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.


We once again have a fantastic list of speakers for our 2017-2018 club season,
and several great special events.
As always, our 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)

November 19, 2017

6:45 PM

Program: The American Bird Conservancy
Speaker: Shawn Graff - ABC Vice President for the Great Lakes Region

We welcome Shawn Graff from the American Bird Conservancy to share his experiences working to help birds with the ABC. He will also share ideas of how we can help save the birds in our daily lives.

Their mission is clear - to conserve native birds and their habitats across the Americas. Born in 1994 out of a need for a fearless bird conservation group, the American Bird Conservancy has not been afraid to take on difficult issues facing the birds of the Americas.

The ABC promotes conservation and educates concerned citizens on the simple steps they can take to help birds. With the small but feisty hummingbird as its symbol, the ABC has become known for its results, and ability to leverage still great accomplishments through partnerships.

Refreshments are served at 6:45. Presentation starts at 7:00.

December 16, 2017


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 21, 2018


Program: The Island Refuges
Speaker: Sadie O'Dell
Lead Biologist for the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge 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 still protect 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.

February 18, 2018


Program: Wildlife Management in Wisconsin
Speaker: Diane Robinson - Wildlife Biologist for the Wisconsin DNR

March 18, 2018


Program: Bio Blitz - A 24 Hour Nature Party
Speaker: Ellen Censky - Milwaukee Public Museum
Senior Vice President, Academic Dean

April 15, 2018


Program: TBA
Speaker: DTBA

May 12, 2018

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. To join the count, check in with Spence to see which sections need help.