Bird City Wisconsin

South Milwaukee is a healthy community for birds… and people

June, 2019 – Bird City Wisconsin has named South Milwaukee a Bird City for the second time! 

The City of South Milwaukee is committed to making our community healthy for birds and people and is proud to be a designated Bird City Wisconsin. The City is part of an important migratory flyway, and also provides vital nesting habitat for many species. Lake Michigan, the Oak Creek Parkway, Grant Park, the Mill Pond, and perhaps even your backyard are all appreciated by people and birds alike. If you are interested in better understanding our feathered friends, improving their habitat, or becoming involved with groups that commit to these endeavors, visit these partnering organizations:

Friends of Grant Park

Friends of the Mill Pond & Oak Creek Watercourse

Wisconsin Metro Audubon Society

Wisconsin Society for Ornithology (WSO)

Bird City Wisconsin

The City of South Milwaukee encourages its residents to live a bird-friendly life by:

Keeping Cats Indoors
Cats are great pets. And they are a better and safer pet when kept indoors. Domestic cats are a threat to birds and other wildlife and have contributed to the extinction of 33 species of birds worldwide. Learn how to protect wildlife from cats.

Stopping Birds from Hitting Windows
It is estimated that up to a billion birds die each year in the United States when they hit glass windows, walls, and other structures, making this threat one of the most costly to bird populations. Odds are that sooner or later, your windows will kill a bird. Learn how to prevent window strikes.

Creating inviting Backyard Habitat
Learn to attract birds in your own yards. Plant native plants and trees, provide water features, construct nesting boxes, and more. Learn what birds need to thrive in your yard.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, May 11, 2019 – South Milwaukee Middle School Native Plant Sale takes place each year the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Native plants provide food and habitat for native birds. The sale also has a good variety of herbs and vegetables. Plants make lovely Mother’s Day gifts! Prices start as low as $1 for 2.5” pots. In front of South Milwaukee Middle School, 1001 15th Av, South Milwaukee. Details will be available at closer to the sale date. To place a pre-sale order or for details, contact Chris Bosetti at 766-5890 or

Sunday, April 28 – Sunday, May 26, 2019 Friends of Grant Park’s Warbler Walks are each Sunday from April 28 to May 26 (weather permitting). Meet at 8:00 am at the Wil-O-Way (northern) entrance of Grant Park and look for the folks with binoculars. Bring your binoculars and wear comfortable (maybe even waterproof) walking shoes. The group typically starts in Grant Park, but if the birding is good, we may continue to Warnimont and Sheridan Parks too. All knowledge levels are welcome. We will look for and document all species of birds, but the month of May is known for being the month of warblers of which more than 30 species might be found in Grant Park. This is a fun and family-friendly event. (

Sunday December 15, 2019
The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an annual citizen science bird census conducted every year throughout the country by the National Audubon Society. Each CBC “circle” picks one day where citizen scientists go out and identify and count every single bird they see. The population data collected is important for the scientific understanding of bird conservation. South Milwaukee’s most knowledgeable and enthusiastic birders count the birds in and around the city. We start before sunrise and end after sunset, with a stop mid-day for lunch and camaraderie. Knowledgeable birders are always needed. Beginning birders are welcomed to join, as we will pair you with more knowledgeable folks. If you have the interest and stamina for a long day of winter birding, please join us. It’s fun! We promise! Call Rita Wiskowski at (414) 766-0760 or email her at for more information.

The Piping Plover

The banner photo (above) was taken on Grant Park Beach in South Milwaukee. This tiny and super cute bird is a Piping Plover. The Piping Plover is endangered because it prefers sandy beaches to build its nest – the same habitat that is preferred by humans for summer fun. The good news is there are current successful initiatives in place to provide this tiny shorebird protected nesting habitat. Scientists then band the chicks so that when we find them on Grant Park Beach during their migration, we can read their leg bands and report the findings to scientists working to protect them. Reporting a banded bird provides crucial scientific data, and in return, the reporter will receive information on the individual bird (age/sex/where they were hatched). To find out more click here.

The photo below is a chestnut-sided warbler. It is one of many species of warblers that migrate through our area in spring and fall.