Contact(s): Meredith Penthorn, DNR communication specialist, 608-267-2948
MADISON, Wis. -- The month of May marks the return of many migratory birds to Wisconsin, and events throughout Wisconsin will give attendees an opportunity to learn more about conservation, bird-related recreation, and 100 years of Migratory Bird Treaty protection.
In 1916, the United States and Canada signed the Migratory Bird Treaty to protect birds across state and international borders. Through this treaty, states, nations and other partners work together to help conserve birds and encourage people to get involved in the outdoors through volunteering, recreation and education.
Several bird-themed festivals will occur in May - these free events will offer birding trips, guest speakers and hands-on activities for the entire family:
Great Wisconsin Birdathon
Birders of all ages and skills can search for species while supporting bird conservation during the Great Wisconsin Birdathon (exit DNR), organized by the Natural Resources Foundation and Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. The Birdathon is active through June 15. This fundraiser supports local environmental initiatives and key bird conservation projects around the state.
Bird City Wisconsin and International Migratory Bird Days
Bird City Wisconsin (exit DNR), encourages communities to make urban habitats more bird-friendly, become involved in conservation, and educate people about birds. Many Bird Cities also celebrate www.birdcitywisconsin.org/Calendar (exit DNR).
Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II and other volunteer opportunities
The second year of Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II (exit DNR) is in full swing, and anyone can sign up to count birds, observe breeding bird behavior, and submit data online to the Atlas. More experienced birders can sign up and intensively survey one of many open blocks.
The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative offers youth art contest to commemorate the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial. Youth in grades K-12 are encouraged to submit original, hand-drawn artwork of a favorite Midwest migratory bird species by May 31.
Celebrating the centennial is as easy as spending time outside in search of birds, attending one of Wisconsin's bird-related events or teaching someone new about birds, birding or bird hunting. To learn more about Treaty impacts and how you can participate in the centennial, visit dnr.wi.gov, keyword "bird treaty."