In 1988, Sam Robbins wrote “Some unanswered questions about Wisconsin birdlife,” where he listed 89 questions to be addressed by researchers in out state. Some of those questions have been answered, but many remain to be explored. In addition to these specific questions about Wisconsin bird species, many others regarding conservation, the effects of habitat alteration and climate change, and others drive current research in the state.
WSO promotes bird research by:
- administering the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas.
- sponsoring the annual Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey.
- sponsoring the participating in the National Audubon’s Christmas Count. Click here for details.
- participating in the North American Breeding Bird Survey.
- participating in Project FeederWatch.
- documenting reported arrival and departing dates of migrating birds.
- publishing summary reports of statewide Christmas Bird Counts, May Day Counts and Big Day bird counts. See Report Sightings to enter online field report forms and count report forms.
- maintaining a committee of recognized state birding experts to review and authenticate documentation submitted on any rare bird sightings in the state. For a list of all Wisconsin birds reported to WSO Records Committee see Wisconsin Checklist.
- awarding annual grants for ornithological projects by both amateurs and professional ornithologists. See Small Grants Program.
Ongoing research in Wisconsin:
- Peter Dunn, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee click here.
My research focuses on the behavior, evolution and conservation of birds. In particular, I am interested in the evolution and ecology of mating systems, life history strategies and the population genetics of threatened species. Current studies focus on: 1) sexual selection and extra-pair mating in tree swallows and common yellowthroats, and 2) conservation genetics of greater prairie-chickens.
- Ken Yasukawa, Beloit College click here.
Ken Yasukawa “is a behavioral ecologist with research interests in avian mating systems, sexual selection, territoriality, vocal and visual communication, parental care, and brood parasitism.”
- Maureen Leonard, Mount Mary College click here.
Why do some birds sing on the nest? This question drives my research program, and I will be continuing my studies of this behavior in Wisconsin. I have worked with the Black-headed Grosbeak and Bell’s Vireo in New Mexico, and plan to work with Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and other vireos here starting in Spring 2012.
- Urban Ecology Center click here.
- Milwaukee BIOME Project click here.
- Citizen-Based Monitoring Network of Wisconsin click here.
- Who’s who of Citizen-Based Monitoring click here.