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Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey


The Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey is the longest running volunteer bird monitoring program in a U.S. national forest.

The Nicolet National Forest encompasses 360,000 hectares of mixed hardwood-conifer forests, lowland swamps, glacial lakes, and wetlands in northeastern Wisconsin. It comprises the eastern portion of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, with headquarters in Rhinelander and Park Falls, Wisconsin.

The Bird Survey takes place each year during the second weekend in June. Everyone with an interest in birds and a desire for adventure is invited to participate in the Bird Survey. Volunteers work in small groups led by at least one expert in bird song identification. Computerized results are used to guide forest management policies and have been the subject of numerous scientific research articles and master's theses. Results also provide visitors with information about habitat preferences and "hot-spots" for northern Wisconsin's bird species.

Save the Date! The 28th Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey will be held on June 6-8, 2014


Thank you to the 2013 crew that made this year's survey a great success!

Thanks sincerely to all of you for making the 27th Annual Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey a great success! When the rain started during our second point count on Saturday morning, I honestly thought that this might be our first-ever washout. Instead, we had some of the best possible birding conditions, especially on Sunday. The total list of reported species stands at 123 – one of the highest ever for the southern sites, and we still have the canoe sites and one or two others to be completed later this summer.

Special thanks to the all of the summer tech assistants, whose contributions deserve special recognition. I hope all of you had a rewarding experience during the weekend. I never cease to be amazed at the skill, dedication, and friendly spirit of people (young and “older”) who participate in this event, and this year’s group was a particularly shining example. Again, on behalf of many users of the NNF Bird Survey results, thanks for contributing your time and expertise to this increasingly valuable historical data set.


Dr. Bob Howe