The University of Wisconsin Press

Ornithology / Art / Wildlife


Birds of Wisconsin
Revised Edition
Owen J. Gromme
With an Introduction by Samuel D. Robbins Jr.

A beloved classic back in print

Art lovers and bird watchers, rejoice! Owen J. Gromme's classic Birds of Wisconsin comes to life again in a splendid new edition with completely rephotographed color plates and a new introduction by well-known ornithologist Samuel D. Robbins Jr. This stunning revised edition features eighty-nine full-color portraits depicting the state's rich variety of native species and seventeen new paintings showing birds in their natural habitat.

Bird watcher, ornithologist, or curious observer will find information here valuable in identifying birds accurately. When, where, and how abundantly each bird is present in Wisconsin is indicated with easy-to-read maps and datelines, updated by Robbins.

This widely praised book is published in cooperation with the Milwaukee Public Museum, where Gromme worked as curator of birds and mammals for more than forty years. Gromme, who was born in 1896 and died in 1991, began Birds of Wisconsin in 1941. The book was finally published in 1963 and has since become a must for bird lovers everywhere. Nationally recognized as a pioneer in conservation and the dean of wildlife artists, Gromme was the recipient of numerous awards and honors during his lifetime. Among his accomplishments, Gromme painted the 1945 federal duck stamp as well as the first Wisconsin duck stamp in 1978.

"I grew up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and I never had much of an education. Most of what I know came from first-hand experience. As a kid my feet were always wet from trompin' the marshes. The birds were there, building their nests, laying their eggs and raising their young. My first bird skin was done with a little knife my dad and I had made from an old file. I hung around every one I knew who could tell me about the birds and their habitat. When I realized that the number of eggs was gradually diminishing I wondered what was going on? So my life's course was pretty well determined by the time I was fourteen.... Ornithology, taxidermy, conservation—it was all there in just about everything I did. That's what I built on during my years at the Museum. That's the foundation for every picture I painted."—Owen J. Gromme. [These are words as remembered by his daughter, Anne Marie Gromme.]

Samuel D. Robbins Jr. was an active leader of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology for fifty years. He is the author of Wisconsin Birdlife: Population and Distribution Past and Present, the companion volume to Birds of Wisconsin, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

cover of Birds of Wisconsin is of several geese flying at sunset.

November 1998

240 pp.   9 x 12
105 color illus.

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"The author has a deep feeling for his subjects, a clean line and sound sense of color. This is altogether a pleasing book."
Scientific American

"Sumptuously illustrated."
New York Times

"Birds of Wisconsin is a beauty to behold."
Milwaukee Journal

"Gromme's book is certainly an ornithological art treasure. It is quite in a class by itself, and it ought to be on the shelves of every bird lover in Wisconsin."
— August Derleth

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Updated 12/15/2014

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