Studying this species and documenting its distribution was one of the highlights of the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas. According to Sam Robbins' Wisconsin Birdlife, nesting of this northern sprite in Wisconsin had not been confirmed although Sam was sure that it did. Just take a look at the species map showing the Atlas data. Breeding confirmation was achieved in more than 10% of the state's quads! The golden-crowned is but one example of the importance of doing the WBBA project. As some of you know, the manuscript for the WBBA book was delivered to UW-Press on April 30, and hopefully the finished product will hit the market around this time next year.
During a BBS, one is fortunate to hear a single golden-crowned; the Crystal Falls route produced 2 singing birds. Its song is quite high pitched and is difficult to hear by many birders. Just as with Brown Creeper (3 singing birds on this route - 2 at a single stop), its song is often lost in the background of all of the other songs.
BBS results show that the golden-crowned has increased 1.6% annually in MI and 1.9% in WI since 1980. However, the picture is not as rosy everywhere - it has declined annually at a 1.5% clip in the US and at a 1.0% rate in Canada over this same time period. The declines also are occurring in the states and provinces where the golden-crowned appears most abundantly on BBS routes - Washington and Oregon, and British Columbia and Quebec.