Great Wisconsin Birdathon: Tours and teams set to take flight April 15

Funds raised through the Birdathon will benefit bird protection throughout the state

Birders and other outdoor enthusiasts have a unique opportunity this spring to support bird conservation while doing what they love most—spending time enjoying nature. Participants in the third-annual Great Wisconsin Birdathon have a number of options for participating, including forming their own team to count species while raising funds or going on a special guided Birdathon tour, ranging from a low-key morning bird walk to a two-day birding extravaganza.

“Participating in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon is a terrific way to support the state’s birds in every phase of their life, from protecting their wintering habitat in Costa Rica to making Wisconsin’s towns more bird friendly,” said Ruth Oppedahl, executive director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, one of the Birdathon’s leading partner organizations. “We have a special kind of pride in Wisconsin for our birds, and the Birdathon is a true celebration of that sentiment.”

Birdathon tours will take participants to see a variety of bird species and learn about Wisconsin’s winged beauties, all while helping raise funds to protect them. Participants can go out paddling on Cherokee Marsh for an evening or spend a full day looking for waterbirds and warblers at Marquette-Green Lake. With more than 20 unique trips to birding hotspots throughout the state, there’s something for every interest and budget. Registration is open today:

Interested individuals can also give directly to the Birdathon or a specific team, or form their own teams and ask friends and family to pledge a certain dollar amount for each species they see in a 24-hour period. Organizations that endorse the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative can even keep 50 percent of the funds their teams raise.

Funds raised through the Great Wisconsin Birdathon benefit the Bird Protection Fund, which supports priority bird conservation projects and programs, including the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II, Osa Conservation and the Southern Forests Initiatives.

“The Great Wisconsin Birdathon is a great program for anyone passionate about or interested in our state’s birds,” said Kim Grveles, avian ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “The Great Wisconsin Birdathon has made it possible for the Wisconsin Stopover Initiative (WISI) to offer the Grosbeaks Galore! Birds on Your Landscape Workshop on May 9 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. WISI is also developing a migratory bird monitoring handbook for the Lake Superior coastal area, funded in part by the Birdathon.”