BPP • E-Newsletter • March 2009

Contact the BPP:

Jessica Zelt

Patuxent Wildlife
Research Center
10300 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705

Phone: (301) 497-5745
Fax: (301) 497-5624
E-mail: jzelt@usgs.gov

Visit the BPP:


Understanding global climate change and how it is affecting bird
populations across North America



The North American Bird Phenology Program (BPP) has been a fully operational program now for only two months and we’re already making incredible progress. Since the online data entry system went live on February 17th, over 1,175 people have become online participants and approximately 50,300 records have been transcribed. This is an incredible accomplishment and many thanks go to the participants across the country who have signed up and helped make our launch a success!

With the continual hard work of Kevin Laurent, our computer programmer, and Kinard Boone, our website developer, and Eric Tuner our volunteer programmer, we are continuing to make additions and revisions to both the data entry process and website. Please see below to check out what we are working on and email me at jzelt@usgs.gov with suggestions!

What’s new to the website:
New tables and charts on the Data and Stats page http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bpp/DataAndStats.cfm including:
New “Top 10 Transcribers” chart
New “Top 10 Most Scanned Species” chart
Updated “Which Species have been scanned in the BPP office?”
New articles about the BPP on CNN.com and Wired.com have been posted on the What’s New page: https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bpp/Whatsnew.cfm

What’s coming soon:
Cards available for transcription can be selected by species and location or you can continue to select and transcribe a random card
“Event Month” will have a number associated with each month (Ex. January(1))
Both the FAQ Sheet and training video will be accessible both before and after you sign-in
A wider field for both “Transcriber Comments” and “Observer Notes”

We have had many new volunteers coming to the BPP office. We now have people scanning 6 days a week and currently have 217,000 cards scanned in the BPP office, most recently of species like the Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Indigo Bunting and Blue-headed Grosbeak. If you would like to see a full list of the species that have been scanned in the office and how many cards have been scanned of that species, please visit: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bpp/DataEntryLogin.cfm . I would also like to recognize two office volunteers, Janice Devine and Michelle Baird for contributing 50 volunteer hours to the BPP and scanning over 20,000 cards each!

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments and don’t forget to check out the BPP website for more information.

Jessica Zelt

Observer of the Month: George Sutton
Taking a closer look at one of the many names that show up in the cabinets

George Miksch Sutton was born in Bethany, Nebraska, on May 16, 1898. He was the only son and oldest child of a minister, Harry Trumbull Sutton and music teacher, Lola Anna Mix Sutton. He was a well respected teacher, naturalist and artist.
When George was five, he received Frank Chapman’s book Bird-Life as a gift from his parents which began a lifetime love of birds. By age 16, George had published articles in The Oologist and Bird-Lore. In 1918, when George was 20, he started working at Carnegie Museum. At first he was in charge of their egg collection, but later began accompanying W.E.C. Todd on field expeditions to Labrador and the far north. George did not graduate college until 1923 after being expelled for leading a student revolt against mandatory ROTC training.
From 1925 to 1929, George left Carnegie to become State Ornithologist for Pennsylvania until quitting to begin graduate research at Cornell University under Arthur Allen. Later, in 1951, Doc taught at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station which led to his move in 1952, to a position as Professor of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma.

During his life, George published many books including:
· Oklahoma Birds, 1967
· High Arctic, 1971
· At a Bend in a Mexican River; 1972
· Portraits of Mexican Birds, 1975
· Fifty Common Birds of Oklahoma and the Southern Great Plains, 1977

To learn more about George M. Sutton, please visit: http://www.suttoncenter.org/george.html