Bird City Americas is modeled after Bird City Wisconsin. Bird City Wisconsin came into being during a 2003 meeting of the Urban Habitat Committee of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI).

The idea, which is modeled on the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA, was created by a coalition of Wisconsin conservation and birding organizations to ensure that Wisconsin’s urban residents maintain healthy populations of birds and grow an appreciation for them.

The Bird City Wisconsin mission is to encourage all communities in Wisconsin to implement sound bird-conservation practices by offering public recognition to those that succeed in (a) enhancing the environment for birds and (b) educating the public about the interactions between birds and people and about the contributions birds make to a healthy community. Bird City Wisconsin encourages cities to become Bird Cities in order to increase community pride, better financial stability and further connect people with their surrounding environment and birds. Since its foundation in 2003, Wisconsin has acknowledged 110 cities for their contributions to bird conservation.

Bird City Americas is the next project set to encourage cities to become more bird-friendly and educate people on bird conservation. It will continue and expand upon the work of Bird City Wisconsin.