Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory

Headquarters at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve


Please “Save the Date” for the Second Annual Southeastern Wisconsin Conservation Summit on November 2nd and 3rd, 2018 at the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve located just north of Port Washington, Wisconsin.

Our first Summit was a great success with 47 presenters,  31 posters and 184 attendees.  Presentation topics ranged from insects, mussels, biodiversity, birds, and a variety of land management and restoration activities.   View the abstracts from 2017 here:  https://wglbbo.org/swcs

We anticipate that this year will be even better!  We’ll have additional breaks to allow for more networking.  We’ll continue to encourage students to submit posters and give presentations.  And you’ll have the opportunity to see the continued restoration of a former golf course to a migratory bird stopover habitat.

Consider submitting a presentation or poster.  We will shortly begin accepting abstract submittals and will send out another email at that time with additional details about the Summit. If you participated last year, think about providing an abstract on a different topic for 2019; if you have significantly updated results on a project you presented on last year please consider submitting again.

Enjoy your summer!


Bird City Wisconsin has announced the hiring of Charles Hagner as its new director.

Hagner, a Wisconsin native, is a writer and editor specializing in birds, birding, and conservation and is the Board Chair of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, Inc. He was the editor-in-chief of nationally distributed BirdWatching magazine from 2001 to 2017.

He succeeds Dr. Bryan Lenz, who served as the Bird City’s director since 2014. Lenz is leaving to become the Bird Collisions Campaign Manager with the American Bird Conservancy, a non-profit organization that works to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.

“Editing a magazine devoted to wild birds and birding presented ample opportunities to study not only the myriad challenges faced by birds but also the many innovative, effective ways we all can help them. Bird City is one of the best,” says Hagner. “I’m excited to get to work for Wisconsin’s birds.”

Bird City was created in 2009. A program of the Milwaukee Audubon Society, it recognizes Wisconsin municipalities for the conservation and education activities that they undertake to make their communities healthy for birds... and people.

To be recognized as a Bird City, a community must meet criteria spread across six categories: habitat creation and protection, community forest management, limiting threats to birds, education, energy and sustainability, and the official recognition and celebration of World Migratory Bird Day (formerly International Migratory Bird Day).

Bird City also offers High Flyer recognition for communities that go above and beyond in their conservation and education programs. To become a High Flyer, a community must meet additional, and more involved, criteria.

To date, 109 Wisconsin communities have been recognized as a Bird City, while 23 communities have qualified for High Flyer status.


Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day on Sunday, May 20, 2018, at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve! Buy native plants, hear great speakers, go on fun bird hikes, enjoy family crafts and find your treasure in our eco-rummage sale. Presentations and bird hikes are free and open to the public. 100% of the proceeds from the plant sale, craft tables and rummage sale will support our monitoring and research projects. Here are the details of this fun-filled family day.

ALERT: Purple Martin Colony

ALERT: If you have a Purple Martin colony, you will probably have birds arriving soon (or they may already have arrived). Birds arriving this weekend or in the next few days will need extra assistance, and supplemental feeding, to survive. You can "train" your birds to catch mealworms, crickets, or scrambled eggs tossed in the air. Additional tips: make sure compartments have nesting material. Some martin landlords place handwarmers in compartments, or if near a power source, a switched-on light bulb. Many martins if not given assistance will perish in the coming days. If you have friends or colleagues who have martins but who are not connected via FB or a listserv, please forward this information. Notifying people is important to stem the loss of the heart of their breeding colonies or loss from portions in Wisconsin since martins are dependent on human-made housing for their survival. You can contact regional Purple Martin experts Les Rhines (920-889-0060)or Dick Nikolai (920-734-0828) for further info on how to at least control some of the losses that may occur.

Other ways to help birds after spring snowstorms:

Read recent posts here  for methods of responding: https://www.facebook.com/wglbbo

and here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1581381955435390/

Other excellent resources: Feeding Robins, after spring snowstorms:


Responding to recent bird and wildlife issues:


Some mortality is inevitable - but there ARE things you can do.

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