Tiscornia Migration Count

Gordon Atkins (Biology)

Tiscornia Migration Count, a survey of migrant waterbirds along the southeast shoreline of Lake Michigan

There is almost no data on the day-to-day fall migration that occurs along Lake Michigan. The majority of the data that has been collected on migration in the south end of Lake Michigan is from Miller Beach in northwest Indiana, is generally collected only on the weekends, and in a less than scientific manner. With the increased talk of on and offshore wind turbine farms being erected in Lake Michigan including some in Berrien County, the growing level of pollutants by increased urbanization, the increasing threat of Asian Carp entering Lake Michigan, recent outbreaks of avian botulism, and the continued proliferation of introduced zebra mussels, it is obvious that we need to gather data in a scientific manner before anything else happens to the Lake and the birds that rely on it. This grant seeks to establish the Tiscornia Migration Count to establish a base-line study of the current use of southern Lake Michigan by migratory waterbirds. Its planned continuation, as an annual event funded by other sources, will allow us to look at trends and give accurate estimates as to the affect these threats may have on bird migration.

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