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

At this year’s annual meeting, I handed over the gavel to new WSO President Michael John Jaeger. It has been an honor to serve as the leader of WSO for the past two years. During my tenure, WSO has continued to grow and evolve. Part of my focus has been to elevate our profile amongst the broader birding and conservation community. We have sponsored events by our partners at the Wisconsin... Read More   

Good morning. I’m the president of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. WSO is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization established in 1939, with over 1,500 members throughout Wisconsin. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment, study and conservation of Wisconsin’s birds. We provide opportunities for people to enjoy our resident and migratory birds, while being a leading ambassador... Read More   

The highlight of the birding year is the frenzy of spring migration, peaking in May. The array of sights and sounds is amazing as colorful Neotropical migrants return or pass through on their way north. Adding to the excitement of this color and diversity is the chance that some mega-rarity will show up way out of range. This happened several times last month. The highlight occurred on Saturday,... Read More   

Most of the 14 participants in WSO’s 2016 tour to Costa Rica, led by Tom and Wendy Schultz, met in Milwaukee on the evening of Feb. 24 and flew out at 5:55 the next morning. After a stopover in Atlanta, we arrived in San Jose around 1 p.m. and met our guide, Kevin Easley, loaded our gear onto our coaster bus, and were off –- surrounded by the new sights, sounds and birds of Costa Rica! The... Read More   

A few weeks ago in a valley not far away… an early-rising Swamp Sparrow became the first bird tallied on the 2016 Honey Creek Birdathon. It was 3:17 a.m. and the full moon cast long, clear shadows; perhaps the sparrow was an insomniac or simply confused. While the Swamp Sparrow was not an “exciting” bird, it was a harbinger of things to come -– a lot of the expected species, and not a lot... Read More   

There was a bit of orange glow in the eastern sky as we gathered around 5:00 AM on May 7, but for the most part the sky was pretty cloudy. The temperature was fairly moderate, but there was a stiff wind blowing out of the north, which made it a little more challenging to hear the bird sounds around us. Not far away an American Woodcock was peenting and doing his flight display, and a Wilson’s... Read More   

This was the Conservation Committee’s Quarterly Report for the April 9, 2016 WSO Board Meeting: The Conservation Committee remains active and we continue to monitor several situations: We continue to systematically monitor legislation as it particularly relates to bird conservation in Wisconsin. There will likely be no major legislation concerns in the upcoming months. Highway 49: The... Read More   

 The Passenger Pigeon Awards to be presented at the 77th annual Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Convention in Racine will recognize outstanding contributions to conservation science and education as well as long service to the society, including the staging of its annual convention. The honors will be presented at an awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, May 13, at the Racine Architect Hotel... Read More   

This season’s warm weather has prompted many migrants to take flight earlier than usual. A few species, like Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Franklin’s Gull, have been reported this year at the earliest dates on record, and many species are running a few weeks ahead of schedule. If you’re eBirding, these early migrants might be wreaking havoc on your reporting. If your records... Read More   

As the heart of spring quickly approaches we longingly look forward to the return of the neotropical migrants. Many of us have been doing so for years -- trying to free up time in mid-May to get out and experience the color and variety of the wonderful birds that have been wisely down in the tropics since last fall. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, and it reminds me how important it is... Read More