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Migratory and Resident Avifauna Study/Collision Abatement

Migratory birds

The Milwaukee County Zoo is recognized as a migratory bird stopover habitat by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Since 2001, Zoo staff and volunteers have been mist-netting and banding wild birds on Zoo grounds to determine the numbers and species of wild birds that use our grounds as a stopover site during migration.

We have identified 172 species of native migratory birds that use our grounds as a stopover site. Of the identified species, 27 species are listed as rare, threatened or of special concern in Wisconsin. We have identified 42 species that nest on Zoo grounds. Visitors can view migratory birds at the many different types of bird feeders placed throughout the Zoo, or at the Zoo’s Birds Without Borders boardwalk.

The Zoo conducts bird-banding demonstrations during its annual Earth Day event, Party for the Planet. Visitors have the opportunity to observe the bird banding process and release birds.

Zoo staff and volunteers work hard to minimize injury and mortality associated with bird window collisions. Existing structures are actively monitored and modified to help mitigate strikes. By applying stencils, striping, silhouettes, decals, netting and better planting practices, bird window collisions are greatly reduced.