Thursday, January 20, 2011

using some solid references about WI birds

When learning about bird distribution, abundance, ecology, status, management, conservation, and where to find birds in Wisconsin, there are a few recommended and very solid sources of information that can be easily found online in some cases, or in public libraries or bookstores in other cases. If you are a beginning or intermediate birder, you may not have found your way to these items yet - but if you really want to learn more about birds in this state, these can be very helpful:

Robbins, S. 1991. Wisconsin Birdlife: Population & Distribution - Past & Present. University of Wisconsin Press. (This might be referred to as "the" book on Wisconsin birds, by the dean of Wisconsin ornithologists, the late Rev. Samuel D. Robbins, Jr.)

Cutright, N. J., B. R. Harriman, and R. W. Howe. Eds. 2006. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Wisconsin. Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, Inc. (Our state atlas, the product of thousands of hours of mapping the breeding distribution of birds in WI, with species accounts for all of our breeding species.)

Find the online parts of the atlas info at:

I was shocked recently to learn that some active birders do not know about the atlas, or the atlas website. That's really the reason for this post.

Find the All-Bird Conservation Plan of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative online at:
See the species accounts at:

See the website of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology at:

For birdfinding, nothing can match the Fifth Edition of Wisconsin's Favorite Bird Haunts, edited by Daryl D. Tessen, published in 2009 by WSO. At 540 pages, it contains detailed information about the best places to find birds in Wisconsin - it's really a comprehensive resource.

A very useful reference and one of the all-time bargains in ornithology, the little blue pamphlet called Wisconsin Birds: A Checklist with Migration Graphs, Sixth Edition, by Stanley A. Temple, Robert C. Domagalski, and John R. Cary, published in 2003 by WSO, is one of a short list of indispensible references - and you won't believe how inexpensive it is (see ).

I'll stop there.

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