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...
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...
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...
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...
2018 WSO Costa Rica Tour
Our group of 14 recently returned from our 2018 WSO Costa Rica Tour (Feb. 25 to March 10), after another fabulous tropical adventure! Eleven of us flew together from Milwaukee, via Houston, and met three other participants flying in from elsewhere.
After driving south from the airport, our tour started out near the Pacific Coast, at a lodge not far from Carara National Park. We spent most of our...
Cast Your Vote on Neonic Insecticides
There is a statewide advisory question all bird enthusiasts should weigh in on at the April 9th Wisconsin Conservation Congress spring hearings. It relates to banning the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on state owned agriculture and forest land. While neonics are effective against various insect pests, they also kill non-target insects, including many pollinators, along with having significant...
Buena Vista and Necedah Field Trip
This year the field trip attendees gathered at the Buena Vista Grasslands kiosk along Hwy. W, around 8:00 AM. The weather was unusually mild, with a starting temperature of about 30 degrees. The sky was partly cloudy, the winds were light to moderate, and there was very little snow on the ground. We had no trouble with snowdrifts and impassible roads this year! There...
Aerial insectivore conference Sept. 7-8
An exciting conference focusing on "aerial insectivores" -- that would be all those birds you see swooping through the air in pursuit of insects -- is being planned for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8, somewhere in south central or southeast Wisconsin.
Save the date! And please watch the Badger Birder and the websites of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/...
Project SNOWstorm is back in Wisconsin
WSO has joined forces with other funders to support the electronic tagging of as many as six Snowy Owls in Wisconsin this winter as part of a multistate effort known as Project SNOWstorm.
More than 50 owls have been tagged in 10 states from North Dakota to Maine since 2013. WSO earlier funded transmitters for two of the six owls tagged in Wisconsin during previous winters -- for a bird known as...
Join our May 13th Campout!
There will be a couple of new twists to this year’s Honey Creek Birdathon/Bandathon weekend.
Place a hold on your calendar for the weekend of May 12-13. Both the birdathon and bandathon will take place at WSO’s Honey Creek Nature Preserve on Sunday May 13, rather than holding them over both days.
But we’re resurrecting the once-popular Saturday evening campout for those who...
Kirtland's Warbler Increases Range in Wisconsin
Madison - Ten years after Kirtland's Warblers were first documented in Wisconsin, populations of the songbird have increased and their range is expanding through the efforts of state, federal and local partners to increase and manage the endangered bird and its habitat in the state.
According to the recently released 2017 nesting report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife...