Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2019

About the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin provides sustainable funding for Wisconsin’s most imperiled species and public lands, while helping citizens connect with our state’s unique natural places. We support critical conservation work through our grant programs, offer opportunities for people to experience Wisconsin’s outdoors through our field trip program, and provide a means for people to help protect Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife through charitable giving and the Wisconsin Conservation Endowment. A portion of your donation to the Great Wisconsin Birdathon goes to cover the cost of administering and monitoring these bird-related programs, grantmaking, educating the public, and other associated staff costs. Find out more at


Bird Protection Fund

The Bird Protection Fund was created in 2007 in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative to provide critical support of projects that advance bird conservation across Wisconsin, focusing on the bird species that are most imperiled. Through direct contributions, fundraising field trips, and the Great Wisconsin Birdathon, the Bird Protection Fund has raised more than $1 million for bird conservation and research. Learn more about the 2019 priority projects below.


Bird City Wisconsin

Bird City Wisconsin recognizes communities across Wisconsin that excel at putting birds first. From installing nest boxes to promoting green space, native plant gardens, educational programs, and festivals, these communities are engaging in serious efforts to address the decline of urban birds and make communities more bird friendly. So far more than 100 communities in Wisconsin have been recognized as Bird Cities.

Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation

The Kirtland's warbler requires very specific habitat and has a restricted geographic range. The Bird Protection Fund supports population surveys, nest monitoring, and other critical research activities that protect this endangered species. Funding also supports work with landowners and foresters to expand jack pine habitat for these and other rare pine barrens birds.

Lake Michigan Waterbird Research

The Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory monitors waterbirds migrating over Lake Michigan and its shoreline, an area previously not well studied. The Bird Protection Fund supports their research, which will help inform decisions about offshore wind energy development, harvest quotas for waterfowl and future management actions. 

Whooping Crane Reintroduction

Led by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, scientists are attempting to reintroduce Whooping Cranes to Wisconsin. This partnership raises captive whooping crane chicks and then releases them near a wild adult pair that will ‘adopt’ the young birds and teach them the migratory route south. The Bird Protection Fund supports International Crane Foundation interns who raise these chicks.

Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II

This project is a comprehensive field survey that documents the distribution and abundance of birds breeding in an area. The information will allow us to see changes in bird populations and to measure future changes. The Bird Protection Fund provides funding for point count surveys across the entire state.

Conservation and management of Piping Plovers and endangered terns

These two projects aim to increase the state's populations of Federally endangered Piping Plover and four species of state endangered terns by monitoring current breeding populations, managing and enhancing current breeding and nesting sites, and creating additional breeding habitat.

Neotropical Flyways Project

This project will idenitfy critical migratory stopover regions and habitats in Central America and western Colombia. New stopover sites will be identified and mapped, and mist-netting and rasio-tracking of birds will determine how they use these sites. The results of these studies will be used to develop conservation plans for migratory stopover in the region.




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