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

Diversity in the Outdoors

NRF is committed to improving diversity in the outdoors in Wisconsin because everyone deserves an opportunity to get outside.

30 Years of Field Trips

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Field Trip Program! Let’s take a look back at the success of this program throughout the years.

Welcome to the Foundation, Soumi!

We’re thrilled to welcome our new Donor & Relations Coordinator, Soumika Gaddameedi.

2022 Photo Contest Winners

Every year you send us your best photos that capture incredible moments in nature. Take a look at our 2022 Photo Contest winners!

Slimy but Sweet – Searching for Mudpuppies in Wisconsin

New funding is supporting a state-wide effort to learn more about mudpuppies in Wisconsin, our state’s only fully aquatic salamander.

Making A Difference in Wisconsin: NRF’s 2022 Grants for Conservation and Environmental Education

In 2022, NRF invested more than $1 million in grants for conservation and environmental education projects across the state.

New year, new look: the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin’s new branding

Our new branding and logo reflect our ongoing commitment to Wisconsin’s lands, waters, wildlife, and people.

Climate Adaptation in Wisconsin: Getting Ahead of the Change

Your support is leading the way for climate adaptation across Wisconsin landscapes.

Planned Giving For The Future

November is a time for reflection and gratitude. We can express who we are and what we value by planning gifts that will live on into the future.

Welcome to the Foundation, Emma!

We’re thrilled to welcome our new Digital Communications Coordinator, Emma Schatz.