Archive for the frontpage-news Category

July 12th, 2015

Draft of the Scientific Program Posted

See details about the Plenary Speakers here.

The current version of the Scientific Program for the Bar Harbor meeting can be found here: Program 28 July 2015

Abstracts 28 July 2015 are now posted!

Check back as it will be updated.

June 16th, 2015

MBTA enforcement legislation

Suggested text for people to write to their senators about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the attempt by the current congress to block its enforcement.  

Dear Senator: Please vote against the appropriations bill for Commerce Justice and Related Agencies unless the rider that blocks enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Amdt 347) is removed from the bill. The MBTA is one of our most important wildlife protection laws and this rider would allow people to kill wild birds without any penalty whatsoever. Our wild bird populations are already under great pressure and many are in severe decline. Please do not block the USFWS from enforcing this important law that protects our wild bird populations.

April 6th, 2015

Deadlines approaching

Please note that the deadline for submission of abstracts for posters or oral presentations for the 2015 Waterbird Society meeting to be held in Bar Harbor, Maine (11-15 August 2015) has been extended to 10 June 2015. Please use the abstract submission system at the link at


January 26th, 2015

2015 Abstract Submission Open

Dear Submitters of Abstracts:
**Please follow the format provided in the example file precisely.**

For example (Abstract_Example), the presenting author’s name is bolded and the font is arial pt size = 11, the title is bolded, there is a single space between the author and affiliation line(s) and the title, and between the title line and the abstract. Please limit your abstract to 275 words.

This is the direct link to abstract submission.

Submission deadline 10 June 2015

January 15th, 2015

2015 Meeting Registration Open

**Important Registration Instructions**

Payment can be made by credit card (Mastercard, Visa, and Discover cards only), via Pay Pal, or by ‘Other’ means.  If you choose the ‘Other’ radio button, then contact Chris Custer ( or 608 781-6247) to finalize those arrangements.

John Anderson has made arrangement for attendees to stay in the dorms at the College of the Atlantic (COA) for the 5 nights of the meeting.  If you are not planning on staying in a dorm during the meeting, please disregard those lines on the registration form.  However, please heed John A.’s warning about booking your motel room as soon as possible.  Motel rooms fill quickly in Bar Harbor and if you wait, rooms may not be available or very expensive.
If registering for a double dorm room, both you and your roommate must register, and pay, for a double room individually.  Once registered, please send John A. () an email about who you would like your roommate to be.  Not only will this assure that you are rooming with your choice, but more importantly allows for an accurate room count, so that everyone that wants a dorm room can be accommodated.   Finally, if you are arriving on Sunday or Monday (Councilors, AMOY registrants, etc.), and you are signing up for a dorm room for the rest of the meeting (Tues. – Sat. nights), then you can add a dorm room for Monday night or for both Sunday and Monday nights for the extra night fee indicated.

Accompanying spouses should register in their own right if they are planning on staying in the dorm.  This differs from previous years.  The spouse should pay the $60 fee, as well as, the rate for a double dorm room.    Again email John A. with your roommate’s name.  Last names are not always an indicator of roommate preference.

This is the direct link to register.

Check back often for updated information!

December 19th, 2014

Abstracts Published

Abstracts of the joint Waterbird Society and International Wader Study Group Conference in Wilhelmshaven 2013 are now published (online and printed):  Wader Study Group Bull. 121 (2), 2014, p 39-101.

There is a link to these abstracts which are citable:

December 9th, 2014

2015 Annual Meeting

The Waterbird Society will hold its 39th annual meeting, August 11-15th, at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. The theme of this meeting is “Waterbirds 2015: Challenges and Responses.” In addition to plenaries, oral contributed paper and poster sessions on a variety of topics and species groups, the scientific program will include symposia on “American Oystercatcher Ecology” and “Cormorant Biology and Management” among others.

The meeting will be held in conjunction with the American Oystercatcher Working  Group, the Wilson’s Plover Working Group  and the Northwestern Atlantic Marine Bird Cooperative.  A half day whale/seabird cruise, birding trips on Mt Desert Island, morning bay trips past seabird nesting islands in Frenchman Bay and a trip to the gull and Leach’s Storm Petrel colony on Great Duck Island will be among the field trips offered. Social events include an opening reception, a reception at the Poster Session and the Annual Society Banquet.

See links to detailed pages at right.

November 6th, 2013

Kevin G. McCracken named inaugural Kushlan Chair in Waterbird Biology and Conservation at University of Miami

Evolutionary geneticist Kevin G. McCracken has been named the inaugural Kushlan Chair in Waterbird Biology and Conservation at the University of Miami.

McCracken, currently a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will serve a dual appointment as associate professor in the Department of Biology at the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. He was selected via a months-long international search, and will be joining the UM faculty in January 2014.

McCracken has published more than 75 journal articles and has received grants from the National Science Foundation and Fulbright scholarships to study molecular mechanisms of hypoxia resistance in high-altitude waterbirds in the South American Andes. Hypoxia occurs when the body or a part of the body is deprived of oxygen supply, and it is the cause of “altitude sickness” in humans.

“Dr. McCracken’s appointment as the first Kushlan Chair in Waterbird Biology and Conservation marks a significant advancement in UM’s long-time leadership in ornithology and science in the tropics,” said Dean Leonidas G. Bachas of the College of Arts and Sciences. “His exemplary work on waterbirds complements our efforts in interdisciplinary science research.”

“The Kushlan Chair position provides a great opportunity for the Rosenstiel School to develop research and education programs in Waterbird Biology, an expertise the school lacked and is yet a very important aspect of the marine ecosystem,” said Dean Roni Avissar of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “We are excited that Dr. McCracken is joining our faculty.”

McCracken’s research interests lie at the intersection of population biology, genomics, and physiological genetics. He has also performed many other studies focusing on waterbirds as intercontinental carriers for pathogens like influenza and on the systematics of waterbirds including ducks and herons.

“I was drawn to the University of Miami by its reputation, proximity to my study sites in Latin America and history of tropical biology research in places like the Everglades, which abound with all kinds of different waterbird species,” McCracken said. “After fourteen years in the subarctic, my family and I are really looking forward to the adventure and geographical, cultural, and biological contrast of living in the subtropics in one of the worlds’ most dynamic and greatest cities.”

The Kushlan Chair in Waterbird Biology and Conservation was established in 2012 through a generous endowment from three-time University of Miami alumnus Dr. James A. Kushlan, during the University’s Momentum2 campaign. Dr. Kushlan is a writer, scientist, educator, and conservationist. He is recognized for his expertise in the biology and conservation of waterbirds and wetlands and in the strategic management of not-for-profit conservation and educational organizations. Dr. Kushlan serves as co-chair for the College of Arts and Sciences Momentum2 campaign and as member of the college’s visiting committee. He also serves on the boards of the Everglades Foundation, Zoo Miami Zoological Society of Florida, History Miami, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.


June 10th, 2013

Terns by David Cabot and Ian Nisbet

TERNS, David Cabot and Ian Nisbet. 2013. HarperCollins, London. ISBN 978007412471 (Hardback, ₤55; about $83 US). ISBN 978007412488 (Paperback, ₤35; about $53 US). 461 pp., 6” x 9”, 184 color photographs, 57 color drawings, maps and charts, 30 tables. This book in the respected New Naturalist series is the first book on the natural history of terns to be published since 1934. It covers in detail the five tern species that breed in Britain and Ireland; three of these (Common, Roseate and Arctic Terns) also breed in North America and the other two (Little and Sandwich Terns) have close relatives here. There are also four chapters on terns of the world; single chapters on history, conservation, passage migrants and vagrants; appendices on demography and research; and a bibliography of more than 500 references. It is lavishly illustrated with color photographs, many of which depict key aspects of behavior.

April 23rd, 2013

In Memorium

Malcolm C. Coulter, 1947 – 2013. Malcolm was unassuming and worked in the background, so it was only after he passed, when his friends and colleagues began to compare notes, that we realized the many lives and projects he had touched and encouraged.  Shortly before he died, he wrote: “It’s not what individuals can do but what we can all do together!”

# 2 Farallons 1968 Cassin's auklet egg and burrow
Malcolm, a product of a comfortable Northern Virginia upbringing and New England boarding school, showed an early interest in animals, eventually focusing on birds. He went on to Stanford, took a master’s at Oxford, then did his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, studying Western Gulls on the Farallon Islands. While there he started a 40-year monitoring project on the islands’ vegetation, one of many such long-term projects unlikely to have a quick payoff but invaluable as the years went by. Healso spent time in Antarctica and Great Gull Island. The Darwin Station in Galapagos offered him a position to lead a conservation program for the Galapagos Petrel which was being threatened by introduced mammals. His budget was small and the logistics were challenging but he put together a team of both islanders and visitors that helped stem the decline of the species. He then went on to run a program at Savannah River National Lab in South Carolina, studying the endangered American Wood Stork. Again he put together a tightly knit team that worked under difficult field conditions that Malcolm characteristically never mentioned, but were the stuff of later stories by Birdville alumni. A growing interest in the conservation of storks and relatives led to him becoming co-chair of the Wetlands International/IUCN specialist group on storks, ibis and spoonbills. It was here that he came into his own. He moved to a small house in rural New Hampshire and used it as a base for visits to countries, particularly in Asia, with species that needed help.A901103-R1-03-4

Malcolm kept a very low profile. He mentored and financially sponsored young biologists and conservationists so they could build programs themselves. He would get flustered if he received attention for something, responding: “No, no that is really x’s work. I just gave some advice”. The specialist group grew to over 900 around the world. Like his Farallon plant work, his efforts were geared to the longer term and he seemed to have a great deal of patience as he watched programs grow or waited for them to germinate. His travels took him to interesting places, from the Amur River, to the Korean DMZ to small villages in Xian, China, even as his health began its slow decline. He worked with others in Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, India and Africa. He helped Spoonbill Action Voluntary Echo (SAVE International), a multinational effort, bring the Black-faced Spoonbill back from the edge of extinction. Even when he couldn’t travel, he continued his long term participation in a range of committees, leading the Waterbird Society’s awards committee for years, and serving other groups such as the Pacific Seabird Group.

Ultimately, Malcolm’s life is best described as a 1,000 acts of kindness.

David Duffy, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawaii Manoa, Honolulu HI 96822, USA  Portrait

# 3 Farallons 1968  with Cassin's auklet

October 4th, 2012

Panama letter

The Conservation committee of the Waterbird Society wrote a letter to the National Environment Authority of Panama strongly recommending that wetland scientists and biologists be involved to help mitigate the potential damages to wetlands and mangrove forests in and around the Juan Diaz and Tocumen areas of Panama if  projects in those areas  move forward.   See detailed letter.

September 12th, 2012

2012 Kushlan and Nisbet awards

The 2012 awards were announced on August 27, 2012.

Kushlan Awards

Rogers K. Makau
Waterbird diversity, abundance and threats in Mwea Rice Irrigation Scheme

Rado Andriamasimanana
Analysis of population trends of the Ciconiiformes of Madagascar

Nisbet Awards

Kyle Elliot
Senescence in seabirds: a sleepy secret?

Dr. Kurt Burnham
Northwest Greenland Arctic Tern Survey

August 28th, 2012

NAOC Student Award

We are pleased to announce the Waterbird Society Student Presentation Award for 2012:

Sarah Trefry, University of New Brunswick

“Wing marker woes: a case study and meta-analysis of the impacts of wing and patagial tags”. Sarah’s PhD research is on frigatebirds.

Photo: Sarah Trefry with chick (photo by James Hudson)

August 10th, 2012

Ornithological Council Annual Report 10-11

OC Annual Report 10-11

May 25th, 2012

37th Annual Meeting of the Waterbird Society, 24 – 29 September 2013, Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Annual Meeting Information

We welcome you to join us in Wilhelmshaven in September 2013!

The Waterbird Society will hold its 37th annual meeting in 2013 in Germany for the first time. The Institute of Avian Research “Vogelwarte Helgoland”, one of the oldest ornithological research institutes in the world, will be the host. The meeting venue is the Stadthalle, located in the centre of Wilhelmshaven on the German North Sea coast.

Wilhelmshaven can be reached easily by train from the nearby airports: Bremen, Hamburg, Hannover, Frankfurt or Amsterdam. Wilhelmshaven is located adjacent to the World Heritage Site “Wadden Sea National Park of Lower Saxony”.  There will be good opportunities to experience the rich biodiversity of the Wadden Sea, which provides critical habitat for both breeding and migrating waterbirds along the East-Atlantic Flyway.

The opening reception will be held on Tuesday evening 24 September, the closing banquet on 28 September. The three day scientific program will consist of plenaries, symposia, contributed papers and poster sessions. Saturday 28 September will be a joint scientific day with the International Wader Study Group (IWSG) annual conference (27 to 30 September). Mid-conference field trips will be offered on Friday 27 September.  Exhibitors, including book and equipment suppliers, will be present during the meeting.

Please check for updated information.

The 37 th annual meeting of The Waterbird Society is organized by the Institute of Avian Research, Wilhelmshaven, and The Waterbird Society

Prof. Dr. Peter H. Becker Institut fuer Vogelforschung “Vogelwarte Helgoland” An der Vogelwarte 21, D-26386 Wilhelmshaven, Germany NEW email  Homepage

April 10th, 2012

John Ogden, first President of Waterbirds, dies at 73

 </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />  <p>John Ogden, one of the world's leading authorities on wading birds and a scientist who fought for and shaped Everglades restoration plans, died at 73. The long-time Redlands resident dedicated nearly 40 years to the Everglades, with a five-year stint out west to help rescue the endangered condor. Ogden worked for Audubon, Everglades National Park and South Florida Water Management district, co-authored a book considered the bible on Everglades science, inspired other scientists and influenced politicians.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />  <p>

John Ogden, one of the world’s leading authorities on wading birds and a scientist who fought for and shaped Everglades restoration plans, died at 73. The long-time Redlands resident dedicated nearly 40 years to the Everglades, with a five-year stint out west to help rescue the endangered condor. Ogden worked for Audubon, Everglades National Park and South Florida Water Management district, co-authored a book considered the bible on Everglades science, inspired other scientists and influenced politicians.

Read more here:



March 16th, 2012

Kushlan and Nisbet Grants

The Society is pleased to announce funding to support the Kushlin and Nisbet Grants.  $9,000 is available this year to disperse for the Kushlan Award and $2,000 for the Nisbet Award.  Please see the Grants page for more information.

February 20th, 2012

Abstract Submission Deadline

Call for Abstracts for Oral and Poster Papers – 5th North American Ornithological Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 14-18 August 2012

On 20 January 2012, the NAOC web site began receiving Abstracts for oral papers and posters, and invited symposium papers.

The limit is approximately 250 words for all abstracts, excluding the title and author names and affiliations. Students applying for awards should pay careful attention to special abstract requirements by following the links to student awards.

To submit an abstract, go to, follow the instructions and consult the on-line “how to” guide.

The deadline for receipt of Abstracts for all oral and poster papers is 29 February 2012. Abstract acceptances will be sent by 30 April 2012.

The program will include several Workshops, to be scheduled before and after the conference.

January 1st, 2012

Happy New Year!

Welcome to our new President, Katharine Parsons!

January 1st, 2012

Summary of 2011 Meeting

The thirty-fifth annual meeting of the Waterbird Society was held 9-12 November 2011 at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. This was actually the second Waterbird Society meeting in calendar year 2011; the March 2011 meeting in Nebraska, held jointly with the North American Crane Working Group, was the society’s thirty-fourth annual meeting.

Ellen Paul, Melanie Steinkamp, and Any Bernick constituted the local committee. At the meeting, Will Mackin and Dave Brinker assisted with logistics and AV management

On Thursday 10 November, James A. Kushlan, past-president of the Waterbird Society and recipient of the Waterbird Society’s Kai Curry Lindahl International Conservation Award, recounted from his personal perspective the story of colonial waterbird conservation in North America over the past 40 years, often noting the roles played by Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He discussed the development of some of the major academic and conservation themes in colonial waterbird conservation – inventory and monitoring, populations, behavior and ecology, and conservation action revealing the stories behind the stories as to how we got where we are today and his view of the future of colonial waterbird conservation in North America through hemispheric planning for local conservation action.

On Friday, 11 November, Ted Simons, Professor and Assistant Unit Leader in the US Geological Survey Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Biology, NC State University, highlighted the collaborative achievements of the American Oystercatcher Working Group over the past 10 years including; the establishment of range-wide surveys, color-banding protocols, mark-resight studies, a revision of the Birds of North America species account, and new mechanisms for sharing information and data. Collaborations among state, federal, and private sector scientists, natural resource managers, and dedicated volunteers have provided insights into the biology and conservation of oystercatchers in the U.S. and abroad that would not have been possible without the relationships formed through the working group.

Three symposia were presented:

-       The USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center–contributions to waterbird science and conservation (eight talks honoring the 75th anniversary of PWRC).

-       Reddish Egret Conservation (eight talks by researchers and land managers who are currently engaged in ongoing reddish egret research and conservation projects)

-       The BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill and waterbird conservation (seven talks on the first pre-spill assessments of the earliest patterns of injuries detected to various waterbird species and guilds found in the Gulf of Mexico)

Two special sessions were presented:

-       American Oystercatcher Conservation Science (seven talks)

-       Migration and Wintering areas of Arctic- and Temperate-nesting Waterbirds (six talks)

Papers presented in symposia: 23

Papers presented in special sessions: 13

Papers presented in general sessions: 42

Posters presented: 30

Student Awards