Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative

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



  • Raise awareness for decision-makers and the general public and promote bird conservation in Wisconsin.
  • Promote and coordinate statewide participation in International Migratory Bird Day.
  • Create and maintain a statewide communication plan identifying audiences, messages, and message delivery channels (Internet, television, newspaper, regional magazine, radio, personal appearance, workshop, brochure, display, etc.).
  • Recommend to the Coordinating Council opportunities for public outreach including, but not limited to, outdoor festivals, outdoor skills classes, state and regional wildlife management seminars and conventions, landowner organization meetings, interpretive program curriculum materials, and environmental organization conferences or meetings, etc.
  • Seek out and coordinate efforts with any existing communication and outreach teams working in other states.
  • Among educational institutions, promote opportunities for students to be involved in bird-related conservation, research, education, celebration, or other pertinent activities.


  • Raised awareness and promoted bird conservation to citizens of Wisconsin through newspaper, radio, attending public events, conferences, and workshops.
  • Produced a WBCI Brochure describing WBCI’s goals, work, opportunities to get involved, and ways you can help birds.
  • Created a three panel WBCI display with interchangeable pieces that can be taken to events to recruit WBCI partners, highlight WBCI’s work, and promote bird conservation.
  • Developed a statewide Communication Plan identifying audiences, messages, and media contacts to help get information out regarding bird conservation.  The communication plan was designed to help guide the planning process for bird conservation related events, such as workshops, conferences, festivals, etc.
  • Worked with About Place Consulting in the development of a Birds of Wisconsin Placemat, which has bright images of Wisconsin birds on the front and fun facts about them on the back.
  • Added material to the WBCI website to make it more up-to-date with bird-related news, events, opportunities, and resources for WBCI partners and the public.
  • Developed a monthly e-news newsletter.  The e-news newsletter serves as a method for WBCI to communicate and inform each other about bird conservation related news, events, updates, etc.  Membership is open to anyone.

Current and Ongoing Activities

  • Communicate with the WBCI’s partners more frequently to inform them about WBCI’s current projects, accomplishments, and future initiatives.
  • Actively recruit new partners.
  • Communicate more with the general public about WBCI and our accomplishments.
  • Raise awareness about the WBCI All Bird Conservation Plan once it has been completed (The WBCI All Bird Conservation Plan will set the direction and lay out the opportunities and priorities for bird conservation in the state of Wisconsin for the foreseeable future).
  • Continue to improve the WBCI website and update it more frequently with current events related to bird conservation. We would also like to add/expand web pages within the site (e.g., information on the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, West Nile Virus, and issues impacting birds).
  • We would like to continue/increase the number of articles, radio segments, press releases we do to inform the public about bird-related issues and events.


Chairs: Karen Etter Hale and William Mueller

  • Karen Etter Hale – WBCI Chair; Director of Community Relations,  Wisconsin Audubon Council
  • William Mueller – Director, Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory
  • Matt Schlag-Mendenhall – Birders World
  • Craig Thompson – Section Chief, WI DNR Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation

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

Karen Etter Hale
Chair, Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative
Director of Community Relations, Wisconsin Audubon Council
P.O. Box 22
Lake Mills, WI 53551
(920) 245-1395 (cell)