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

 WSO LogoThe Wisconsin Society for Ornithology is a statewide organization with over 1,100 members that is dedicated to fostering a love of birds through research, conservation advocacy, and educational outreach.

For more than 80 years the WSO has been the state’s go-to organization for the study of birds.

Each year the WSO awards grants to researchers who are working diligently to better understand the birdlife of Wisconsin and help it thrive. Many of those findings are published in our peer-reviewed quarterly journal, The Passenger Pigeon. We also draw upon the expertise of our members by sponsoring citizen-science projects such as the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II. This long-term study will yield invaluable data on the health of the bird population in Wisconsin and the effects of climate change on both resident and migrating birds. The WSO is also the final arbiter on bird sightings in Wisconsin. Our Records Committee has been compiling data on rare and early bird sightings since the organization’s inception in 1939. Chances are the person who sees a rare bird in Wisconsin will be a member of the WSO, and the WSO will be there to confirm that sighting!

The WSO understands that the study and enjoyment of birds depends upon the conservation of birds and their

Over the years, we have fought to preserve Wisconsin’s public lands by working with other conservation groups. Our members fight for programs such as the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund, which has allowed the purchase and protection of thousands of acres of critical bird habitat in Wisconsin, including some of the 372 acres of our own Honey Creek Preserve in Sauk County. We continue to champion bird-friendly state and federal legislation, such as bird-safe glass ordinances and the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. The WSO’s Conservation Committee is comprised of legal and wildlife experts from around the state who are ever-vigilant to any threats to Wisconsin’s avian population. We stand ready to advocate for our birds.

Our educational outreach programs are designed to welcome birders at all levels, from all backgrounds.

Our popular WSO field trips take birders to some of the most beautiful public lands in Wisconsin to see some of our most elusive birds. Building on that tradition, our online Favorite Bird Haunts guide offers detailed listings of birding hotspots in every county in Wisconsin. We also publish a monthly newsletter, “The Badger Birder,” to keep our members up-to-date on WSO activities and birding news. Additionally, we offer free, educational videos to K-12 educators through our online BirdTV. Most recently, the WSO launched its Regional Coordinator program staffed by volunteers by county, who use their local expertise to lead free field trips in the areas they know best. Finally, the WSO hosts an annual, statewide convention where birders may gather to explore a new region of the state and learn from experts in the fields of birding and conservation. All of our events are open to members and non-members alike, and all are welcome!

While we are proud of all the WSO does, we recognize that our birds are in peril and we need to do more. The WSO is poised to do all in its power to preserve and protect them and their habitat. Please join us in our Flight Forward campaign, so that we may ensure a bright future for our beloved birds for generations to come. 

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