Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Birders with binoculars © D.Z. Johnson

Binoculars up! Be a part of the Great Wisconsin Birdathon and help raise money for our stateís feathered friends.
© D.Z. Johnson

April 2013

Great Wisconsin Birdathon

This May, do your best to give back to birds.

Maria Sadowski

Bird-a-thon: Helping Wisconsinís birds by spending any portion of a 24-hour period in May observing birds and soliciting pledges for the total number of species seen.

Partners in protecting birds

Partners in protecting birds Our birds know no boundaries – they certainly donít pause at county lines, let alone at state or country boundaries. Wisconsinís birds need our help, whether in our state, on migration, or where they winter.

Thatís where the Bird Protection Fund comes in. Created in 2007, this partnership of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI), and the Department of Natural Resources raises money each year for bird conservation.

The Bird Protection Fund has provided nearly $107,000 to statewide bird conservation projects, thanks to foundations, organizations and people like you.

Proceeds from the Great Wisconsin Birdathon will go directly to the Bird Protection Fund – and make a big difference for our stateís birds.

You can help birds by taking part in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon, or making a one-time or an annual gift to the Bird Protection Fund. Find out more at Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2013

Sponsored by Eagle Optics, Derse Foundation, John J. Frautschi Family Foundation.

Itís easy and fun, and all at Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2013

If you love the bald eagles and egrets nesting along our waterways, take joy in finches, chickadees or woodpeckers visiting your backyard feeder, or long to hear greater prairie chickens and bobolinks in our prairies, itís time to do your part to help Wisconsinís birds – by participating in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon.

Here are some great ways YOU can help:

  • Are you a novice birder who would like to do a Birdathon with an expert guide? Join a guided Big Day Field Trip with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. We hope you will raise at least $100 in pledges. Donít worry. We make it easy for you! You can create a personalized webpage and ask your friends to support your birding efforts – all through the Birdathon website.
  • Are you a seasoned birder who knows your grouse from your grebes? Register to do the Great Wisconsin Birdathon on your own or start a team. Create a personalized webpage and easily send emails or tweets, post videos and photos, or whatever it takes to bring in pledges. Then get birding!
  • Want to support the entire Great Wisconsin Birdathon? Pledge to the Great Wisconsin Birdathon Team and your pledge will be calculated using the total number of species seen by all the teams combined!
  • No time to bird but want to donate? Pledge to a regional Celebrity Team, and they will bird on your behalf. You can check each teamís webpage to keep up-to-date on their happenings.

The common redpoll on branch; Ryan Brady
The common redpoll is an active foager.
© Ryan Brady

Birdathon Celebrity Teams

  • Eagle Optics Team Ė Bird So Hard: Mike McDowell, Ben Lizdas, David LaPuma, Jessica Gorzo and Max Henschell
  • Hawkeye and the Ancient Murrelets (southeast Wisconsin): Noel Cutright, Carl Schwartz, Tom Uttech and Seth Cutright
  • Lake Superior Team: Ryan Brady, Nick Anich, Dick Verch and Steve Hoecker
  • Lower Chippewa River Team: Bill Hogseth and Steve Betchkal
  • Madison Green Team: Sumner Matteson and Tod Highsmith
  • Northern Highlands Team: Scott Craven, Jamie Nack and David Drake
  • Raven Loonatics (Southwest Team): Craig Thompson, Armund Bartz and Eric Epstein

All donations and pledges are tax-deductible and are handled simply and securely online. You can pledge or start a team at any time. But all birding must be done during a single 24-hour period in May. With your help, the Great Wisconsin Birdathon hopes to raise at least $40,000 for our stateís birds.

Fly on over to Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2013 to get started. Our birds – and all the people who appreciate them – thank you!

How our birds will benefit

With your help, the Great Wisconsin Birdathon will assist several projects across the state that take care of our birds. Among them are:

  • Bird City Wisconsin Encouraging urban bird conservation to make our communities healthy for birds and people. Bird City Wisconsin
  • Citizen Science for Birds Coordinating and training volunteers to collect important information that guides conservation efforts for birds. Wisconsin Bird Monitoring
  • Important Bird Areas (IBAs) Assisting Wisconsinís part of a global initiative to protect and manage public and private lands for birds of conservation concern; there are currently 88 IBAs in our state. Wisconsin Important Bird Area
  • Wisconsin Stop over Initiative Helping a partnership of government agencies, private organizations and individuals protect and conserve habitats used by birds for resting and refueling during their migration. Wisconsin Stop Over Initiative
  • Wintering Areas for Wisconsinís Birds Working with partners to protect and reforest important habitats in Latin America – especially in critical locations on Costa Ricaís Osa Peninsula – where Wisconsinís orioles, warblers, thrushes and other Neotropical migrants winter each year (see story on page 14).
  • OSA Consrvation

Maria Sadowski is the director of communications at the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.