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

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 objectives of the Wisconsin May Day Count are to:

  • Obtain information on the abundance and distribution of migrating species.
  • Aid in organization and centralization of data.
  • Promote an interest in the scientific study of birds.
  • Recruit new participants to the hobby of birdwatching.
  • Have Fun!

The area of the count encompasses an entire county. Assemble into teams and assign each team a designated area to cover, taking care to not double count any areas. Try to cover as much of the county as possible. Teams can be of any size, although it is helpful to have at least one experienced birder per team.

Each team receives a data sheet and records the following information: date, weather conditions, party hours, species observed, and number of individuals for each species. Please submit additional documentation for any rare birds observed during your count or any species not listed on the form. Rare birds are indicated in bold on the data sheet. Data from each team are compiled into a single count for the county and sent to the state coordinator.

Results from the May Day Count will be published in the spring issue of The Passenger Pigeon.

State Coordinator: Daniel Schneider at

May Day Counts can be submitted on eBird or mailed in on paper.