Our Projects


The Midwest Migration Network focuses on four initiatives: Banding & Ground Surveys, Radar Ornithology, Telemetry and the Great Lakes Wind-Wildlife Coalition. The goal of each initiative is to coordinate a regional understanding of migration through a shared research methodology designed to promote conservation of the Network's partner-generated Focal Species by answering its priority Research Questions.

Banding/Ground Surveys

Initiative Leader: Mark Shieldcastle, Black Swamp Bird Observatory

The goal of the Banding and Ground Surveys Working Group of the Midwest Migration Network is to develop and implement a coordinated bird banding and ground survey program to answer regional questions about migration patterns and migratory landbird demographics across the Midwest.

To address goals, the Banding & Ground Surveys Working Group will lead:

  1. Development, implementation, and administration of a long-term multi-level monitoring program for landbirds during migration, including training
  2. Standardization of avian migration banding and point count data collection
  3. Development of a network of collaborators and cooperators
  4. Filling knowledge gaps in existing programs (e.g., MAPS and MoSI) to better inform full life cycle models for North American landbirds.
Read more: Banding/Ground Surveys

Great Lakes Wind-Wildlife Coalition

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Initiative Leader:  Lewis Grove, American Bird Conservancy

The Great Lakes Wind-Wildlife Coalition seeks to ensure robust consideration of and protections for birds and bats as part of offshore and nearshore wind energy facility development in the Great Lakes. Participants include representatives from federal and state agencies, conservation organizations, and academic institutions.

This diverse group has identified two primary objectives to achieve our overarching goal:

  • Synthesize existing avian and bat movement data for the Great Lakes, and identify research gaps;
  • Prepare a best management practices document for offshore wind development in the Great Lakes.

Terms of Reference available here.

Radar Ornithology

Initiative Leader: Jeff Buler, University of Delaware

The Radar and Acoustics Working Group of the Midwest Migration Network seeks to conduct and facilitate research on migratory animals in order to inform their conservation and management.

Two broad MMN priority research questions can be addressed through the use of radar and acoustic monitoring techniques: 

  1. Which habitat, sites, and airspace are the highest priorities for conservation action?
  2. When do landbirds migrate and how does this vary annually and under different climate change scenarios? 


Initiative Leader: Sarah Kendrick, Missouri Department of Conservation

The Telemetry Working Group of the Midwest Migration Network seeks to conduct and facilitate research on migratory animals in order to inform their conservation and management.  The working group consists of members from state and federal agencies, AZA zoos, local and regional NGOs, and academic institutions. 

Together these diverse entities worked to identify three priority research areas that can be addressed through the use of telemetry techniques:

  1. Airspace conservation
  2. Stopover behavior and ecology
  3. Phenology

To address these three research focuses we have a goal to expand the coverage of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System (Motus), and related research projects in the Midwest United States and Canada. 

Read more: Telemetry