Promoting the enjoyment, study, and conservation of Wisconsin's birds.

Preparations for WSO’s 2017 Convention Silent Auction fundraiser are picking up steam, but your help again will determine how successful we are. Donations already are arriving, and those interested in contributing should call Janet Speth at 608.886.8825 or e-mail to arrange pick up. Items do not have to be bird-related!

Once again, Kay Simandl is donating some of her quilting artistry and renowned artist (and field trip coordinator) Tom Schultz is donating a Song Sparrow watercolor he did for the National Geographic Field Guide. Other donations already in hand include a collection of books by North Woods writer John Bates books and a stuffed (with fabric!) cloth bird for the youngest birders.

Auction proceeds this year will support the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas and the fund to maintain the newly acquired addition to WSO’s Honey Creek Preserve.

For just the sixth time in its history, WSO will be holding its annual convention in June. Our 78th annual convention will run June 16-19 – over Father’s Day weekend -- at the Potawatomi Carter Casino and Hotel. The hotel is within the Nicolet National Forest just south of Wabeno on the southern edge of Forest County.

The WSO Convention Committee has again reserved a large block of rooms allowing members to take early advantage of special pricing. And once again the arrangement offers convention-goers a chance to stay at the site of the Friday evening awards ceremony, silent auction, Saturday luncheon, annual meeting, workshops, paper sessions and Saturday evening banquet.

The hotel has offered WSO a large room block hold at a discounted price of $83 per night plus tax for a Standard King or Double. Call (715) 473-6784 and mention WSO. The hotel has a large indoor pool, and free camping with electrical hookups in its parking lot on a first-come, first-served basis.

Rooms are reserved for WSO members from Friday, June 16, through Monday, June 19, but it’s first-come, first-served and all rooms will be released on May 16. There is no free breakfast, but each room does come with a microwave, refrigerator and coffee pot. The modern facility is located at 618 State Highway 32, Wabeno, a site that facilitates field trip planning and allows convention organizers to focus on birds breeding in the diverse habitats of the Nicolet.

The convention format initiated in 2015 -- with major field trips following rather than preceding Saturday’s annual meeting, presentations and banquet –-will be continued.

Convention registration at the hotel will begin on Friday afternoon, along with the opening of the silent auction. There again will be a picnic, included with registration, in the late afternoon at Wabeno Legion Park, about 5 minutes north of the hotel and east of the Wabeno Logging Museum (one block off the main road).

The core convention schedule will remain unchanged with registration continuing on Friday evening leading up to the annual Passenger Pigeon Awards ceremony and reception. Saturday will start early with local field trips, followed by a luncheon at the hotel, the annual business meeting, paper presentations and birding workshops.

A Saturday evening social hour at the hotel will conclude the silent auction and lead into the banquet and keynote speaker.

All-day field trips will depart from the hotel on Sunday and Monday mornings, with a special “Birds and Beer” event planned for Sunday evening, tentatively to be held at the Big Easel Gallery and Bistro in Wabeno.

kettle Moraine