The Jackson County Bird Club, which was formed in 1986, is a busy organization tasked with keeping a watchful eye on the many bird populations in Jackson County.

The club was formed by Tim Risch, a new resident of Jackson County who had formerly been a member of the Clark County Bird Club.

He initially gathered a few members that eventually turned into many as people learned of the new association.

The aim of the club is to learn more about birds, their habitat and all the latest news, both local and nationwide. A big part of the association was being able to meet people who also share the love of birds and were willing to share their knowledge with others.

The Jackson County Bird Club coordinates the annual Jackson County Christmas Bird Count, which is sponsored by the Audubon society. This is held in every state at Christmas to keep track of the numbers and varieties of birds, and the changes made in numbers and species during the previous year.

Along the Jackson County Bluebird Trail, 412 nest boxes are monitored by members and reports are provided to the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin every year.

The club also sponsors two osprey nest platforms that were erected in Jackson County to help increase the number of ospreys, which are in decline.

The club coordinates the annual Midwest crane count for Jackson County, held every spring in the upper Midwest sponsored by the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo.

The club also contributes to the Central American Bird Sanctuaries, which help to preserve tropical migratory birds who breed in Wisconsin, but winter in Central America. They also support the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology, the Natural Resources Foundation, the Raptor Education Program and The Whooping Crane Cooperation Migration Program.

Members receive a monthly newsletter with the latest news in the birding world.

Dues are $15 per household and meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month at the Jackson County Bank Community Room from 2-4 p.m. Each meeting concludes with a speaker or a video about birds, sometimes both. Guests are always welcome, but if you would like more information on being a member, contact Darrel Eberhardt at 715-963-4775, or any bird club member.

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