Ever wonder who reviews all those flagged records behind the scenes? The Wisconsin eBird team consist of 20+ volunteers with a diverse set of backgrounds and specialties. We’ve grown considerably over the years–incorporating more local reviewers. Check out the map to see who reviews birds in your area. Read on to learn more about this dedicated group of volunteers.
Nick Anich is a conservation biologist
for the Wisconsin DNR, currently serving as the coordinator for Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II. If, for some strange reason, you are eBirding but not participating in the atlas yet, head to the website and check it out — we need all the help we can get Nick lives in Ashland with his wife Paula, and three children. He has also been involved with research on Kirtland’s Warblers and Wisconsin’s resident boreal bird species. He is one of the WI eBird Team leaders, producing content for the WI eBird webpage, editing filters, and primarily reviewing for the northern counties (Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas, Iron, Price, and Sawyer).
Steve Betchkal has been nominated for 18 Emmys, and is the only journalist in the history of Eau Claire TV to win an Emmy (4 total to date) and an Edward R. Murrow Award for news writing. He has produced more than 350 stories about birds and travel for TV and print.
He is the author of All of This & Robins Too: a Guide to the 50 or So Best Places to Find Birds in Wisconsin, Make Birds Not War, The Giant Who Knew All About Everything, & Cat Tales. His fifth book –published by Sandhill Crane Press — is due out in 2017.
An ornithologist and dedicated environmentalist who is fluent in bird – Steve is a veteran of 5 of Wisconsin’s 92 Breeding Bird Surveys, has hiked/camped/backpacked/traveled 46 U.S. states, Mexico, St. Lucia, Costa Rica, 43 National Forests, 78 National Wildlife Refuges, 64 National Parks, & 4 Canadian provinces in pursuit of wild birds.
He is the designer and writer of the Hubbard Scientific Industries Bio2 “Inflatable Pigeon” classroom resource, contributor to John Feith’s “Birds, Birds, Birds: An Indoor Birdwatching Field Trip,” the producer of WSO’s Bird TV, and the President of the 13 county Gaylord Nelson Audubon chapter.
It took him 34 years to finally meet his favorite bird – a Swallow-tailed Kite – in South Carolina in 2003.
Dan Belter Dan Belter is the guru of Marathon County, where he has been birding for over 26 years. Dan served a 5-year term on the WSO records committee and has been been a member for the last 25 years. Dan is currently attending Northcentral Technical College in the Accounting program after 20 years of employment at a local paper mill. Regardless of where Dan ends up, he knows that at least there will be birds.
Ryan Brady is a research scientist with the Wisconsin DNR in Ashland, where he serves as the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative Bird Monitoring Coordinator and Science Coordinator for Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II. Former chair of the WSO Records Committee, Ryan assists review of northern Wisconsin eBird records, enters second-hand rarities via the WIadmin account, and contributes content for the WI eBird front page on snowy owls, winter finches, and more.
Cynthia Bridge is the current hotspot reviewer for Wisconsin eBird and compiles the Wisconsin eBird Hotspot of the Month articles. Before her current career as a speech language pathologist, Cynthia worked for The Institute for Bird Populations as a seasonal supervising field biologist for the MAPS banding program and conducted other bird banding and point count surveys for various organizations . A native Yooper, when she is not working or birding in Wisconsin, she spends her time in the remote Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan where she enjoys nature photography, birding, agate hunting and hiking along the pristine shores of Lake Superior.
Aaron Boone is a lifelong birder and avian ecologist from Beloit, Wisconsin who has recently relocated to South Texas. Aaron grew up in the state line area and spent many days of his youth tromping around the Sugar River corridor (still no Yellow-crowned Night-Heron!). Aaron served as the project coordinator for Ohio’s second breeding bird atlas, which has recently been published, and he has been thrilled to be involved with Wisconsin’s follow-up breeding bird atlas effort. An avid eBirder for many years, Aaron continues to assist with data review in Rock, Green, and Lafayette counties.
Sean Fitzgerald is an avian ecologist working in the environmental consulting business. Sean has traveled widely and conducted avian work all over the country. An “ex-pat” of southeastern Wisconsin, Sean now lives in central Arizona with his wife and two kids. An avid eBird user since 2005, Sean has assisted with the development of filters and review in southern India, Illinois, and also currently assists with review in Maricopa County, Arizona. Sean’s role in Wisconsin eBird is that of “data quality guru”.
Aaron Holschbach is the current reviewer for Sauk, Iowa, and Richland Counties. Aaron grew up in Manitowoc county where he watched and banded birds with his father. He worked as a paid Atlaser for the first Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas, and is the Sauk County Coordinator for WBBAII. For the past 15 years he has worked in Sauk county, where he has done the majority of his birding, and he currently lives in Dane county with his wife and daughter.
Eric Howe is a reviewer for Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth counties. He serves on the board of the Hoy Audubon Society (hoyaudubon.org) and the Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund (chiwaukee.org). At Chiwaukee, he volunteers to locate and document uncommon native plants and enjoys birding while monitoring/removing invasive plants. Eric coordinates the Racine and Palmyra CBCs and runs the Paris and Raymond BBS routes. He is also an atlaser and Racine county coordinator for the WBBA II. Eric’s interest in birding began in the mid-90s soon after joining Hoy (thanks to several mentors) and has developed over the years into a passion he now shares with his wife (who has a talent for spotting uncommon doves). They enjoy birding new regions but also love birding locally.
Myles Hurlburt has been birding seriously for the last 8 years, primarily in Marathon County. He caught the “birder” bug from Dan Belter. Myles is a Marathon County ebird reviewer. He attended his first WSO Convention in Ashland and is the captain of the Wausau BirdNerds, Birdathon team, (Great Fun for a Great cause). Myles lives in Marathon County, but works in Portage County, so he gets to Buena Vista Grasslands when he can. Birding also inspired him to learn photography. What a beautiful way to enjoy nature.
Ted Keyel grew up birding in Racine, continued his birding education in Stevens Point, worked as a migrant science worker during the summers and after graduating, continued to work as a migrant science worker until entering graduate school in Duluth. After finishing his studies on mercury accumulation in fall migrant birds of prey, he returned to being a migrant science work since he still don’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. When he can, he enjoys photographing birds, auroras and whatever else he can find.
Robin Maercklein worked for 21 years with the National Park Service, most recently as a biologist at St. Croix National Scenic Riverway where he conducted breeding bird surveys for 19 years. Birding has always been his passion and he began combing the woods and fields for birds near his Rice Lake home at the age of 14. Retiring in 2012, Robin lives in Balsam Lake Township in Polk County where he participates in numerous surveys with Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, is the Polk County Coordinator for Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas, and is the compiler for the Luck and Rice Lake Christmas Bird Counts. Robin is the primary reviewer for the Northwest Transition which includes the counties of Barron, Burnett, Polk, St. Croix and Washburn.
for Outagamie & Winnebago Counties. An exiled Brit in firstly Appleton and now Neenah, since 2011. He gets strange looks for replying to the question “are you looking at the Eagles?” with “no, the Gulls” (it must be the accent). He has submitted an ebird checklist in over 50 countries worldwide and on every continent (except Antartica). Currently President of the Northeast Wisconsin Birding Club, and WI Breeding Atlas County Coordinator for Outagamie & Winnebago Counties. Love birding in the age of ebird and digiscoping. Takes lots of photos of Gulls & Shorebirds.
Nancy Richmond lives in Rhinelander and reviews eBird observations for Langlade, Lincoln, Menominee, Shawano and Oneida Counties. She is active in avian citizen science projects including Western Great Lakes Owl Survey, Christmas Bird Count, Midwest Crane Count, Wisconsin Red Shouldered Hawk Survey, USGS Breeding Bird Survey and Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II.
Her favorite bird is the one she’s looking at. Favorite bird song– Winter Wren always brings a big smile though Ruby-Crowned Kinglet’s oversized song is a close second.
Andrea Szymczak primarily reviews Jefferson, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha Counties and is working on the filter settings for the Wisconsin-North region. She was the Spring Field Note compiler for the WSO Passenger Pigeon 2009-2013. Andrea leads the biennial WSO Field Trip to the Southern Kettle Moraine. She coordinates the Milwaukee CBC and also runs the Couderay and Weirgor Springs BBS routes. Andrea has studied extensively the population, and specifically the songs, of Hooded Warblers in the South Kettle Moraine State Forest (SKMSF).
Jason Thiele is the regional reviewer for Grant and Crawford counties. Growing up in NE Nebraska, Jason taught himself to identify most of the birds and other wildlife around his family’s farm. However, not until his final year at the U of Nebraska – Lincoln (BS in Fisheries and Wildlife) did he begin birding as a hobby (and, yes, he remains a faithful Husker fan despite the beatings they have taken from the Badgers since joining the Big 10). Since then, he has worked for several agencies conducting research and monitoring of a variety of avifauna, including songbirds, shorebirds, and raptors. He earned his MS in Biological Sciences from South Dakota State University in 2012, where he studied the distribution and habitat selection of Burrowing Owls. He moved to Cassville, WI in 2012 after accepting a job at Eagle Valley Nature Preserve in western Grant County. After getting married in May 2016, Jason now resides in Mooresville, NC and works as an Environmental Specialist for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services. He enjoys birding a new region but still closely follows what’s happening in the Midwest.
Joel Trick worked as a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Green Bay, Wisconsin Field Office for over 20 years prior to his retirement in 2012. He birds in various areas of the state but concentrates on his home county of Manitowoc, and especially within his local patch. For the past few years, his primary focus in birding has been working on the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas. Joel is the primary reviewer for Manitowoc, Kewaunee and Calumet Counties.
Jenny Wenzel has lived her entire life in Wisconsin and has always been interested in nature, wildlife, and the outdoors. Highlights of her north woods summer vacations growing up were always seeing animals and birds, including Bald Eagles nesting, deer, an occasional bear, and getting brief glimpses of Pileated Woodpeckers while out fishing or hiking. At night, listening to Whip-poor-wills and Barred Owls calling while sitting by the campfire was (and still is) always a treat.
She has also always enjoyed feeding backyard birds but was turned on to ‘birding’ as a hobby by a beginning birder warbler walk she saw advertised by the Hoy Audubon Society at the local bird food store in 2007. She quickly made lots of new friends and was hooked on birding! She has since become active in the Hoy Audubon Society and the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and currently serves on the board of directors for both organizations.
Jenny has observed 342 species of birds in Wisconsin and her favorite bird is the Pileated Woodpecker. She has travelled to Costa Rica and Peru on birding trips and in the US has visited Texas, Arizona, and Washington for birding trips with her friends friends.
Jenny lives with her husband in Caledonia. She has been married for 19 years. Jenny and her husband David also monitor a 20 box bluebird trail at the South Hills Golf Course in Racine Co. and still vacation up to Marinette County each summer. She is employed as an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Hand Therapist, working for Aurora Health Care. When I’m not birding, she and David enjoy gardening, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and spending time with family as well as with our furry family of dogs and cats.