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BPP E-Newsletter OCTOBER 2009

Current Migration Card Count:

• 1,604 online volunteers
• 183,254 cards transcribed online
• 16 office volunteers
• 464,267 cards scanned in the office

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • The BPP is still planning on deleting v2 from the menu and leaving only the 3 transcription page available. Try logging into v3 and email me if you are having trouble logging in or have suggestions on improving the page. We will not make this change until we feel confident that this version will be easily used by the participants.
  • Want to see some of the volunteers who contribute to the BPP? Visit the Featured Photos webpage! If you would like to add your picture, email me a picture of yourself transcribing from your home computer, couch, office or wherever! Please include your name and location in the email.
  • I, the BPP coordinator, will be on vacation from November 5th to November 23rd and will not be in contact via phone or email. Please be patient in receiving responses during this time. Thank you!
  • The BPP Office is in need of office volunteers who can come in and scan migration cards. If you are in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area- come on in!
BPP Database and Interface

Recent Change to Interface:

  • The Species Table Look-up is now available through the main menu. Click on "Resources" to access this feature. It will soon be added to the transcription page as well.Please remember- this is only a reference to learn which species you are transcribing. You should never type in an AOU number on the transcription screen unless you see it on the card you are transcribing.

Coming Soon:

  • Chart for entering in cards with multiple event dates spanning more than one year

THANK YOUS AND MILESTONES
To the office volunteers- Thank you for the time you have put in the past month to scanning migration cards. We are quickly approaching 500,000 scanned cards!

A very special thank you goes out to Shannon Beliew, a BPP volunteer, who has now scanned 100,000 cards! This means she has scanned roughly 1/5th of all the cards scanned by the BPP. Thank you Shannon for your HUGE contribution to the BPP and continual dedication!

Shannon Beliew

Lastly, 269 species have been scanned and are now available online!

OBSERVER OF THE MONTH

Lawrence Harvey Walkinshaw was born in Calhoun County, Michigan in 1904. He grew up on a farm in Pennfield and Convis townships and attended Olivet College in a nearby county before transferring and completing his undergraduate work and a Doctoral in dental surgery from the University of Michigan, in 1929. He began his dental practice in Battle Creek, Michigan in July of 1929. He continue his practice dentistry for nearly 40 years, retiring in 1968.

When Dr. Walkinshaw was 11 his mother showed him the first bird nest he had ever seen, a chipping sparrow nest with a cowbird egg in it.  Within two years, he had established a bluebird route around the family farm that contained about 15 nesting boxes. He became interested in wildlife naturally while growing up since Dr. Walkinshaw’s father, a farmer, was devoted to hunting, fishing, and trapping. Through his father he became more closely in touch with wildlife and identifying species.

1931 was a defining year for Dr. Walkinshaw, in May of that year he met the woman who was to become his wife,  discovered his first crane nest, and traveled north to Lovells, where he became interested in Kirtland's warblers after finding a nest of one of these birds while camping. The following year he returned and became the first person ever to band a Kirtland's warbler, capturing the bird by hand. He went on to band  over 600 Kirtland's warblers in his lifetime. In 1983 the Cranbrook Institute of Science published Dr. Walkinshaw's third book, The Kirtland's Warbler: The Natural History of an Endangered Species.

In 1961. while still practicing dentistry, Dr. Walkinshaw began to gather material for his book, Cranes of the World. In 1961 and 1962 he journeyed to Egypt, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, and Sudan. The following year he visited Denmark, Sweden, and Poland and in 1965 he went to Nigeria and Ethiopia. In 1968-69, after retiring from dental practice, he traveled to Australia, Japan and India to study cranes. Dr. Walkinshaw worked with the late Miles Pirnie, a waterfowl specialist who taught at Michigan State University, and Bernard Baker, a businessman who was interested in birds, to acquire a 490-acre tract in Calhoun County as a sanctuary for sandhill cranes. Baker, whose business was selling secondhand auto parts, put up the money, and the land was acquired in 1941. It was named the Baker Sanctuary in his honor. While studying and researching Sandhill Cranes around the United States and the world, Dr. Walkinshaw also found time to co-edit the Jack-Pine Warbler, the magazine published by the Michigan Audubon Society and serve as the society's sanctuary chairman, from 1939 to 1948. He also served as president of the Wilson Ornithological Society in 1959-60 and for three years as secretary of the American Ornithologists Union. He was president of the Southwestern Michigan Dental Society in 1945-46.

In addition to his three books on cranes and Kirtland's warblers, Dr. Walkinshaw authored several books brought out by University Microfilms International in Ann Arbor -- Birds of the Battle Creek Area in 1978, The Sandhill Crane and I in 1987, Nesting of the Florida and Cuban Sandhill Cranes in 1987, Life History of the Eastern Field Sparrow in Calhoun County in 1978, and Nest Observations of the Kirtland's Warbler -- A Half Century Quest in 1988.

Walkinshaw

Lawrence H. Walkinshaw

Photo courtesy of:Baker Sanctuary

Walkinshaw Card

To learn more about Lawrence Walkinshaw, please visit:

Michigan Profile, Lawrence H. Walkinshaw: Bird Man of the World

Submission by Petrina Vecchio

Notes from the Crow's Nest

It seems that some observers are very aptly named. Here are a few worth a chuckle:
Birdseye
Boyd
Mrs. H. Byrd
Corbe (a variation of an Old English word for "crow")
Covert (as in "wing feather")
Crane
Mary E. Hatch
Fred I. Martin
Peck
G. R. Rossignol (French for "nightingale")
L. Wing

One also wonders if Mrs. I. M. Priestly was particularly devout.

Ironic humor occasionally creeps into the record. In my transcription, I have not entered a single Nashville Warbler from a sighting in Nashville, nor a Philadelphia Vireo from Philadelphia.

Katie's Konfusion:
One observer had an identity crisis. Most of the time, she appears Katie M. Roads, although she occasionally signs herself "Katie M. Rhoads" and once even as "Katie M. Rhodes."

Golden eggs:
Every now and then, a note from an observer tweaks your heartstrings. I wish I could have been present on this occasion, recorded in a note for Yellow Warbler: "June 13 - Found nest of this sp. made entirely of silvery plant fibers, a beautiful nest. There were two eggs."

Have a submission you would like to add to the BPP E-Newsletter? Email Jessica.