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Former BirdWatching editor tapped to head Bird City Wisconsin

Chuck Hagner
Chuck Hagner, photo by Lila Aryan Photography

Chuck Hagner, the former editor of BirdWatching magazine and, was recently named the director of Bird City Wisconsin.

Bird City, a program of the Milwaukee Audubon Society that was established in 2009, recognizes Wisconsin municipalities for the conservation and education activities that they undertake to make their communities healthy for birds and people. To date, 109 Wisconsin communities have been recognized as a Bird City, while 23 communities have qualified for High Flyer status.

Hagner, a Wisconsin native, is a writer and editor specializing in birds, birding, and conservation and the Board Chair of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, located in Port Washington. He was the editor-in-chief of BirdWatching from 2001 to 2017.

Hagner succeeds Bryan Lenz, who served as Bird City’s director since 2014. He 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.”

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.

The organization has also fostered similar programs in other states, including Bird City Minnesota, Bird Town Indiana, and others.

Congratulations to Chuck — and to Bird City Wisconsin in its selection of an inspiring new leader! — Matt Mendenhall, Editor

BirdWatching articles written by Chuck Hagner:

Seabirds by sail in the Gulf of Maine


Subarctic treasure: The Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Copper Mountain: Michigan’s hawk mountain

Birding Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira NWR in Kansas

Birding and gorilla tracking in Uganda in East Africa

Birdwatching at the Copper River Delta in Alaska



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