Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2019
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Goal $5,000.00


The River Raptors (formerly Madison Green Team)

This is the second year for The River Raptors!  In 2017, veteran Wisconsin birder Sumner Matteson hatched a variation of a GOGREEN theme for NRF’s Great Wisconsin Birdathon:  The River Raptors use only kayaks and/or canoes to identify and tally Wisconsin birds to raise money for NRF’s Bird Protection Fund.  (This year’s birdathon is dedicated to James T. Harris, longtime bird enthusiast and naturalist, who is fighting pancreatic cancer.)

The River Raptors utilize the skills and talents of small sub-teams across the state to document bird species along favorite rivers or streams, from the Namekagon and Bois Brule rivers of the far north to the Kinnikinnic River of the far west to the Yahara River of the far south. “Over the years, we hope to bird a growing number of Wisconsin’s rivers and streams … all for bird conservation,” he said.

The River Raptors has a goal of raising $5,000 for The Bird Protection Fund in 2018.

Matteson has identified 10 sub-teams (2-5 individuals per sub-team) who will be participating in 2018, with May or June dates of their canoe/kayak trips yet to be determined. 

Conducting a “Green” birdathon has some benefits and drawbacks, Matteson says. “We don’t get as many bird species as our gas-guzzling counterparts,” he says. “But we may get more bird species per square mile of effort.  And we have a wonderful opportunity to get to know our rivers and streams in a unique way.”

Pledges raised during the birdathon will be directed to these projects:   


  • Wisconsin’s Second Breeding Bird Atlas – Entering its fourth year, this is a vast citizen-based documentation of all of Wisconsin’s breeding birds, 22 years after the first atlas was initiated.
  • Wisconsin Bird Monitoring Program Surveys of shorebirds, owls, nightjars, and marsh birds.
  • Bird City Wisconsin – Initiative to deliver bird conservation and education resources to over 100 Wisconsin communities.
  • Surveys of Colonial Waterbirds -  Focus in 2018 will be on southeastern counties to document the abundance, distribution, and habitats of terns, egrets, and grebes.
  • Wisconsin Stopover Initiative – Comprehensive coastal program to protect, manage, and enhance resting and refueling sites for migratory birds.
  • Conservation of federally endangered Kirtland’s Warblers and Whooping cranes.
  • Amazon Conservation Association - Wintering habitat protection in Peru.
  • Protection of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula – Manage and enhance wintering habitat for several Wisconsin bird species.
  • Local bird conservation and education activities across Wisconsin.
  • Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory - Shorebird and Waterbird Surveys on Lake Michigan. 
If you are unable to donate online, please click here for the offline donation form.


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