A simple and intuitive online tool that allows you to submit observations, maintain personal bird records, and visualize data with interactive maps, graphs, and bar charts. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. A birder simply enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard during the outing. Wisconsin has two state-based eBird portals: the Wisconsin eBird portal and the Atlas eBird portal. Read how you should use each portal here.
Reporting Sensitive Species to eBird
There are certain cases where it may not be best to have detailed information on a bird sighting available to the general public. These include birds that can be very sensitive to disturbance, rare nesting species, or cases where birder pressure could cause negative effects. Learn how to report sensitive species.
Rare Bird Reporting
The WSO Records Committee regularly revises its list of species requiring review and modifies the forms for documenting rare birds. After sighting a rare bird, please consult the Review List to see if the bird in question is considered a rare species in the state. If you believe that you have seen a bird out of season, please consult the WSO Arrival and Departure Dates document. As of 2018 the preferred method for documenting rare and out of season species is with eBird (eBird.org). As the saying goes, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” For rare and out of season species in particular, make sure your comments are thorough—taking special care to explain how similar species were ruled out. For the foreseeable future, the online Rare Bird Documentation Form will continue to be available. Copies of this form will be sent to the WSO Records Committee members for review. All records for a season are reviewed and voted upon. Results of the review and vote are published in WSO's quarterly journal.
Rare Bird Documentation Forms
WSO Review List - indicates rare species that have occurred in Wisconsin but require documentation for acceptance into the state records.
WSO Arrival and Departure Dates - indicates the earliest arrival and latest departure dates for bird species occurring in Wisconsin.
Checklist of Wisconsin Birds - contains all of the valid species on the Wisconsin state list.
WSO Rare Bird Documentation Form - As of 2018 eBird (eBird.org) is the preferred method to document rare and out of season species in Wisconsin. If you use eBird, you do NOT need to fill out the WSO Rare Bird Documentation Form. If you prefer not to use eBird, then use this form to document all species on the WSO Review List, any species not listed in the Checklist of Wisconsin Birds, or any species determined to be seasonally rare. To determine whether a species is seasonally rare, review the WSO Arrival and Departure Date document and check the “Finds between” time period for each species (indicated in red).
Wisconsin Rare Bird Records - provides a detailed summary of all accepted records for the Wisconsin Review List species.
Seasonal Report Due Dates
|March 1 – May 31
|Due June 10
|June 1 – July 31
|Due August 10
|August 1 – November 30
|Due December 10
|December 1 – February 28/29
|Due March 10