Benjamin F. Goss Bird Club
Waukesha, WI

The Benjamin F. Goss Bird Club was founded to increase knowledge and appreciation of birds through education, research, preservation and conservation, and to provide public awareness of birds and their role in the environment - all of which remains our goal and purpose to this day.


All events are open to the general public.

Unless otherwise noted, events are held Retzer Nature Center, S14 W28167 Madison Street, Waukesha
(Retzer Nature Center is located about 4 miles west of Waukesha, near the end of Madison Street)

Goss Club Facebook Page
Facebook Discussion Group

December 15, 2018


In place of our normal Sunday meeting, the club will conduct the annual Waukesha Christmas Bird Count. The CBC is a nationwide activity coordinated by the National Audubon Society that has been conducted for over 100 years and is the longest running citizen science survey in the world. The Christmas Bird Count provides critical data allowing experts to track trends in bird populations over time. Local results will be reported to the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology and National Audubon Society to be pooled with other counts throughout the state and all across our nation.

The Waukesha Count is conducted within a circle that encompasses a 7.5-mile radius centered at the intersection of Hwy D and Brookhill Road in Waukesha, near Wern Farms. The 15-mile diameter circle is divided into eight sections: from School Section Lake on the west, to the Speedway gas Station at Sunset & Hwy 59 on the east, and the middle of Pewaukee Lake on the north edge, down to Lower Phantom Lake on the south.

If you are interested in joining us for the CBC, please email Don Reel (

January 20, 2019


Program: The Recovery, Management, and Future of Wisconsin's Peregrines
Speaker: Greg Septon

Peregrine Falcon recovery efforts have been ongoing in Wisconsin since 1987. Septon will discuss recovery methods and approaches utilized in the creation of an urban nesting population along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Additionally Septon will detail nest box designs, urban nest site management issues and resolutions, band returns, dispersal of hacked and wild-produced falcons, nesting chronology, prey species, overwintering, environmental contaminants and the role of electric power generating plants in the recovery of the population. The reoccupation of historical cliff eyries along the Mississippi River, Devils Lake and the Door Peninsula will also be covered. And finally, we’ll take a look at what the future may hold for the Peregrine Falcon in Wisconsin.

For the past 32 years Greg Septon has directed and managed a successful and expanding urban peregrine falcon recovery effort in Wisconsin and has banded over 1,100 wild-produced peregrines. Working in conjunction with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Office of International Affairs, he also implemented an urban Peregrine Falcon recovery program in Russia and was involved with initiating a similar program in Poland.

In 2014, he received the Noel J. Cutright Conservation Award from the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to bird conservation in Wisconsin and was presented for his work with endangered and threatened species.

Refreshments are served at 6:45. Presentation starts at 7:00 with a business meeting to follow.

February 17, 2019


Program: The Walk to Save Our Great Lakes
Speaker: Julia Robson & Alyssa Armbruster

The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system on the planet. They provide a vital resource to more than 35 million people who depend on them everyday for drinking water, an economy that generates $4.6 trillion per year, provide over 2 million jobs, as well as habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species. With 20% of the world’s freshwater supply, the Great Lakes can seem infinite, but in reality, water is a finite resource.

The objective of the “Walk to Sustain Our Great Lakes” is to raise awareness for the Great Lakes and freshwater conservation. In spite of their majesty, the Great Lakes are a fragile ecosystem and face serious threats from pollution, invasive species, climate change, and degradation and loss of wetlands. The need for regulation, research, restoration and education on local, statewide and national levels is imperative now more than ever. We all have a stake in what happens to our natural resources; a stake in the future of these streams, rivers, lakes and Great Lakes.

Refreshments are served at 6:45. Presentation starts at 7:00 with a business meeting to follow.

March 17, 2019


Program: The Island Refuges
Speaker: Sadie O'Dell - Wildlife Biologist with the Horicon NWR Complex

Green Bay and Gravel Island National Wildlife Refuges were preserved over 100 years ago as breeding grounds for water birds. Today these refuge islands remain as critical habitat for native birds and endangered species in the Great Lakes Basin.

Sadie O’Dell will discuss the birds and other wildlife found during survey efforts, past research projects, habitat management, and public use opportunities. She will also provide information on what is planned for the coming year and how people can get involved.

Sadie will also give a brief overview of Horicon NWR focusing on management strategies and challenges the marsh faces. A Habitat Management Plan was recently completed for the marsh, and Sadie will describe the planning process, highlight bird species selected as resources of concern, and demonstrate how that will help guide future management and monitoring programs on the refuge.

O’Dell is the lead biologist for Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Complex which includes Horicon, Fox River, Green Bay and Gravel Island National Wildlife Refuges and the Leopold Wetland Management District. A graduate of UW-Stevens Point, she has been a biologist with the USFWS and stationed at Horicon NWR for 11 years.

Refreshments are served at 6:45. Presentation starts at 7:00 with a business meeting to follow.

April 14, 2019

Program: TBA
Speaker: TBA

Refreshments are served at 6:45. Presentation starts at 7:00 with a business meeting to follow.

May 11, 2019

Special Event: MAY COUNT

Our May Count is conducted within the same circle as our CBC. The count is conducted as a 24 hour event, from midnight to midnight, finding as many species as possible.

If you are interested in joining us for the May Count, please email Don Reel (