Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory



Free webinar series to kick off 2021   

Beginning this February, the Observatory’s Neighborhood Habitat Improvement Project is launching an exciting webinar series. We hope that these sessions, presented by knowledgeable speakers about environmental topics, will inspire and motivate you to make bird and pollinator-friendly changes in your home and yard, while providing some “how-to’s.” We’re planning to bring you new topics each month (so stay tuned to our website). The February and March webinars are listed below, and sign-up is open. Link arms with us and become an important contributor to our community’s best conservation practices starting in your very own yard.

To join our webinars, please register HERE.


Our Birchwood Home; Lessons in Natural Landscaping
Presenter: Bill Volkert
February 17 at 7 p.m.


Bill and Connie have been living at their home on Birchwood Lake for over 35 years, and they have worked to restore their land to a mixture of natural communities, remove invasive shrubs, and turn a former cornfield into a native prairie and prairie nursery.  Over the years they have cataloged more than 650 species of plants and animals on less than 10 acres, including 207 kinds of birds. Our Birchwood Home focuses on their experiences in natural landscaping and land management and provides a range of examples for using native plants for both small gardens and managing larger areas of land. 

Bill worked as the naturalist and wildlife educator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at Horicon Marsh for 27 years. He has been a regular guest on Wisconsin Public Radio for more than 30 years to talk about Wisconsin birds. 

How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife
Presenter: Charlotte Little
March 17 at 7 p.m.

"How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife" presents the compelling message from entomologist Douglas Tallamy's book "Bringing Nature Home".  He explains how the choices we make as gardeners can profoundly impact the diversity of life in our yards, and on our planet.

Charlotte Little is a long-time member of the Port Washington Garden Club who has worked more than 20 years restoring a prairie and promoting native plants.  She volunteers at Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation and Educational Center and is also involved with sustainable food production through aquaponics, at Port Fish in Port Washington.  In her spare time, she nurtures her vegetable garden without chemicals.  

In following months, our webinar speakers will include Lisa Oddis, President of the Wild Ones Menomonee River Area Chapter; Chuck Hagner, Director of Bird City Wisconsin and Board Chair of the Observatory; Kate Redmond, a local interpretive naturalist/environmental educator aka “The BugLady,” and Dr. Jennifer Phillips-Vanderberg, the Observatory’s Science Director. We hope you will join us!