Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival
October 17 thru 22, 2017 (main session) and December 8 thru 10, 2017 (WOW Encore session)
A camera was the introduction Lena Gallitano needed to begin watching birds in the early 1970’s. Taking pictures of birds out the window during a cold and snowy Chicago winter led to the purchase of a field guide to identify the birds she saw and her fascination with birds began in earnest. Since then, she has sought out birds across the country and in remote locales around the world while continuing to enjoy the birds in North Carolina and her own backyard. After moving back to North Carolina in the 1980’s, birding led Lena to become active in the local Wake Audubon chapter as well as Audubon NC. After retiring from NC State University, she dedicated time to help develop the N.C. Birding Trail and continues to promote it at every opportunity. She has been involved in many state and local projects that focus on providing and protecting habitats on which birds depend.
Her volunteer work received nationwide attention in 2013 when the National Audubon Society recognized her with its William Dutcher Award for supporting the Audubon mission “to protect birds, other wildlife and their habitat”. The News & Observer recognized her as “Tar Heel of the Week” on September 1, 2013 where she is quoted as saying “I couldn’t be a birder without also being an environmentalist.”
Lena continues to work to share her love of birds with others. From children to adults, bird watching is more popular than most people realize. In Birding 101, Lena will share some helpful tips that can make bird watching a rewarding hobby to last a lifetime whether in your own backyard or beyond.
Aaron McCall graduated Cum Laude from Old Dominion University in 2000 with a Bachelors of Science. He began working for The Nature Conservancy as an intern in 1999 and was hired full-time in 2000 as the preserve steward. In 2005, Aaron was promoted to his current position as Northeast Region Steward where he currently works on projects throughout the Northeastern region of North Carolina.
Peggy Eubank moved to the Outer Banks in 1971. She began birding seriously in 2002. She has been working hard to make up for lost time ever since, having birded in Texas, Florida and California. Peggy has volunteered at the Pea Island/Alligator River Refuges for several years. She has led bird walks at both, but can usually be found volunteering at the Pea Island Visitor Center on Fridays. She has been leading Wings Over Water birding trips since 2010.
When I was young and living on a farm with my family in Virginia I would rise in the mornings before anyone else and cross the pastures either on foot or horseback to go wandering through the woods; loving the quiet, the smells and the animals I encountered. It was the most beautiful and peaceful times I remember. As often happens, life moved me in other directions. I have 16 years combined experience as a Hospice and Home Health Nurse and as a Patient Advocate. I served in various roles at Riverside Walter Reed Hospice, Bon Secours Hospice in Richmond Va., Dare County Home Health and Hospice and the Patient Advocate Foundation, including Clinical Case Manager, Nurse Manager, Quality Assurance Officer, and Director of the Patient Advocate Foundation North Carolina Office. Finally reconnecting with my love of the outdoors and wildlife and discovering an enthusiasm for wildlife photography, I became first a refuge wanderer, observing wildlife and taking advantage of photo opportunities and soon after a refuge volunteer. After serving two years as a board member for the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society and eventually parting from the field of nursing, I accepted the position of Volunteer Coordinator for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges. I am responsible for the over-sight of Volunteers and Interns for both refuges. Once again, I am wandering the woods and enjoying all the wonders these beautiful refuges have to offer, and I love leading others through the refuge to show them where the critters are in hopes of getting some great pictures!
Susan Campbell has been involved in Wings Over Water since its inception. She is a wildlife biologist who, among other things, works with both the State Museum of Natural Sciences and NC State Parks. Over the years Susan has become more involved with the festival. She began as a driver/leader for the
excursions out on Cape Point and at Hatteras Inlet. But Susan has also led workshops and trips at Pea Island and in Nags Head as well. She is also on the Steering Committee, helping to plan the birding trips as well as coordinate the Keynote Speakers on behalf of the Carolina Bird Club. Although she is most well-known for her hummingbird banding activities, Susan has a real love of waterfowl. The recent addition of a tram tour at Mattamuskeet has given her a wonderful opportunity to share her knowledge of ducks as well as other waterbirds. Each year Susan looks forward to meeting new people and sharing her love of birds during the week of WOW.
Mark Buckler is an acclaimed professional photographer based on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. His workshops and photo tours offered locally and across the country, are highly sought-after and are enhanced by Mark's experiences as a wildlife biologist and educator. His images are widely published and are displayed in several art galleries. You can learn more about Mark Buckler, view his photography and learn about the workshops he offers at his website www.bucklerphoto.com
I have been birding for more than 50 years, and have been a WOW leader every year, from the very beginning. For 10 years I have managed the Carolina Bird Club website, www.carolinabirdclub.org. Recently I've been working at getting into bird photography.
Jay Ross grew up in the middle of protected lands. As a toddler, his father, a life-long conservationist and naturalist, worked for the National Park Service and the family lived in Yellowstone National Park. Later the family lived in or near national wildlife refuges after his father transferred to US Fish and Wildlife Service. Becoming enthralled with watching and studying birds at the age of eight, Jay never lost his awe of the diversity of species and habits. He has been a volunteer birding guide for more than 10 years.
Robbie Fearn serves as Center Director of the Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary and Audubon Center in Corolla, NC. As Center Director, Fearn oversees conservation planning impacting the greater Currituck Sound region, construction and renovation of the 2,600 acre property for programming and research activities and engages the local community in the protection of this pristine property. After earning his M.S. in Environmental Studies from Antioch New England Graduate School, Fearn served in many leadership roles including Executive Director of Birmingham’s Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, Director of the Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts, and Education Curator at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence RI. With Millie Overman and a core of dedicated volunteers, he and his wife Pamela co-founded the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles on the Outer Banks. Environmental work is his second career following a 15 year stint in the professional theater as an Equity Production Stage Manager, Director and Designer. He served in many positions at The Lost Colony outdoor drama in Manteo.
Birding leader Steve Shultz offers a prime example of how hobbies can open the door to experiencing unanticipated adventures. Here's is Shultz's story: The traffic, asphalt streets and cement sidewalks reflected the heat, setting off a shimmering effect that distorted the view. The four men, armed only with optics, drove through the crime-ridden area with care not to bring attention to themselves as they stalked their quarry. South central Los Angeles has its own look, sounds and personalities. This is where the infamous Compton, Watts and Spanish barrios are located; they are never confused with Beverly Hills. The men, including Shultz, were searching for the Asian species named Spotted Dove and were certain they would find their prey in this jungle. They were "twitching" -- the British term for making a trip to see one particular bird for the purpose of adding to a birder's list of birds seen, and then immediately moving on to the next target. The non-native Spotted Dove is countable in the United States for birding lists because it has successfully reproduced in the wild for many generations. It is now becoming harder to find, but is still reasonably easy to locate in certain Los Angeles neighborhoods. After some time spent cruising and searching, the men found the bird perched high on a wire near a major intersection. They eased the vehicle into a hubcap shop parking lot to get a better look, and then a couple of street guys sauntered over and leaned up against the car. "Hey, let us hold your binoculars so we can see the bird, too," said one with a sly smile. With cutting looks to the driver to high-tail it out of the area, the men made a hasty retreat out of the dangerous neighborhood with optics intact... and another quarry to check off their lists! And so goes the life of a birder! Shultz a benefits manager for Fidelity Investments, says birding is his hobby and has prompted him to travel far and wide in search of birds. Wings Over Water birding leaders debunk the old stereotype image of birders as being senior citizen nerds. "Birding can be a fairly strenuous sport," said Shultz, "just like many other outdoor activities that folks enjoy. Climbing several hundred feet up a steep mountainside to see a particular type of bird, or slogging through a wet slough or marsh, braving sub-freezing temperatures and bitter winds during a cold December day at the coast, or bouncing across the waves fifty miles out to sea in a small boat to see pelagic birds ... not for the faint of heart!"
After working for the Federal Government for 30 years, Karen Lebing and her husband retired in 2013 to the location they love the most--the Outer Banks of North Carolina. With her home on the Pamlico Sound, Karen has become familiar with its regular and sometimes unusual avian visitors, and is happy to have the honor of having reported seeing the most species of birds in her yard to eBird for the state of North Carolina. Karen volunteers as an occasional bird-walk leader for the National Park Service at the Hatteras Lighthouse in the summer, and for the Fish and Wildlife Service at Pea Island NWR year-round.
Kevin originally got into birding while taking an Ornithology class in Ohio. Since that class 17 years ago he has caught the birding bug and even a trip to the gas station becomes a birding trip. He has guided trips in North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. Kevin has recently started to expand his birding outside the United States with recent trips to Colombia and Portugal. He is currently teaching his young son Owen to become an expert birder. Kevin is currently a tour guide for Ventures Birding and Natural History Tours based out of Asheville, North Carolina. Kevin Burke Tour Guide Ventures Birding www.birdventures.com
James Melvin obtained a B.S. degree in Art Education/Design from N.C. A & T State University. He resides on the beautiful Outer Banks where he paints and illustrates as well as operates Melvin's Studio. From the age of ten James desired to become a professional artist. Perseverance, guidance and dependence upon his Heavenly Father allowed him to achieve this goal. A versatile artist, James works in oils, acrylics, pastels and colored pencils. Peace is the theme in his work. His viewers are invited to rest and recall that special memory enjoyed while on vacation. He is a fine portrait artist. His work covers architectural themes, people, still life and abstract. But always his artwork themes return to nature and the beauty of God’s creation. James is the illustrator for Suzanne Tate's Nature Series for young readers (over three million copies sold). He is routinely in classrooms and school along the East Coast as both speaker and artist-in-residence. He is the creator of the Pea Island Lifesavers Series of paintings, honoring the brave early 1900’s African-American Pea Island lifesaving crew of the Outer Banks or North Carolina. This series is a permanent display at North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.Melvin's works are owned by collectors and art lovers throughout the U.S. and abroad. http://www.melvinsstudio.com/
Brian was born in Niagara Falls, New York. He graduated from the New York State Ranger School. He moved to North Carolina to work for the North Carolina State Parks as a Park Ranger. He is an avid outdoorsman, especially involved with biking, hiking, paddling & birding. Brian has traveled to all 50 states and a dozen other countries to look at birds, bugs and other wildlife. He coordinates several bird counts and numerous other monitoring programs. He lives in Durham, N.C. and is married with four dogs, three birds, two snakes and some chickens.
John Hammond is a Wildlife Biologist for the USFWS and works at the Ecological Services Office in Raleigh. He has a long history with Wings Over Water.
Jeff Beane is Herpetology Collections Manager for the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, where he has been employed since 1985. His interests include virtually anything pertaining to natural history or conservation, especially sandhills and longleaf pine ecosystem ecology and the natural history, zoogeography, and conservation of amphibians and reptiles in North Carolina and the Southeast. Although his primary focus and passion is the herpetofauna of the Southeast, he occasionally glances at birds, especially during winter. A native of Asheboro, Jeff is active in the North Carolina Herpetological Society (newsletter editor since 1986), Wake Audubon (board member since 1995, Vice-President since 1996), NC Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Sandhills Natural History Society, and several other groups. He enjoys all kinds of wildlife observation and photography. He is a frequent contributor to Wildlife in North Carolina magazine, and has authored many other popular and scientific publications, including Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, Second Edition (UNC Press, 2010).
Jeff Karnes is a dedicated and energetic professional photographer with over 20 years’ experience specializing in bird, landscape, and fine art photography. Jeff has lived in Wilmington, NC for over 17 years taking advantage of all the beauty the south east has to offer. He uses his photography to promote the conservation of wildlife and habitats that sustain them. Jeff was voted one of the best bird photographers on Instagram by National Audubon Society and has won several photo competitions. His work can be seen at his website www.jeffreypkarnesphoto.com or by following him on intragram: jeffreypkarnesphoto or facebook: Jeffrey P Karnes Photography.
I have lived all over the world and have finally come to spend my golden years on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My favorite places in this wonderful part of the world are the national refuges that were created to preserve and protect nature’s best. From the tiny endangered loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings of Pea Island Wildlife Refuge to the 700 plus pound black bears on the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina and Wings Over Water are much more than just birds. These refuges are teaming with the wonders of nature. Come join us and fill your photo album or memory bank with these treasures the nation has preserved for you.I hope you enjoy your visit with us as much as we enjoy the privilege of presenting this wonderful, magical world we call home.
Taylor Piephoff has been looking at birds since his mother lifted him up to the kitchen window to see a red-headed woodpecker fifty years ago. From that beginning, he has studied biology at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and has enjoyed leading birding trips in the decades that followed. Taylor has been active in local birding activities in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, and also at the state level, serving as past president of the Carolina Bird Club, and currently serving as Chair of the North Carolina Bird Records Committee. Taylor lists meeting new people and showing new birders new birds as his most satisfying birding experiences. Through his weekly column in the Charlotte (NC) Observer he strives to reach birders and non-birders alike to provide insight into birding, birders, bird behavior, identification, ecology, conservation, and where to go to see birds. Free time usually finds Taylor in the field looking for something. When birds are not the primary focus he enjoys butterflying, leading frog walks, and nighttime moth baiting.Taylor has been with Wings Over Water since it began!
Fascinated by all things creepy-crawly since he could barely crawl himself, Jeff became interested in birds at the age of ten, thanks to a neighbor who fed her chickadees by hand. Jeff moved around for many years until finally settling down on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in 1988. He founded the local “North Banks Bird Club” and has been leading field trips for many years. He is a member of the Carolina Bird Club, the compiler of two Christmas Bird Counts and conducts a couple of breeding bird surveys each spring. In addition to birding, Jeff enjoys wildlife photography and remains passionate about the natural world. A sample of Jeff’s wildlife photography can be viewed at: http://jefflewisphotography.zenfolio.com/
Michael was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Framingham State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in 2013. He moved to the Outer Banks after graduating to work on a reptile and amphibian survey of Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve. Since then he has worked at several of the areas parks, including Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Jockeys Ridge State Park. He is interested in anything pertaining to natural history and wildlife, however his main passions include looking for and photographing birds and herpetofauna.
Bob Glennon has been a trip leader at Wings over Water every year since 2000. He was the planner that helped the refuge staffs develop the comprehensive conservation plans for the nine national wildlife refuges in northeastern North Carolina. He is now a retired Federal employee after 24 years with the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service and 6 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He works for Virginia Tech assisting landowners in southeastern Virginia who are clients of the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to develop and manage wildlife habitat. Bob holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management from Rutgers University and a Master of Forest Resources degree from the Pennsylvania State University.
Cindy Heffley has worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for 16 years. She enjoys connecting those around her with the wonders of the natural world. During her five years working at Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges, she has taken every opportunity presented to learn about the flora and fauna that makes these refuges unique.
Heather and her husband live in Kill Devil Hills with their two children, two fish, kitty Orion, and bearded dragon Taylor. Together they co-own Kitty Hawk and Surf School. Heather hires, trains and manages up to fourteen seasonal employees. The school teaches kayak, surf and stand-up paddleboard lessons as well as a summer camp for kids. Heather began her adventures with Wings Over Water as a kayak trip leader almost ten years ago. She then became the kayak/canoe trip leading coordinator for the event and has been an active member of the steering committee ever since. Formally an Outward Bound instructor in three countries, Heather has a great love for the outdoors. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology, is an active Coastal Kayak instructor for the American Canoe and Kayak Association, and works at the hospital as an EMT in the emergency department. In her spare time Heather enjoys running, reading, birding and traveling. In the past few years her travels have included trips to Costa Rica, Australia, Indonesia, Barbados, Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, and the Bahamas, where she has enjoyed surfing, birding, kayaking, hiking, and stand-up paddle-boarding with her family.
Harry LeGrand is a native of North Carolina and has been birding since June 22, 1963. He spent 31 years as a biologist with the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program before leaving late in 2015 for retirement purposes. He has conducted natural area inventories in most counties in North Carolina and has conducted other regional biological inventories, such as at Holly Shelter Game Land and Dismal Swamp State Park. His work concentrates on birds, and he was the Chair of the N.C. Bird Records Committee for about 15 years. He also has been regional editor for North American Birds magazine and Briefs for the Files editor of The Chat. He is the author of the Birds of North Carolina: their Distribution and Abundance website (along with the site’s webmaster Tom Howard). Harry and Tom also maintain (Harry as writer and Tom as webmaster) websites on North Carolina butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies, and mammals. He spends much time looking at birds all across North and South America and has done several cruises looking at seabirds. In addition to birds, he is an avid butterflier and botanist, and he has a plant named after him – tall Barbara’s-buttons (Marshallia legrandii).
John is a consulting biologist, who has consulted many bird and plant surveys for various Federal and State agencies and for the Nature Conservancy. John is a native of Morehead City, where he still lives. He is the author of, A Birder’s Guide to Coastal North Carolina (UNC Press, 1994).
Education: NCSU with BS in Forestry and Wildlife Biology, MS Wildlife Biology with research on birds.
Work: recently retired as Coordinator of The Naturalist Center @ NC Museum of Natural Sciences (since 1997); previous 17 years as the Naturalist and Adventure Program leader for Raleigh Parks and Recreation. Adjunct Instructor: NCSU Recreation, Parks & Tourism since 1987 teaching classes in Outdoor Recreation Management and Interpretation of Natural Resources.
Civic: Board member of Wake Audubon Society; Member, NC Non-game Advisory Board with NC Wildlife Resources Commission; Compiler: Raleigh Christmas Bird Count, Spring Bird Count and Wake County Butterfly Counts.
Family: married to Mary Beth Tobin, with 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren.
Interests: Wildlife viewing esp birds; hiking and outdoor recreation; playing basketball and all things Wolfpack; the written word; travel. Contact: H 919-755-0253, C 919-841-8206 email: email@example.com John has been with Wings Over Water since 2012.
Interested in identifying nearly all breathing things since childhood Jeff Pippen followed in his father's footsteps by obtaining a degree in Botany from the University of Michigan. While there, Jeff also started birding and “butterflying” by taking both field ornithology and field entomology courses at the University of Michigan Biological Station. After moving to Durham, Jeff got a research position in the Biology Department at Duke University, focusing on ecology and the effects of climate change on forest growth. While working at Duke, Jeff taught Introductory Biology at Durham Technical Community College for 6 years which led to teaching both undergraduate and graduate level forestry, wildlife, and environmental science courses at Duke University until 2013 when he left Duke. His current research projects investigate and document biodiversity across North Carolina and beyond. Jeff started his own consulting business (JP Ecology Consulting), where he conducts wildlife surveys, leads workshops on organism identification and ecology, and markets nature photographs. He has been a field trip leader for Wings Over Water every year except one when family health issues kept him at home. Additionally, he has led numerous field trips for organizations including National Audubon Society, Carolina Bird Club, Carolina Butterfly Society, Sandhills Natural History Society, and the Triangle Land Conservancy, and he's published scores of nature photos in a variety of textbooks, field guides, and magazines. In 2011, his butterfly photos were featured in an episode of CSI: Miami on prime time CBS Television. He's led offshore pelagic birding trips for over ten years and published a paper documenting the first adult Black-browed Albatross photographed in the United States (off Cape Hatteras!). When he’s not birding/botanizing/butterflying, he enjoys physical fitness, sports, movies, and various outdoor adventures.
Marcia Lyons moved to the Outer Banks for a summer job in 1976 and never left. Her background in coastal ecology and wildlife biology landed her a job with Cape Hatteras National Seashore where she served in several capacities, including park naturalist and field biologist. Retired in 2008, Hatteras Island still remains her home base.
I have been part of Wings Over Water since 2009, serving on the steering committee coordinating paddling events. I am an ACA-certified Coastal Kayaking Instructor, and lead kayak tours for Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School. My part in the photography programs didn't begin until 2012, though photography has been a part of my life since I was young. I studied at University of Pittsburgh, double majoring in Film Studies and Anthropology. Currently, I am freelancing as a videographer, shooting and editing several videos for local businesses, musicians and anything else I feel makes a good story. I have worked on a few independent films as a set photographer and production assistant, though cinematography, directing and editing are my main passions. Examples of my work can be found at www.flickr.com/honorableninja for still photography andwww.vimeo.com/honorableninja for videos.
Kevin Markham returns to WOW in 2014 as a volunteer trip leader after a hiatus of several years. Kevin served as a volunteer trip leader for seven of the first eight Wings Over Water festivals (1997 through 2004), missing one year (2001) when instead of leading birding trips for WOW that cold, blustery November, a work commitment required that he console himself with conducting bird and reptile surveys in the Bahamas. After taking a subsequent nearly decade-long break to balance new work-related responsibilities, commitments as a Trustee for the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund (2004-2014), and raising a family, he is excited to be back at WOW. Kevin has been involved in coastal birding in North Carolina for over 25 years. His earliest major forays into coastal birding were as a volunteer assisting with marsh sparrow banding studies targeting Seaside Sparrows and Sharp-tailed Sparrows (shortly before the species was split into Nelson’s and Saltmarsh Sparrows), as well as through working with Dr. James Parnell on the coast-wide colonial waterbird surveys for North Carolina conducted in 1988. Since then, as an environmental consultant he has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to conduct bird surveys for projects throughout the coastal region, including participation throughout 2013 with monthly shorebird surveys at Oregon Inlet and Pea Island. In addition to bird and other wildlife surveys, Kevin’s professional work also involves wetland and stream assessments and restoration. Kevin considers his role in the successful establishment of the 4,035-acre Croatan Wetland Mitigation Bank, located in the Croatan National Forest, one of his career highlights.
Ed Corey is an Inventory Biologist with North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation out of Raleigh, NC.
Coastal Kayaks Touring Company http://www.outerbankskayaktours.com/