The Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory hosted a dedication ceremony for the hawk watch platform at the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust's Forest Beach Migratory Preserve (FBMP) in northeastern Ozaukee County on Sunday, October 9. The platform, constructed in late 2010, was dedicated to the life of Bill Cowart, a devoted raptor enthusiast and a fabulous musician with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, who passed away this spring. The ceremony was co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Audubon Society, Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust.
About 45 of Bill's friends and relatives gathered to celebrate Bill's life and to share some of their thoughts on a beautiful, warm afternoon, the type of fall day that Bill would have hated because the day's southerly wind flow did not favor migrating hawks along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Bill's sister shared an eloquent and emotional letter from Bill's son. A special visitor to the ceremony was a Red-tailed Hawk brought by Sarah from the Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The ceremony concluded with Bill's wife, Connie Collopy, unveiling the bronze plaque that is now permanently affixed to the platform.