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

WSO Conservation Committee has a lot on its plate

  In its April 10th quarterly report to WSO’s Board of Directors, the organization’s Conservation Committee outlined the issues that it is acting on or monitoring: Lobbying License: WSO has registered as a lobbyist with the State of Wisconsin at a level that limits spending to less than $500. If or when necessary, WSO can relicense for an additional $355, which then permits spending... Read More   

Field Trip Report: White River Marsh 5/1/21

  The Dawn Chorus at White River Marsh State Wildlife Area (photo credit: Tom Schultz) Saturday, May 1st, our group of 22 gathered in The White River Marsh State Wildlife Area around 5:00 AM. Compared to the temperatures of the week leading up to our trip, it felt chilly. The temperature started out at about 42 degrees with moderate winds out of the south and southwest around 15-25 mph... Read More   

April Rare Birds Burrowing Owl, Pacific Loon top big list of special sightings

By Mark Korducki April was dry and very mild.  The month began with temperatures in the 70s in the southern part of the state.  At the end of the month, several southern locations reached the lower 80s before a cold front moved in.  These conditions produced an early leaf-out and a wave of spring migrants that were at least a few days ahead of schedule.   Photo by Tom... Read More   

Despite pandemic, it’s been a big year for WSO - Staff hired, birdathon resuming, Cox house coming down

By Mary Korkor WSO President   Every year, as May approaches, I feel a sense of excitement and anticipation. Migration is in full swing, gardens are coming alive with new growth and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do all that I wish to do. But this year is truly special. Yes, I am excited about the birds, and also my prairie which was just burned, but most importantly I am... Read More   

March Rare Birds - Waterfowl dominate flood of early spring migrants

By Mark Korducki In sharp contrast to a cold and snowy February, March was warmer and dryer than normal. These warmer temperatures ushered in a wave of early spring migrants. Waterfowl dominated the scene, highlighted by a colorful drake Eurasian Wigeon in Kewaunee County. A showy male Harlequin Duck was found in Sheboygan. This may have been the same bird than wintered in Port... Read More   

WSO Mead Wildlife Area Field Trip – 4-17-2021

This year’s outing was held, Saturday, 4/17/2021.  We had 17 attendees from across the state.  The weather was nice and sunny, a bit cool and crisp. Temperatures were in the low to mid 40s.  For the 17 attendees a great time was had by all.   Leading our car caravan to our first stop, County Line Rd, we expected to see the few remaining Greater Prairie Chickens on the... Read More   

Find your flock, form a team: Great Wisconsin Birdathon is back!

By Caitlyn Schuchhardt Outreach Coordinator Natural Resources Foundation Ahh, spring. April marks an exciting time as we greet the spring migrants we’ve missed so much. But mixed in among the sandhills, the shorebirds and the songbirds is another awaited arrival—the Great Wisconsin Birdathon! This annual event, sponsored  by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, is the largest... Read More   

Atlas update: a peek at the cover, major data work

By Nicholas M. Anich Breeding Bird Atlas Coordinator The Steering Committee for the second Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas commissioned illustrator Luke Seitz to paint the cover for our upcoming Atlas book. Luke is known for his works arranging species to form a state outline — which recalled for us the process of atlasing, where all of your disparate observations combine to form a coherent... Read More   

WSO honors 5 with Passenger Pigeon awards 

By Wendy Schultz WSO Awards Committee Chair During this time of many challenges, if there is a GOOD NEWS story to be shared, it is the annual recognition WSO gives to those individuals and organizations that have made outstanding achievements in advancing bird conservation, promoting the field of ornithology and contributing to the Society. Despite the grip of a global pandemic, the year yielded... Read More   

Dane and Columbia County Ponds - 3/27/21

By - Adam Knueppel Photos - Tom Schultz   A forecast calling for steady rain on Saturday, March 27 might have deterred some, but not all, for our annual trip exploring some of Dane and Columbia County’s most productive wetland areas. The predicted forecast was accurate, and despite the weather (I know the ducks didn’t mind) we had a fairly productive outing, yielding a handful... Read More   

Rarities, pandemic made 2020 an exceptional year for birding

By Bob Domagalski Unlike the year 2019, when there were few unusual birds to be found, 2020 was a banner year for accidentals.  This abundance of rare species combined with a year of pandemic closures and precautions, in which birding was one of few safe outlets for activity, made for an exceptional year of birding. Two of the more outstanding finds that remained long enough for birders... Read More