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


The WSO Research Committee provides opportunities for WSO members to contribute to ornithological research in Wisconsin by initiating and organizing original research projects or by involving WSO on a voluntary basis in other ongoing programs. We accomplish this by providing research grants to amateur and professional researchers, coordinating citizen science projects, hosting research symposia, and alerting our members of research opportunities. For more information or to become a member of the Research Committee, please contact

Research Grants
WSO sponsors several grants to support ornithological research by students and professionals, promote the study of birds by youth, enhance our knowledge of Wisconsin wetlands, and implement shorebird management activities. WSO has awarded more than 50 grants over the last 5 years.

Research Symposia
WSO has co-sponsored several research symposia to highlight current bird research and monitoring projects occurring in Wisconsin.

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.

Christmas Bird Counts
WSO helped to establish many of the some 110 Christmas Bird Count circles in Wisconsin now coordinated each year by the National Audubon Society. Counts take place between Dec 14 and Jan. 5. The longest running citizen science survey in the world, the Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends. WSO strongly encourages its members to participate in one or more counts. For more information, go to

Project SNOWstorm
WSO is participating in an exciting new research project known as Project SNOWstorm. As part of this project, a team of researchers is deploying a series of cellular tracking devices on Snowy Owls from the Upper Midwest to the Atlantic coast to learn more about their winter activity and movements. WSO funded one of the first two transmitters for this project, which has received much national recognition. The WSO-sponsored owls are Buena Vista and Kewaunee.