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

Online registration is now open for WSO’s 79th Annual Convention, to be held Friday to Monday May 18-21 at the Green Lake Conference Center, located on 900 scenic acres on the shore of Wisconsin’s deepest lake. Go to

There will be a special focus this year on bird photography, which recently has seen an extraordinary expansion. Presentations will explore both how to produce better photos and how bird photography can promote conservation.

The conference site is located at the last glacier’s edge, and an incredible variety of habitats are found nearby. Convention field trips will visit sites that were shaped by the moving glacier itself, sites under a huge temporary lake of glacial melt waters and extensive sandy hills along the glacier’s melting edge.WhiteRiverMarsh2017

The Saturday evening keynote speaker is Kim Smith, chief operating officer for the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo. She will provide a broad overview of past and current efforts to reintroduce additional populations of Whooping Cranes into North America, and she’ll take a look into the future.

Over the last 40 years a series of efforts have take place to establish new wild Whooping Crane populations in North America. The projects have had varying success, with each project building on previous attempts to learn what techniques work most effectively. Today, as a result of years of dedication, two additional Whooping Crane populations have been established, one of which breeds in Wisconsin. Current Eastern reintroduction efforts are centered on the White River Marsh not far from Green Lake.

Registration is open both online and by mail through April 29 at $40 for adults and $20 for students. After April 29, no advance registrations will be accepted. Walk-in registration will be available at the convention at a higher rate. The registration fee includes:

Friday: Member appreciation picnic, award ceremony and reception
Saturday: Morning field trips, annual meeting, lunch, presentations, workshops and evening keynote program (banquet costs $28 extra)
Sunday & Monday: All-day car caravan field trips (additional cost for bus trip)

The Saturday afternoon presentations and workshops will include:
“The Landscape Underlying our Field Trip Sites” by WSO President Michael John Jaeger
“Expanding the MOTUS Wildlife Tracking System into Wisconsin” by Bill Mueller, director of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
“The Power of Photography in Conservation” by Laurie Smaglick Johnson, author of “Silent Conversations with Eastern Wood Warblers”
“Birding Photography FUNdamentals,” a workshop presented by Myles Hurlburt and Jeremy Meyer
“Hands-On Digiscoping Workshop,” also presented by Hurlburt and Meyer

The Convention Committee has reserved a block of rooms at the Green Lake Conference Center, allowing members to take advantage of special pricing ($105 including tax). Rooms are reserved for WSO members from Thursday May 17 through Monday May 22. This reservation block will be released on April 6 and could fill sooner so early reservations are advised. Room layouts vary; ask for your needs. The rate covers two people; for each additional adult, add $15 per night. Toiletries are not provided and you are on your own for breakfast.

Call the hotel to make a reservation at 920-294-3323 and mention the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.