News & Features

Species Sponsorship: A Perfect Gift for Bird Lovers

Northern Saw-whet owl is just one of the 40+ Wisconsin breeders still "unclaimed" through the Sponsor-a-Species program.

Father’s Day is near, and the graduation and wedding season is here. If you’ve got a bird lover on your gift list, consider giving the unique gift of species sponsorship!

There are 40+ Wisconsin breeding species yet to be claimed through the Sponsor-a-Species program, a major source of support for the Atlas. Popular species like Northern Saw-whet Owl and Ruby-crowned Kinglet remain, and every dollar of every sponsorship helps support this important citizen science project. We’d love to see every one of our remaining species go to a good sponsorship “home” this summer.

Wisconsin has a proud tradition of being at the forefront of bird and wildlife conservation. However, the populations of many bird species in our state are currently in decline. Even worse, non-game species are a decreasing priority for wildlife agencies. To conserve our birds, we need a better understanding of their current status and distribution. This is an opportunity for you to be part of a larger project — possibly the largest citizen science project ever in the state — and one that will inform conservation and protect birds and wildlife in Wisconsin for decades to come.

Through Sponsor-a-Species, you can sponsor one or more bird species of your choice for one to five years. The cost is as little as $100 per year! If you choose to sponsor a species for the entire five-year period (starting at $500), your name — or the name of someone you wish to honor — will be associated with that species in all Atlas forthcoming publications and in the final print- and web-based versions of the Breeding Bird Atlas. Various “tiers” of sponsorships are available; the rarest and most iconic bird species can be sponsored at higher levels. We make the program user-friendly, as well. You can pay sponsorships in installments over the remaining three years of the Atlas.

Sponsor a species online today at, or by contacting Charlie Luthin at