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

Operation Migration Calls It Quits

Operation Migration, which took flight 25 years ago to teach birds a new migratory route and since 2001 has helped reintroduce Whooping Cranes to the Wisconsin, has withdrawn from the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) and is dissolving the organization. Bill Lishman and Joe Duff developed the aircraft-guided migration method into an effective means of reintroducing endangered cranes into... Read More   

Sept. 29-30: Campout Revives Decades-old Tradition

Perhaps some of you who have been members of WSO for a long time will remember that for many years we offered an annual Fall Campout at WSO’s Honey Creek Preserve. The last time we held this event was 2000, so it’s been a while. The outing probably was dropped, in part, due to the success of what is now annual late-September Jaegerfest weekend in Superior, started in 1999. In years past,... Read More   

August Brings Outstanding Rarities to Central WI

The dog days of summer produced a few outstanding rarities. Horicon Marsh had excellent shorebird habitat and a nice variety of birds. One keen observer photographed a different looking shorebird that he correctly identified as a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. If accepted by WSO’s Records Committee this would be an addition to the Wisconsin bird list. This bird was seen for several days but with... Read More   

Honey Creek BB: Great Species Count, Record Support

The Saturday night camping and cookout event didn’t work out (weather intervened!) but in all other respects the 2018 Honey Creek Birdathon/Bandathon was a great success. Mary Korkor, WSO’s new vice president and development chair, reports that the Mother’s Day event raised more than $15,000, thanks to the generous response to an all-member mail appeal that sought to broaden the base of... Read More   

Where in the World are our 5 Snowy Owls?

One of five Snowy Owls tagged over the winter in Wisconsin -- one of the SNOWiest on record with an estimated 280 documented here — has wound up delivering one of the biggest surprises of the season. Although Project SNOWstorm scientists had suspected the tracking season already was over, they got a great surprise on Memorial Day when Austin checked in for the first time in almost three weeks... Read More   

WSO Convention Report: Green Lake

Members of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology elected a new president and vice president during the Society’s 79th Annual Meeting on Saturday May 19 at the Green Lake Conference Center. They also re-elected the current secretary and treasurer, whose terms are for one year. -- Myles Hurlburt, from Rib Mountain in Marathon County, who has served as vice president for this past year, was... Read More   

New Leadership for WSO

Members of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology will elect both a new president and vice president during the Society’s 79th Annual Meeting on May 19 at the Green Lake Conference Center. The Nominating Committee, led this year by Peter McKeever of Monona, who also serves as the society’s legal counsel, will bring to WSO’s annual convention a slate of four officer nominees. The committee is... Read More   

White River Marsh Field Trip Report

The morning was about as perfect as it could be as our group gathered at 5:00 AM -- 48 degrees, with calm winds and clear skies.   Birds were singing all around us, with Swamp Sparrows, American Bitterns, and Sora and Virginia Rails calling from the marsh.  A pair of Great Horned Owls called in the distance, and from time to time bugled their unison calls from... Read More   

Mead Field Trip Report

This year’s outing was originally scheduled for last weekend, 4/14/2018, but with the 20+ inches of snow we received, I moved it to 4/21/2018, which is the latest I can recall ever holding this event. With the cold and snow hanging on so late, I was concerned what the weather might be like, but overall it ended up being the perfect day for viewing and enjoying our wildlife. The cool, crisp... Read More   

2018 Passenger Pigeon Award Winners

The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology recognizes individuals and organizations that have made outstanding achievements in advancing bird conservation, promoting the field of ornithology and contributing to the Society. After receiving a number of worthy nominations, the Board of Directors met in January and selected the recipients of four awards to be presented at WSO’s 79th annual convention... Read More   

Dane and Columbia County Ponds Report

The 7:00 AM temperature on Saturday, March 24 was only slightly below normal, in the upper 20s, but the very strong east wind really brought the “feels like” temperature down – into the single digits!  The tough wind chill likely kept the attendance down this year, since we only had around 20 hardy birders show up for this outing. The field trip attendees gathered at... Read More