Whoop whoop! The 2022 Birdathon Report is here. 

Read on for highlights and results from this year’s Great Wisconsin Birdathon.

A group of young people with binoculars smile while birding at a field

Members of team Funky Pheasants, representing Wisconsin Pheasants Forever, go birding together during the 2022 Great Wisconsin Birdathon. Photo by Britta Petersen


Our 2022 Great Wisconsin Birdathon was a season to remember. Not only was it the tenth anniversary of our very first pilot year of the Birdathon, but it was another incredible record-breaking season with over $117,000 raised for the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin’s Bird Protection Fund. Our birders and donors helped this year’s event fly higher than we could have imagined!

It’s Wisconsin’s birding community—dare we say, our flock!—that makes this event a success, year after year. Thank you to our intrepid birders from across the state, our donors who support our feathered friends, and our wonderful line-up of sponsors.

Here’s a recap of our incredible season: the 2022 Birdathon Report. We hope you enjoy this look back on all the fun stories, highlights, and successes of the 10th anniversary year.

Whooping Crane reintroduction efforts are funded by NRF through the Bird Protection Fund. Photo: H. Thompson

Whooping Crane reintroduction efforts are funded by the Great Wisconsin Birdathon through the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin’s Bird Protection Fund. Here, juvenile whooping cranes take flight at Horicon Marsh. Photo by H. Thompson

Birding for a cause

Our Birdathon birders raise an incredible pool of funds, then our state’s bird conservation experts help determine where that money will have the most impact on Wisconsin’s birds. In the months after the Great Wisconsin Birdathon closes, the Bird Protection Fund Committee (a group of top bird experts in our state) meets to determine the year’s next round of Bird Protection Fund grants.

This year, the Bird Protection Fund is expanding support for the Connecticut Warbler and for grassland birds like Bobolink, Dickcissel, and Henslow’s Sparrow, because they’re facing growing threats. Funds are also going to outreach and education programs that get more people involved in bird conservation.

We’re thrilled about this year’s line-up of grant projects:


  • Advancing Bird Conservation within Wisconsin’s Important Bird Area (IBA) System — Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership
  • Building Partnerships and Tools to Address Barriers to Bird-friendly Actions — Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
  • Capacity Building — Feminist Bird Club
  • Connecticut Warbler Conservation Project — WDNR
  • Neotropical Flyways Project — Cornell Lab of Ornithology / SELVA
  • Outreach and Program Expansion — BIPOC Birding Club of Wisconsin
  • Piping Plover Conservation — WDNR
  • Reintroduction of Whooping Cranes into Eastern North America — International Crane Foundation
  • Southern Kettle Moraine Habitat Restoration for Grassland Birds — Kettle Moraine Land Trust
Team Yes We Pelican from the Feminist Bird Club poses with binoculars

Members of team Yes We Pelican! representing the Feminist Bird Club-Madison Chapter pose with their binoculars during a break from birding. Photo by Caitlyn Schuchhardt

Let’s talk TEAMS

This year’s Birdathon saw 56 incredible teams: from classrooms and nonprofits, to friends and family, to Bird Cities and bird clubs… and even a Girl Scout Troop out to earn their citizen science badge!

On this year’s Birdathon teams, a whopping 400 birders came together and spotted—wait for it—250 species of birds!

“I loved getting to see new places in Wisconsin and get introduced to new birds I hadn’t seen before!”

2022 Birdathon Participant

Top Fundraisers
1. Cutright’s Old Coots $18,400
2. Lake Superior eBirders $9,464
3. River Raptors $6,220
4. Motmot Crew $5,174
5. Yes We Pelican! $4,481

Most Species Seen
1. Good Godwits: 196 species
2. MuirLand Merlins: 175 species
3. Lake Superior eBirders: 173 species
4. Cutright’s Old Coots: 167 species
5. Driftless Birders: 157 species

Tree swallow

A tree swallow seen by team Chirp Chasers, representing Chippewa County Land Conservancy, during the 2022 Great Wisconsin Birdathon. Photo by Jeff Brown

More birds, please

The Great Wisconsin Birdathon returns every spring! We hope you’ll join us next year as we continue our mission to bring birds back.

View our 2022 Great Wisconsin Birdathon event page
• Learn more about the Bird Protection Fund

Wing it with these tips for new birdwatchers

Wing it with these tips for new birdwatchers from Kim Kreitinger, our resident bird expert (and NRF’s Field Trips Coordinator)!

Welcome to the Foundation, Tee!

We’re thrilled to welcome our new volunteer, Tee Karki!

From PlayStation to Potawatomi State Park: How Camping Transformed My Life

Escuela Verde senior, Jonathan, led a three-day camping trip at Potawatomi State Park for 12 students thanks to a Go Outside Fund grant.

Watershed Health and Outdoor Fun on the Namekagon River

Thanks to a 2023 Go Outside Fund grant, 46 students canoe the Namekagon River for hands-on learning about watersheds.

Welcome to the Foundation, Brenna!

We’re thrilled to welcome our new Grant Writer, Brenna Holzhauer!

Snapshot Wisconsin Trail Cams Capture Rare Wildlife Interactions

Snapshot Wisconsin trail cameras sometimes capture rare wildlife interactions. These photos support research on how different species coexist.

Welcome to the Foundation, Michaela!

We’re thrilled to welcome our new Executive Assistant, Michaela Daly.

Lights, Camera, Conservation

In her work at the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, Caitlin Williamson makes sure that the Wisconsin conservation show goes on.

Birding in the Northwoods

Hear from two of our Great Wisconsin Birdathon teams in northern Wisconsin to get a feel for birding in the Northwoods!

A Conversation with Damian Vraniak

Damian Vraniak shares how 40 years of restoration on his family’s land has allowed humans, wildlife, and land to sustain each other.