Birding Workshop Coming in April

Throughout Wisconsin, bald eagles are sprucing up their nests, red-tailed hawks are pairing up, and great horned owls are already sitting on eggs. For Wisconsin’s earliest breeding species, daily sightings are already being documented for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II.

“Mild winter weather and the early return of some migrants, like geese, cranes, and blackbirds, have many birders eager for spring and the start of nesting season,” said Ryan Brady, DNR wildlife biologist and science coordinator for the atlas survey. “The atlas is a great way to put that eagerness to work for birds and the places they call home.”

Organizers of this comprehensive bird survey, now entering its third year, encourage all birders and wildlife watchers to submit observations and attend free regional training workshops in Barron, Brown, Kenosha and Vernon counties in March and April.

“We always need more people to help,” said Nick Anich, Department of Natural Resources conservation biologist and lead coordinator of the atlas survey. “From backyard birders, to kayakers observing wetland species during a paddle, to hunters recording observations from their blinds, there are many ways to gather sightings for the atlas and every bit of information is valuable toward understanding distribution and abundance of Wisconsin’s breeding birds, which is a primary goal of the Atlas project.”

Participants will need to survey more than 1,200 blocks of land across the state to replicate the effort from the first atlas (1995-2000) and ensure complete coverage.

Anyone interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities or project details is encouraged to attend one of four regional workshops, where they can hear presentations tailored to either new or returning volunteers, attend a field trip to a local birding hotspot, and meet coordinators and expert birders from their region. The Northeast regional workshop will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive, from noon to 5:30 pm on April 8.

Workshops are free of charge, but pre-registration is required. For details and registration, visit