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)

October 8, 2017

Special Event: BIG SIT

NOTE - We are moving the Bit Sit back to Sunday 10/8 due to the forecasted rain on 10/7.

The Goss Bird Club joins with birders from around the world as we participate in The Big Sit! The Sit, an event started and sponsored by Bird Watchers Digest, takes place the first full weekend in October each year. The idea is to see as many species as you can from a 17' diameter circle in a 24 hour period.

Our local event will take place at Retzer Nature Center on the south facing slope of the hill, just south of the main building. Birders will arrive before first light to listen for nocturnal birds such as owls, American Woodcock. A flury of activity will take place just as the sun comes up with robins, bluebirds and waxwings heading out to scour for breakfast. Throughout the day, birds will continue to fly past our circle, including hawks and vultures who take advantage of the late-day thermals. And as much as The Big Sit! is about birds, a full day of birding provides ample time for socialization with birders in our group and visitors to the nature center.

During our innaguarl Big Sit in 2015 we tallied 37 species, and we beat that with 39 species in 2016. This year we hope to break 40. Join us in our count circle throughout the day to have fun adding species to our list!

For more info about the Big Sit sponsored by Bird Watcher's Digest, click HERE.

October 15, 2017


Speaker: TBA

November 19, 2017

Start time 6:45 PM

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

American Bird Conservancy was born in 1994, based on the need founder, George Fenwick, saw for a fearless bird conservation group — one that wasn't afraid to take on difficult issues facing the birds of the Americas. Choosing the small but feisty hummingbird as its symbol, ABC has gone on to 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 Tim Hahn (

January 21, 2018


Program: TBA
Speaker: TBA

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.