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

WSO Members Flock to 80th Convention

The 80th annual WSO convention over the Memorial Day weekend in Altoona was a collection of events, ranging from the kickoff picnic at the River Prairie Center’s riverfront pavilion to its annual Passenger Pigeon Awards Ceremony, to a special appearance by one of WSO’s historic figures, 99-year-old Dr. Charles Kemper, of Chippewa Falls (former editor of The Passenger Pigeon), to a collection... Read More   

2019 WSO Field Trip to the Kettle Moraine State Forest

-Jeff Baughman, WSO Field Trip Co-Chair-  On Saturday, June 8, at 6:00 AM, 11 people gathered at Mauthe Lake Recreation Area for the WSO’s Kettle Moraine State Forest-Northern Unit field trip. This particular outing was a redo of the June 1 trip that got cut short because of the weather. At that trip, I told participants I would re-run this field trip the following week if anyone was... Read More   

Ways to Help Complete Atlas’ Final Year

-By Nick Anich and Carrie Becker- 2019 is slated to be the final year of field work for the 2nd Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas, and the Atlas team needs all hands on deck this year to complete this monumental effort by mid-August. Here are the best ways to jump in: ++ Check the map of blocks left to be complete at - Click the box to... Read More   

Wisconsin’s Peregrine Falcons: A Spring Update

-By Greg Septon-  Many Peregrine Falcons in Wisconsin overwinter and those that do generally get a head start on the nesting season. Such was the case again this year with the first eggs of the season laid on March 26 and continuing on a regular basis through April 16. Of the 30 or so nest sites I monitor, there were a total of 80 eggs under incubation at 21 sites by mid April with... Read More   

Lots of Work Remain for the Atlas

-By Carrie Becker, Atlas Communications Chair-  The leadership team for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II has extended a hearty “thank you” to all who attended the Final Season Kickoff in Stevens Point during the first weekend in April. Attendance exceeded expectations with nearly 150 atlasers attending. Perhaps most significantly, thanks to a workshop led by the 50 county... Read More   

White River Marsh Field Trip Report – 2019

It was a chilly but nice morning on May 4 at the White River Marsh, as birders began gathering prior to 5:00 AM. The temperature was about 38 degrees, but the winds were light and from the south – under partly cloudy skies. Jupiter and Saturn were on full display in the still-dim southern sky, and a number of us enjoyed views of both of them through a scope. All around us, the dawning marsh... Read More   

Looking Back 80 Years to When WSO Was Born

-By Michael John Jaeger, Editor, The Passenger Pigeon-  I was looking back into Volume 1 of The Passenger Pigeon to see what I might find about the beginnings of WSO. One curious thing was that four monthly issues of the Pigeon were published before WSO’s formal start in May 1939. In the January issue, it was noted that the Madison Bird Club had in mind a statewide bird club. The... Read More   

George W. Mead State Wildlife Area Field Trip Report

-By Myles Hurlburt, WSO President-  This year’s WSO field trip to the George W. Mead State Wildlife Area was held on Saturday April 13. Of course we had just received 13+ inches of snow on the Thursday before. I did not move the date as I did last year. With the cold and snow hanging on so late, I was concerned what the weather might be like, but overall it ended up being an okay day... Read More   

State’s Official Bird List Grew by 3 in 2018

-By Bob Domagalski-  In 2018 three new species were added to the state list: Tufted Duck, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and Hammond’s Flycatcher. Also, there was an accidental species, the Clark’s Nutcracker, last found in Wisconsin back on Jan. 13, 1973, in Manitowoc County by Darwin Tiede. Photo by Justin Streit. The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper was first picked out of a crowd of... Read More   

Prairie Chicken Hit by Car: REGI to the Rescue!

For the first time ever the Raptor Education Group, Inc., in Antigo has been called on to care for a Greater Prairie-Chicken, a state of Wisconsin threatened species. The bird was hit by a vehicle and suffered serious injuries including internal bleeding. She was in extremely critical condition when REGI volunteer Kathy Esqueda transported her to the Antigo wildlife rehabilitation center and... Read More   

80th Convention to Honor Passenger Pigeon Awards

-By Wendy Schultz, WSO Awards Committee Chair-  The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology faced a daunting challenge this year in reviewing a stream of nominations for its Passenger Pigeon Awards recognizing individuals and organizations for outstanding achievements in advancing bird conservation, promoting the field of ornithology and contributing to the Society. The Board of Directors... Read More