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For the Birds: AMBLE Along Lake Michigan
Released: 5/4/2011 5:20:15 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Jenny Chipault 1-click interview
Phone: 608-270-2473

AMBLE along the lake this summer and fall and join a local community that cares about lakeshore conditions and bird health.

Door County volunteers are needed to walk parts of the Lake Michigan and Green Bay shoreline to monitor bird health and beach conditions as part of a citizen science program. The U.S. Geological Survey AMBLE (Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events) program is an opportunity to sharpen birding skills, gain a deeper understanding of the disease, avian botulism, Lake Michigan ecology, and develop a connection with a wild place. 

Participants can choose quarter-mile or longer sections of the nearly 300-mile Door County shoreline to monitor every 7 to 10 days, June through November. Expertise in bird identification is not required to be an AMBLE volunteer and free training will be offered in May. Information covered during training includes disease ecology of avian botulism, monitoring protocols, bird identification, and GPS use. 

To participate in AMBLE, volunteers are asked to attend one of the two May training sessions (more sessions will be offered as needed): 

  • Friday, May 20 from 1-4 p.m. at Newport State Park Visitor Center, Hotz Wilderness Room, 475 County Highway NP, Ellison Bay.
  • Saturday, May 21 from 1-4 p.m. at Crossroads at Big Creek, Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

The training sessions are free.  Those who complete training will receive an AMBLE hat or t-shirt, and updates throughout the monitoring season via the "AMBLE Ramble" newsletter.

AMBLE is sponsored by the USGS National Wildlife Health Center with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the following local partners: The Ridges Sanctuary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society, and Crossroads at Big Creek.  

For more information or to sign up for a training session, contact Jenny Chipault (AMBLE@usgs.gov or 608-270-2473) or view the Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE website.

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