Conservation Manager, Bill Flanagan, will give an overview of the John Ball Zoo's involvement in bird conservation. The Zoo has helped with field work for Piping Plovers and Kirtland's Warblers and runs one of the oldest and most successful Magellanic Penguin breeding programs. Recent efforts include building a brand new Snowy Owl exhibit and installing a Motus tower for collecting valuable data on bird migration. The John Ball Zoo is dedicating at least 51% of its conservation efforts to Great Lakes projects and is planning to develop a project that protects and preserves bird habitat in West Michigan.
Bill's background has primarily been working with reptiles, amphibians, and primates. As a Conservation Manager, Bill is eager to learn more about other taxa, especially birds. He is a novice birder but has been actively trying to develop his skills and has been lurking on eBird. This year he was thrilled to see his first wild Snowy Owl and to spend a day assisting with the Kirtland's Warbler census. His life list is just over 300 birds but he has 230 species in 2021.