry Ingersoll, a physician living in California, inherited his father's 320-acre farm in Maryland on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay, along with his siblings. Together, they set out to restore wetland habitats on the property. Many wetlands in this area were drained for farming during the 20th cen - tury, and associated bird species have de- clined. By restoring the habitat, Ingersoll hoped to beneft birds like waterfowl and Field Sparrows, which he remembered seeing on the farm when he was a child. He got in touch with Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage, a local conservation organization that specializes in restoring native habitats. After a few years of plan - ning with the federal Conservation Re- serve Program, the heritage built a berm to create a 20-acre seasonal wetland, and planted an additional 30 acres with na - tive grasses to restore meadow habitats. Then, to document the birds using the property, Ingersoll reached out to Wayne Bell, a senior associate at Washington College's Center for Environment and So - ciety. Bell designed a protocol to survey for birds on the farm. So far, these sur- veys have produced nearly 400 checklists and have tallied 135 species, including a rare Connecticut Warbler in September 2015. Two undergraduate students at Wash - ington College analyzed these data as part of their degree requirements. In "Conservation Milestones" is published in Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community in order to recognize efforts toward building a better future for birds and for birders. If you have a conservation milestone to share, or know someone who deserves to be lauded for conser- vation and community activities, please contact Noah Strycker at We are especially enthusiastic about stories that include photos and contact information or other resources that inspire others to make their own contributions. Conservation Milestones 2015, they found that avian diversity in- creased 10% and that avian abundance rose a whopping 46% since the habitats were restored. Surveys found 14 species of waterfowl and shorebirds that were not present before the wetland was brought back, and birds like Field and Swamp sparrows are now using the meadows. The Conservation Reserve Program, designed for farmers, helps people im - prove wildlife habitat, reduce soil erosion, and improve water quality by planting native vegetation, creating windbreaks and buffer strips, and taking care of ri - parian zones on croplands. Learn more about the program, and how to enroll, at Amy Simso Dean: Fledging Young Birders ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– "Imagine 14 enthusiastic fourth-graders screaming, 'BIRD! BIRD!' and charg- ing pell-mell across a feld to get a bet- ter look… at a pigeon," says Amy Simso Dean, an enthusiastic birder, raptor cen- ter volunteer, and parent of two kids at Burroughs Community School in Minne - apolis, Minnesota. "We're working on the screaming part," she adds with a smile, A view of Ingersoll's Maryland farm before restoration, in November 2010. Photo © Henry Ingersoll The same view in June 2015, after a historic wetland was recreated in the meadow. Photo © Henry Ingersoll

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