Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory

Headquarters at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve

See the new Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas webpage at: http://wsobirds.org/atlas

We're Hiring!

Contact Us

Development Specialist

The Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, Inc., is seeking a part-time Development Specialist (approximately 20 hours/week, may vary) to manage its donor database; identify donors and sponsors; and help shape its annual fundraising efforts.

Download the full job description and application instructions HERE.

Please forward this announcement to colleagues who might be interested.

Spring Training for the Raptor Watch

Raptor Watch Fall 2018 group

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - Spring Training Session

Morning session:10 a.m.- noon

Evening session: 5 - 7 p.m.

Our band of enthusiastic Raptor Watch volunteers will reconvene, after a winter hiatus, to dust off our identification skills. Whether you are a seasoned birder or a total newbie, we welcome you to join our group. Training and field work will be at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, 4970 Country Club Rd., Port Washington, WI 53074.

What are we likely to see this spring? Director, Bill Mueller reports that, "we usually get both eagles early, with the Golden Eagle the first to pass through, and also the first to be done with its spring passage at this latitude. The Golden Eagles that pass Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, 300 miles NNE of our location, have moved through Wisconsin mostly unnoticed for a list of reasons. They count 70-100 each spring. We could see maybe 15-30 of those at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, if only someone was watching!"

Of course, we look forward to welcoming the return of our "usual suspects" including the Turkey Vultures, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned, Cooper's, Northern Goshawk, Red-shouldered, Red-tailed, Rough-legged, American Kestrel, Merlin and Peregrine Falcon.

In mid-March we will begin to send out weekly "weather announcements" to those on our list of the target days when there are likely to be appropriate conditions. If you are interested in joining our volunteer group, please contact us at .

American Kestrel Partnership Project 2019 Update

American kestrel02

American Kestrel by Joel Trick

We work with The Peregrine Fund on its nation-wide American Kestrel Partnership, and WGLBBO is the “Wisconsin node” for partner activities and data management.

This winter, we will be working with Dr. Neal O’Reilly of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Conservation and Environmental Science program, and a group of his students, to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) with the kestrel nestbox data from our WI partners, incorporating landcover data and the variables within this growing dataset (approaching 200 nestboxes).

William Mueller recently met with Bill Stout, a well-known local researcher who has worked on Cooper’s Hawks for many years. Bill will connect with our project in several ways: (a) banding young kestrels, and contributing samples to the AKP Genoscape Project; and (b) managing/monitoring additional nestboxes with a group of new participants near his location.

Events To Put On Your 2019 Calendar

Sunday, May 19, 2019: World Migratory Bird Day and Native Plant Sale

Bring your binoculars and join Observatory experts on bird hikes through Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, enjoy a live raptor show, and shop for native plants that benefit birds, Monarchs, and other pollinators.

Saturday, June 15, 2019: Treasures of Oz 

Learn how to raise a Monarch from egg to adult butterfly at the Observatory's Monarch Workshop. Attendees who have a good supply of milkweed, the only plant Monarch caterpillars can eat, will be able to adopt Monarch caterpillars.

Saturday, August 24, 2019: Monarch Tag and Release Celebration

Tour the prairie in full bloom, and watch as we tag and release Monarch butterflies for their long trip to Mexico. Fun for all ages!

Friday and Saturday, November 1-2, 2019: Southeastern Wisconsin Conservation Summit

Meet and learn from the naturalists and community scientists who are conducting vital research and monitoring on a wide range of topics in southeastern Wisconsin.

October-November, 2019

Become a member of our Raptor Watch team. Send an email to to sign up for training sessions that begin in September. Field work will begin when the raptors start their fall migration.

All events are held at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve