Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas
WSO initiated the first Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas in 1995. The Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas represented the largest, coordinated field effort in the history of Wisconsin ornithology. WSO is currently working with partners to plan the second atlas effort.
Great Wisconsin Oriole Count
This project aims to engage youth in observing and learning about the Baltimore Oriole - a colorful ambassador for birds that summer in Wisconsin and winter in Central and South America. These bright orange and black birds are easily attracted to feeders full of grape jelly and/or oranges and they're easily identified by even the most novice of birders. Their bright colors, bold personalities, and easy-to-observe behaviors make these birds the perfect citizen science project for birders of all ages.
Christmas Bird Counts
WSO helps to coordinate more than 100 Christmas Bird Count circles in Wisconsin. This year’s count will take place Dec 14, 2014 to January 5, 2015. The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, the Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends.
May Day Counts
WSO sponsors a May Day Count each spring. The count takes place from midnight to midnight on any day in May, preferably coinciding with peak migration and on a day with favorable weather conditions. The area of the count encompasses an entire county. Results from each May Day Count will be published in the spring issue of The Passenger Pigeon.
Additional Citizen Science Opportunities
Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey
The Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey takes place each year during the second weekend in June. Everyone with an interest in birds and a desire for adventure is invited to participate in the Bird Survey. Volunteers work in small groups led by at least one expert in bird song identification. Computerized results are used to guide forest management policies and have been the subject of numerous scientific research articles and master’s theses. The Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey is administered by the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.
Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broad-scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada operate project FeederWatch.
Great Backyard Bird Count
The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Everyone is welcome–from beginning bird watchers to experts. Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period and tally these numbers on the GBBC website.
Who’s Who of Citizen-based Monitoring
This site provides a directory of citizen programs and organizations in Wisconsin that focus on the monitoring of natural resources.
North American Breeding Bird Survey
WSO promotes the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). The BBS is a long-term, large-scale, international avian monitoring program initiated in 1966 to track the status and trends of North American bird populations. The USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the Canadian Wildlife Service jointly coordinate the BBS program.
Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative Monitoring Program
The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI) recognizes the need for sound bird monitoring programs, and recently its Research and Monitoring Committee identified several key bird groups whose populations previously were not adequately monitored in the state. To fill these gaps and help identify species at risk, three new statewide surveys that focus on owls, nightjars, and secretive marshbirds were initiated in the past several years.