Bird City Wisconsin has announced the hiring of Charles Hagner as its new director.
Hagner, a Wisconsin native, is a writer and editor specializing in birds, birding, and conservation and is the Board Chair of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, Inc. He was the editor-in-chief of nationally distributed BirdWatching magazine from 2001 to 2017.
He succeeds Dr. Bryan Lenz, who served as the Bird City’s director since 2014. Lenz is leaving to become the Bird Collisions Campaign Manager with the American Bird Conservancy, a non-profit organization that works to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.
“Editing a magazine devoted to wild birds and birding presented ample opportunities to study not only the myriad challenges faced by birds but also the many innovative, effective ways we all can help them. Bird City is one of the best,” says Hagner. “I’m excited to get to work for Wisconsin’s birds.”
Bird City was created in 2009. A program of the Milwaukee Audubon Society, it recognizes Wisconsin municipalities for the conservation and education activities that they undertake to make their communities healthy for birds... and people.
To be recognized as a Bird City, a community must meet criteria spread across six categories: habitat creation and protection, community forest management, limiting threats to birds, education, energy and sustainability, and the official recognition and celebration of World Migratory Bird Day (formerly International Migratory Bird Day).
Bird City also offers High Flyer recognition for communities that go above and beyond in their conservation and education programs. To become a High Flyer, a community must meet additional, and more involved, criteria.
To date, 109 Wisconsin communities have been recognized as a Bird City, while 23 communities have qualified for High Flyer status.