Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative

A cooperative partnership to deliver the full spectrum of bird conservation emphasizing volunteer stewardship.



  • Keep WBCI partners up-to-date on relevant current issues affecting birds in Wisconsin through regular communication, including the issuing of white papers, and make recommendations on how to best address these issues.


  • Developed an ongoing and periodically-updated series of Issues Papers on various topics important to bird conservation in Wisconsin. The finished papers and links to information about birds and building/window collisions are available to download.
  • Ongoing campaign to raise awareness of bird highway mortality on State Highway 49 where it bisects the Horicon refuge in northern Dodge and southern Fond du Lac counties. Letters have been written to staff at U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, and Wisconsin DOT raising concerns about excessive wildlife and bird mortality caused by vehicle collisions along Hwy 49. An ongoing series of meetings and a sign-on letter that included 24 WBCI partners asked for increased awareness of this problem of highway mortality and a decision on a management response. A written response was received from both agencies, and management activities are still in discussion with the Refuge staff, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Wisconsin  DOT.
  • Along with a group of approximately 20 volunteers and members of the Urban/Suburban Habitat Subcommittee, initiated in the spring of 2005 the first coordinated effort in Milwaukee to assess the extent of bird collisions with buildings during migration. The Wisconsin Humane Society, a WBCI partner active in this early effort, created their “WIngs” (Wisconsin Night Guardians for Songbirds) initiative and assumed stewardship of this effort.
  • Planned and coordinated a Gull Management Symposium, “Planning for Gulls in Your Community”, in Milwaukee in March, 2004. The one-day symposium was co-sponsored by WBCI and the WI Society for Ornithology. This event was attended by 67 persons from throughout Wisconsin, with a few attendees and presenters from Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois. Scott Craven of the UW – Madison Dept. of Wildlife Ecology facilitated the symposium.

Current and Ongoing Activities

  • Continuing work on Issues Papers, updating and providing a summary for each. New topics are being considered (input or assistance is welcome).
  • Connecting with the Wisconsin Chimney Swift Working Group.
  • Connecting with the Midwest efforts on behalf of Aerial Insectivores: Midwest Aerial Insectivore Discussion Group on Facebook.
  • Developing additional online resources regarding highway mortality, the value of urban green space for birds, and more.


Chairs: William Mueller and Scott Diehl

  • William Mueller – Director, Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory (WGLBBO)
  • Scott Diehl – Director, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, WI Humane Society
  • Andy Cassini – Chair, WSO Conservation Committee
  • Marge Gibson – Executive Director, Raptor Education Group, Inc.
  • Nancy Gloe – At-large Member
  • Karen Etter Hale – WBCI Chair; Director of Community Relations, Wisconsin Audubon Council
  • Mary Korkor – Member, WSO Conservation Committee
  • Bryan Lenz – Director, Bird City Wisconsin; Chief Scientist, WGLBBO
  • Chris Lepczyk – Assistant Professor, Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
  • Davin Lopez – Conservation Biologist, WI DNR Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation
  • Carl Schwartz – Chair, WGLBBO Board; Chair, Bird City WI Steering Committee; Editor, WSO Badger Birder newsletter
  • Sarah Warner – Environmental Contaminants Specialist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service WI Ecological Services

For more information about the Issues Committee or to join, please contact:

William Mueller
Director, Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
4970 Country Club Rd.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(414) 698-9108 (cell)