WOW 2024 Banquet Speaker - Julie Zickefoose

Julie Zickefoose

WOW 2024 Banquet & Keynote Speaker – Julie Zickefoose

Julie Zickefoose


Naturalist/artist/writer Julie Zickefoose thinks of herself as an unsung, minor, rather dirty superhero. Her superpower: saving small, economically worthless wildlife that would otherwise die. An orphaned jay named Jemima was one such foundling. Spending nearly a year healing, studying and raising the young blue jay for release opened the door to their world for Julie. She began writing and illustrating Saving Jemima: Life and Love With a Hard-luck Jay immediately upon becoming her foster mother. More than a wildlife rehab story, it's the story of life, love and dealing with great loss; of finding grace and redemption in bonding with a wild bird.


Julie Zickefoose lives and works quietly on an 80-acre wildlife sanctuary in the back country of Whipple, Ohio. She is a prolific writer and painter and Advising Editor to BWD Magazine. Her heavily illustrated books include Natural Gardening for Birds, Letters from Eden, The Bluebird Effect, and Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest. Saving Jemima: Life and Love With a Hard-Luck Jay, the intimate story of how an orphaned bird can save a soul, is her newest book.

Wings Over Willcox 2020
WOW 2020 Banquet Speaker - Rick Taylor
Rick Taylor

Rick Taylor


Hiking up to 500 miles each summer for eight years while conducting research on the Elegant Trogon in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Rick Taylor developed an intimate knowledge of the birds, habitats, and locations throughout Southeastern Arizona. During the course of his research in 1977 he reported the first Eared Trogon seen in the United States. Inevitably, his interest in trogon ecology lead him south into Mexico, then Central, and South America, where he soon discovered the magic of all tropical birds. In 1980 he founded Borderland Tours, a birding company dedicated to responsible international ecotourism. Aside from leading tours to locations from Arizona to Africa and Alaska to Asia every year until 2019, Rick has authored location checklists for finding birds in Arizona's Chiricahua and Huachuca Mountains, as well as Trogons of the Arizona Borderlands, and the American Birding Association's popular title, A Birder's Guide to Southeastern Arizona. In 2010 Birds of Southeastern Arizona appeared, a regional photo field guide covering all of the regularly-occurring birds in this area, as well as all of the Mexican specialties. Taylor's most recent project is Birds of Arizona, a statewide photo field guide that treats nearly 500 species with text, maps, and seasonal elevation charts.

Wings Over Willcox 2015
WOW 2015 Banquet Speaker - John M. Marzluff
John M. Marzluff

John M. Marzluff


I am a Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington. My graduate (Northern Arizona University) and initial post-doctoral (University of Vermont) research focused on the social behavior and ecology of jays and ravens. I was especially interested in communication, social organization, and foraging behavior. My current research brings this behavioral approach to pressing conservation issues including conservation of endangered species, urban ecology, and the varied connections between crows and people. I enjoy blending biology, conservation, and anthropology to suggest that human and crow cultures have co-evolved. My most recent work applies a neurobiological perspective to understand the amazing feats of corvids (crows, ravens, jays and their kin).

See a selection of the Keynote Speakers books HERE
Featured Artist for WOW 2015

R. Christopher Vest

Chris is a graphic designer and artist with a 25 year background in pen and ink drawing, oil painting, photography and screen printing. In the 1990s he embraced the computer revolution and developed a way to merge painting and photography in the digital medium. In the tradition of Alfred Stieglitz's "Photo-Secessionist" movement, photographic images are transformed by digital dark room techniques and intense painterly manipulation to create textures and effects that attempt to bridge the unique properties of photography and painting, a process he has dubbed the "painted photo montage". Using these techniques, he created the multi-bird habitat vistas in the celebrated book "The Field Guide to Bird Conservation" published by the American Bird Conservancy.

Chris lives with his partner Cathy and 25 animals on a six acre farm near Dolores, Colorado. Together they operate a small animal shelter, the "Running Dog Ranch", rescuing and fostering animals from across the four corners area (adoptable dogs can be seen on by a search around zip code 81323). Sales of Vests' prints help to support the shelter. 

More Information HERE

Examples of art work HERE



CR Vest art

Wings Over Willcox 2014
WOW 2014 Banquet Speaker - Bill Thompson
Bill Thompson


Presentation:"The Perils and Pitfalls of Birding"

A humorous narrative about the many mistakes, accidents, and embarrassing situations Bill Thompson III, has experienced in his 30+ years as a bird watcher. He urges the audience to avoid these same perils and pitfalls and even offers tips for how to do so. This light-hearted talk pokes fun at how we bird watchers have our own language, dress code, and food preferences. It's guaranteed to generate laughs or Bill will clean the binoculars of everyone present.




WOW 2014 Featured Artist - Julie Zickefoose


Julie Zickefoose started off as an illustrator of natural history subjects as a college freshman in 1976. A six-year stint as a field biologist with The Nature Conservancy's Connecticut Chapter proved a strong motivator both to learn more about ecosystems and to go back to drawing. Along the way, she began to write her own essays, studded with observations of birds and animals, and writing slowly crept into the forefront of her interests.





Julie Zickefoose artwork
Wings Over Willcox 2013
2013 Haiku Contest Winners

Congratulations to the 2013 WOW Haiku contest winners. First prize was awarded to Babs Buck of Apache Junction, Arizona and Barbie Nickasch of Willcox, Arizona.

Haiku by Babs Buck:
walking in the pond
among hundreds of snow geese
one sandhill crane

Haiku by Barbie Nickasch:
with sudden dash may…
skillful, soaring bird of prey
upon feasts dismay

WOW 2013 Banquet Speaker - Kenn Kaufman
Ken Kaufman


Presentation:"Birding in Outer Space"

No, of course there aren´t really any birds in outer space. Kenn Kaufman chose this whimsical title to signal that we're going on a free-wheeling journey of the imagination, a trip into the future of bird watching. Using photos and stories from his birding adventures in Arizona and around the world, Kenn will show that the most exciting things about birding today are the same aspects that will make it even more amazing in the future, even if some of the details change. Finally, he will come down from orbit to offer a unique perspective on why the Willcox area is the best place in the world to go birding in mid-January.




WOW 2013 Featured Artist - Kristi Koser


The crane oil triptych painted by Kristi Koser was used to promote, "Crane Song," an NET documentary produced several years ago. Every year some 80 percent of the world's Sandhill cranes make their way through a 75-mile stretch of Nebraska's central Platte River Valley, a critical stopover in their 5,000-mile spring migration.





Kristi Koser artwork
    Original artwork by NET multi-media graphic designer Kristi Koser to promote NET documentary "Crane Song" in 2007
Wings Over Willcox 2012
WOW 2012 Summary


WOW! What an incredible weekend for our 19th anniversary festival! With over 500 registrants, those of us organizing the festival were amazed at how well everything turned out. Even the weather was incredible, with beautiful clouds and colorful sunsets setting the backdrop for the crane tours - a majestic weekend all around.

As a festival, we were proud to be recognized as a Centennial Event celebrating Arizona's statehood, and the related presentations and tours were excellent. It was amazing to learn about the local history, not only about our communities, but also the birds that we have here. Then the weekend was capped off with Ted Floyd's unique talk about migratory birds and introduced us to the relatively unknown world of birds at night.

The weekend resulted in 135 species of birds, with highlights of Short-eared Owl, American Bittern, Lewis's Woodpecker, Williamson's Sapsucker, Mexican Chickadee, and Lapland Longspur. One of the most amazing sightings was a flock of easily 20,000 Lark Buntings (no exaggeration) sway, and swirl, and wing their way back and forth across the dirt road. Tour leader Vivian MacKinnon wrote this haiku about the experience:

            a sea of plowed earth
            the dirt road winds on and on
            sparrows rise in waves

As excellent as this year was, we are all very excited about planning for our 20th Anniversary in 2013. Please be sure to check back and see what tours we have planned and register for another spectacular weekend of learning and fun!



WOW Celebrates Arizona's 100 Years of Statehood


The 19th Annual Wings Over Willcox is just a few, short weeks from the centennial of the Arizona's statehood on February 14, 1912. To celebrate the event, WOW's tours and seminars will highlight Arizona from 100 years ago, with the theme of how things were in Sulphur Springs Valley during this time period.

Join in the Fun! Participate in the Centennial Challenge , a special contest at Wings Over Willcox held as part of the Arizona Statehood Centennial Celebration.



Arizona State Centennial Logo
WOW 2012 Banquet Speaker - Ted Floyd
Ted Floyd


Presentation:"Birding at Night: The Final Frontier"

Ted Floyd's banquet presentation will introduce us to the amazing world of birding at night. Many birds are surprisingly easy to observe at night. And it's not just owls, but also lots of birds we often think of as being active only by day: thrushes and thrashers, warblers and sparrows, and many more.  And the things they do at night are extraordinary.




WOW 2012 Featured Artist - Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874-1927)


Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874-1927) was born and worked most of his life in Ithaca, N.Y. By the time he was eight, he was already deeply interested in observing and drawing birds. An important part of his inspiration came from the work of John James Audubon whose Birds of America he pored over at the Ithaca Public Library. By the time he graduated from Cornell University, he had already begun publishing his illustrations. His first commission was from Elliott Coues of the Smithsonian Institution, a leading ornithologist of the day.





Fuertes Gambels Quail
    National Geographic Image Collection
Wings Over Willcox 2011
WOW 2011 Banquet Speaker - Scott Weidensaul
Scott Weidensaul with bird

Scott Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist Living on the Wind, about bird migration, Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul, and his newest book, Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding.  Weidensaul writes for such publications as Audubon, Nature Conservancy and National Wildlife; he lives in the mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, where he studies the migration of owls and hummingbirds.


WOW 2011 Featured Artist - Linda M. Feltner

Linda Feltner

Linda M. Feltner is an artist who specializes in both the aesthetics and science of natural history. Her work adheres to the strict standards of scientific accuracy, while combining the creativity of artistic design and the realism of nature into what has become her trademark.

Linda has produced natural history art for over thirty years. Her career developed through interpretive media design, book and magazine illustrations, exhibitions, classroom teaching, lectures, and as a birding field guide.

Wings Over Willcox 2010
WOW 2010 Speaker Rich Glinski
Rich Glinski

Rich was born in Indiana and in the mid-1960s at the age of 17 was transported to Tucson with his family.  He had developed a fascination for birds since early childhood and his early studies at the U of A generated a keen interest in large mammalian predators like the puma and wolf.  A serendipitous event in the fall of 1968 connected the notions of birds and predators …avian predators…and his fascination with raptors took wing! After receiving his B.S. from U of A in Wildlife Management he initiated a study of the Gray Hawk with private funding in 1973.  A few years later with Bob Ohmart at ASU he pursued investigations of the Mississippi Kite, Common Black-Hawk, and riparian raptors of the Gila watershed in New Mexico and Arizona.  While with the Arizona Game and Fish Department from 1980 – 2000 he managed the nongame bird program, conducted research projects on an assortment of wildlife, and worked to acquire important habitat for state wildlife areas.  After retiring from Game and Fish he began consulting on a variety of wildlife conservation issues statewide.  Since 2003 he has managed an environmental education facility for Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department, where he finds inspiration for his greatest contribution to raptor conservation.
WOW 2010 Featured Artist Richard Sloan

Richard Sloan

Considered to be North America's "Dean of Rainforest Painters," Richard Sloan was born in Chicago, Illinois, where he attended the American Academy Of Art. He then worked as an advertising illustrator before joining Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo as staff artist.

In the spring of 1998, the University Of Arizona Press published "The Raptors of Arizona," a 220-page volume on the birds of prey of the Southwest featuring 42 Sloan paintings. In recognition of this work, in August 2003, he was inducted into the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame. Sloan's painting of Burrowing Owls wil be featured on 2010 Wings Over Willcox commemorative shirts.

Richard Sloan Artwork
Wings Over Willcox 2009
WOW recognizes long-term volunteers
2009 volunteers
During the 2009 banquet, the WOW committee recognized seven volunteers who have helped with organizing and running the festival for 10 years and more!  In addition, Connie Bonner with the Chamber of Commerce was recognized for all her efforts during the past 5 years.  These are just a few of the folks that make WOW such a great event!  (from left to right: Tom Whetten, Steve Marlatt, Howard Bethel, Connie Bonner, Diane Drobka, Bob Coder, Phyllis Cohorn, and Tony Cohorn)
WOW 2009 Speaker Paul A. Johnsgard
Paul A. Johnsgard

The Platte Valley of Nebraska is the focal point for the spring migration of about a half million Sandhill Cranes, several million geese (Canada, Cackling, Snow and White-fronted), and up to ten million other waterfowl (especially dabbling ducks). Like many great wetlands, it is threatened by development and agriculture, but remains on of the most spectacular birding areas of the world. Paul Johnsgard has studied the Platte Valley and its bird life for nearly half a century, and has written several books on the natural history and birds of this region.

For the past four decades, Dr. Johnsgard has concentrated his research on the comparative biologies of several major bird groups of the world, having published nine world monographs (waterfowl; grouse; cranes; shorebirds; pheasants; quails, partridges & francolins; bustards, hemipodes & sandgrouse; cormorants, darters & pelicans, trogons & quetzals) and six monographs on various North American bird groups (waterfowl; grouse & quails; auks, loons & grebes; owls; hawks, eagles & falcons; hummingbirds). He has also written or co-authored single-topic monographs on the stiff-tailed ducks (Ruddy Ducks and Other Stifftails), sexual selection in arena-breeding birds (Arena Birds), and on avian social parasitism (The Avian Brood Parasites).

WOW 2009 Featured Artist Anne Peyton
Anne Peyton

There are two criteria for a painting that Anne Peyton places in each of her finished pieces: One is that the final image shows respect for the subject; the second is that viewers can learn something after studying the art. They are two principles that the artist has carried over to her new career as a wildlife artist, concentrating on birds and avian art.

For 20 years, Anne was one of the most sought after motorsports artists, accurately depicting all types of racing vehicles that drew the attention of drivers, sponsors and enthusiasts alike.

Today, she has turned her eye and hand to the natural world. “In a way, it’s closing a circle. Birds and other wildlife were the subjects of my earliest paintings. My grandfather had a number of feeders at his Fort Collins (Colorado) home and he was very proud of the birds that visited his yard. I would spend several hours at the table sketching and painting the birds I saw.

“Painting birds and racing cars may seem to be on the opposite end of the spectrum, but in truth there is a lot of similarity. Both can be brilliantly colored or purposefully drab. Both are technically difficult. The artist must be able to capture and represent the proper attitude of a car at speed or a bird in its natural setting. If you’re not correct, there is always someone – a racer or another birder – who will correct you.”



An avid birder, Anne has spent countless hours viewing birds around Arizona and the Southwest. “Observing birds and their habits is a way to discover more about their nature – the motions a Sandhill Crane makes during preening, the way a Golden Eagle walks along the ground instead of hopping or taking a short flight, or the frantic scolding of a House Wren guarding its nest hole. Each of these actions means something for the bird and it is these actions and their meanings that I want to convey to the viewer.”

Anne dedicates several hours each month to volunteering at Liberty Wildlife, a Scottsdale-based rehabilitation and education organization that treats injured animals. Rarely, a bird cannot be released back into the wild. Zoos claim some while others become avian ambassadors for their species at Liberty’s presentations. Anne’s specialty is assisting hawks and owls to become accustomed to people in educational and group settings.

“Each bird is an individual and behaves differently. Even among the same species, each bird has a distinct personality. That surprised me when I first started working with these amazing creatures, but it is an aspect that has served me well in the field and in my artwork.”

Wings Over Willcox 2008
WOW 2008 Speaker Rick Wright
Rick Wright

The dirty secret is out: even professional birders make mistakes! In this humorous and informative lecture, Dr. Rick Wright presents his own personal top-ten misidentifications and shows how you can avoid making his mistakes. Each then-humiliating, now-amusing blunder, from the “hairy brambling” to the underwear eagle, illustrates an important principle that will make you a better birder—once you’ve stopped laughing!

Rick Wright is the founder of Aimophila Adventures, a Tucson-based guiding and tour service for birders. He is also a Department Editor at Birding magazine and the Editor of the American Birding Association’s Winging It. He humbly observes that he no longer makes mistakes.

WOW 2008 Featured Artist Narca-Moore-Craig

Rooted in her childhood passion for exploring wild country, Narca Moore-Craig has forged a triple career in wildlife art, wildlife biology and tour leading, for more than 20 years, to remote destinations worldwide.

Narca’s widely-published, award-winning art is steeped in the experience of a lifelong naturalist. Horsefeathers, her contribution to New Mexico’s public art project, Trail of the Painted Ponies, was stabled for a while in the Albuquerque airport and, later, in the rotunda of the Arizona State Capitol.

Narca Moore-Craig
Narca Moore-Craig Artwork

Her illustrations have appeared in numerous publications, including The Natural History of the Sonoran Desert, The Raptors of North America, A Birder’s Guide to Southeastern Arizona, A Birder’s Guide to the Texas Coast, Guide to Birds of the Anza-Borrego Desert, Guide to Birds of the Salton Sea, and A Guide to Southern Arizona Bird Nests and Eggs. Birding trail maps for southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico feature her art––as has the annual Christmas Bird Count publication (twice!). Narca’s prints, notecards, t-shirts, hand-painted tiles and books may be found at the Chiricahua Gallery in Rodeo, New Mexico, a small outpost at the edge of the art galaxy.


Narca earned a B.A. in Biology from the University of California, Riverside, in order to give greater precision and depth to her wildlife art. While there, she was the first woman to win the Jaeger Award in Field Biology, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and was honored as the outstanding woman student of her graduating class. Narca is a past president of Western Field Ornithologists and was recently a member of the Arizona Bird Committee. Narca and her husband Alan Craig live in the shadow of the Chiricahua Mountains in Arizona.




Scenes from Wings over Willcox

15th Anniversary

January 17-20th 2008

Wings Over Willcox 2007
WOW 2007 Speakers Michael Male and Judy Fieth

Michael Male and Judy Fieth

Have an enjoyable evening as Michael Male and Judy Fieth present some of their favorite footage from finished video productions and their current projects. Michael and Judy will tell you stories about how and where they did their filming and interesting anecdotes about bird behavior that they have encountered during the long periods spent with specific bird species. They will also pass on some of the ways they have learned to really "see" birds - closely and clearly.
Michael Male and Judy Fieth have been working together on natural history films, mostly about birds, since 1980.    They met and learned the techniques of film making in New York City where they worked on film crews for documentaries with subjects ranging from caribou in Alaska to opera divas in Germany to the winter Olympics in Sarajevo.

Michael and Judy finished their first independent production, "Return of the Osprey," in 1984.  It was broadcast in the U.S. by Public Television's "NOVA"  and in the UK on the BBC's "Horizon."  Following this, they made several films for National Geographic Television – about shorebirds and horseshoe crabs on Delaware Bay, puffins in Maine, the Bolivian rainforest, and herons and egrets nesting in New York City.  1990 and 1991 were spent in the company of Roger Tory Peterson, filming "A Celebration of Birds" for the "Nature" series on PBS. In 1993, they moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia to make "Lifestyles of the Wet and Muddy"  - an hour long special about salt marshes for National Geographic Television.   Since settling into an old house on the Virginia coast, they have worked on several wildlife programs for the BBC and PBS, including  "The Triumph of Life,"  "The Blue Planet," and David Attenborough's "The Life of Birds," "The Life of Mammals," and "The Living Planet."

Their labor of love is a series of films about the birds of North America.   "Watching Warblers," the first of these was finally finished in 1996 after 10 years of squeezing in filming trips between projects that paid the bills.  "Watching Waders," was released in 1999, and "Watching Sparrows" in 2002.   "Watching Warblers - West" is in the editing stage.  The couple are also at work on a film for the new visitor's center at the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Michael and Judy have spoken at the Rio Grande Birding and the Hummingbird Festivals in Texas, and at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Smithsonian Museum, and The Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.
WOW 2007 Featured Artist Lisa Walraven

Lisa Walraven

As a casual birdwatcher, hiker, runner and camper, Lisa Walraven's inspiration for much of her artwork comes from her many encounters with critters of every kind. Past and current job experiences from conducting bird surveys, to bird banding to working as a wildlife technician have given her opportunities to study her favorite subject, birds. Today Lisa most enjoys birding by ear and watching and studying bird behavior.  

Lisa Walraven Artwork
In 1988 Lisa obtained a BFA in Studio Arts from the Ohio University. Since then, many apsects of art were self taught and has evolved through the years.   For 8 years she has been painting bird portraits in a graphic, and bold style.

Currently Lisa is in an experimental phase working on abstracts, landscapes, desert flora and mammal species. All the while, color is an important feature of her work and bold line and graphic composition prevail.  Lisa has created illustrations for children's books, signs for AZ Game & Fish, logos for various organizations and is best known for her bird t-shirt designs. Various Birding and Nature Festivals have used her work as logos for banners, stationary, and t-shirts.

Lisa currently lives in Bisbee, AZ, a mining-turned-artists' town full of history and charm. The desert flora and sky island region continues to inspire her artwork. She lives there with her husband Wezil and rat terrier mix, Sydney.  Besides gathering inspiration from special connections with wildlife, the beautiful surrounding deserts, canyons and mountains, Lisa is inspired by these artists: Franz Marc, Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Walt Anderson, among others.

Although oil paint has been her media of choice for years, she is currently enjoying the fast results of using acrylics. Experimentation in mixing media involves mixing acrylic with watercolor, hand cut linoleum block and ink, markers, colored pencil and oil pastel. She enjoys the process and effect.

Lisa's work is collected by people internationally and is displayed in local shops, galleries and bird watcher B&B's.  "I hope that my bold interpretations of birds and critters inspire folks to appreciate the natural world around them, and perhaps persuade them to take a second look. I want my stylized subject matter, color use and boldness to give people joy."  You can see more of Lisa's artwork at
Wings Over Willcox 2006
WOW 2006 Speaker Roderick C. Drewein

 Roderick C. Drewein

The Willcox Playa provides a winter home for all three migratory races of Sandhill Cranes that occur in western North America and northern Mexico. The largest, the Greater Sandhill Crane, nests, migrates and mainly winters in western U.S. The Canadian race, intermerdiate in size, and the Lesser race, smallest of the Sandhill Cranes, are found in the western U.S. and northern Mexico only as spring-fall migrants and winter residents. During the breading season they reside in Canada, Alaska and Siberia.
For over 35 years, Wildlife Biologist Rod Drewein has studied the movements, life histories, and conservation challenges facing cranes in western North America. He will share his extensive long-term knowledge of the cranes' annual cycles from the breeding grounds, through their spring and fall migration stopovers, to their wintering areas. He will also share some of the challenges and lessons learned from a 12-year whooping crane banding project in Canada and the Whooping Crane foster-parent experiment.
WOW 2006 Featured Artist Bonnie Swarbrick

Bonnie Swarbrick

A blend of science and art lends realism to Bonnie's portrayals of wildlife. Self-taught as an artist, she has a bachelors's degree in biology from Augustana College in Illinois and a Master of Scince in wildlife ecology from the University of Arizona. She worked as a graphic artist at the Anizona Health Science Center in Tucson, then co-managed a nature education center in Califoria. Bonnie has led 45 educational natural history tours through the United States, Canada, Alaska and New Zealand. After serving nine years as Curator of the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, she now directs education and public programs at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona.

Lisa Walraven Artwork
Bonnie's color paintings and ink drawings illustrate Arizona's Wetlands and Waterfowl, Borderland Jaguars, and numerous natural resource publications. Her art is commissioned by The Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited and other environmental groups for greetings cards and limited edition prints. Through her paintings and educational work, Bonnie's goal is to enhance people's appreciation for our natural heritage and to foster efforts to save wildlife.
Wings Over Willcox 2005
WOW 2005 Speakers Clay & Patricia Sutton

Clay & Patricia Sutton

To celebrate the rich diversity of wintering raptors in the Sulphur Springs Valley, we are pleased to present Clay and Pay Sutton, who have studied hawks and eagles in the wild for the past 25 years. They live in Cape May, NJ, a world re-knowned migratory crossroads that is famous for its hawk migration.
In their program, "HOW TO SPOT HAWKS & EAGLES," they will share the excitement of fall in Cape May and the excitement of the migration at many other hotspots thay have visited. There will be a special emphasis on finding raptors throughout the seasons, including wintering raptors in southeastern Arizona's famous Sulphur Springs Valley.
Wings Over Willcox 2004
WOW 2004 Speaker James D. Rising

James D. Rising

To celebrate the diversity of bird species wintering in the Sulphur Springs Valley, we are very pleased to present Dr. James D. Rising as our 2004 Wings Over Willcox keynote speaker.

Dr. Rising will describe "What is a Sparrow?" with an orientation to sparrow classification and will discuss the natural history of many of the sparrow species found in the Sulphur Springs Valley, including Savannah, Cassin's, and Baird's sparrows, along with McCown's and Chestnut-collared Longspurs. He will tell us about sparrow migration and territorial, courtship, and breeding behaviors. Dr. Rising will also discuss how historical and modern losses of grassland habitat have impacted our sparrow species. His presentation will be enriched with beautiful photographs of these often overlooked birds. Prior to and following his talk, Dr. Rising will sign copies of his books for those attending the banquet.

Dr. James D. Rising was borm and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He received B.A. and PhD degrees from the University of Kansas (Zoology). His thesis research focused on the hybridization of Baltimore and Bullock's orioles in the Great Plains, especially in western Kansas. He has continued to study avian hybridization in the Great Plains through the years, and it is because of his research, in large part, that the two orioles have been split again (Northern Oriole to Bullock's and Baltimore orioles).

After doing a year of postdoctoral study at Cornell University, Dr. Rising received a tenure stream position at the University of Toronto. Today he is a Professor in the Department of Zoology and cross-appointed in ornithology to the Royal Ontario Museum. Much of his research in recent years encompasses the geographic variation and systematics of sparrows, especially Savannah and Sharp-tailed Sparrows. In addition to technical papers that he has written, he has coauthored (with David Beadle) two books, A Guide to the Identification and Natural History of The Sparrows of the United States and Canada (19%) and Sparrows of the United States and Canada: The Photographic Guide (2002).

As a teenager, Dr. Rising and family annually took vacations to southeastern Arizona, staying in Cave Creek Canyon before it was a well-known birding site. He recalls seeing his first Cassin's Sparrows in courtship display at Willcox Dry Lake, in August, sometime in the late 1950s. In recent years he has visited that area on several occasions. Dr. Rising is married to Trudy Kite and has two sons and two grandsons.

WOW 2004 Featured Artist Caryl McHarney

Cranes have been a moving force in Caryl's life for many years. Their elegant grace has been a recurring theme in her work for several years, ever since she first saw them at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, where she has also been Featured Artist at the Festival of the Cranes. Caryl has begun to migrate with the birds, showing her crane impressions in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nebraska, where the Stuhr Museum at Grand Island featured her work in a solo show in March 2001.

Caryl McHarneyn Artwork

As a teacher of The Book Arts and Creating Reading Materials in Native Languages, Caryl travels to distant corners of the world where she keeps her sketchbook and camera handy to record the life around her. At Three Crane Studio, these impressions become paintings and limited edition etchings and serigraphs.

Caryl studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of New Mexico. Her work is available at her Three Crane Studio and the Red Bird Gallery in Albuquerque, and the gift shop at the Bosque del Apache NWR. Her work will be featured at the 2004 Wings Over Willcox festival, where Caryl will be sell her limited edition serigraphs at the Trade Show.

Wings Over Willcox 2003
WOW 2003 Speaker George Archibald

George Archibald

We are honored to have Dr. George Archibald, the world's leading authority on cranes, as the keynote speaker for the 10th Annual Wings Over Willcox Banquet. Dr. Archibald, along with Ronald Sauey, a colleague from Cornell, established the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in the spring of 1973, as the world center for the study and preservation of cranes. Dr. Archibald currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for this organization, headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin. One of Dr. Archibald's first goals for ICF was to establish a "species bank" of captive cranes. Under his supervision, ICF has now built the world's largest and most complete collection of cranes, and is credited with the first captive breeding of two endangered species.

Ironically, the "man on the street" would recognize Dr. Archibald not as a leader in international conservation, but as the man who danced with a crane. He successfully bred, through the use of artificial insemination, a human-imprinted Whooping Crane named Tex by imitating the courtship dancing and behavior of a male crane. The "offspring" is the celebrated male Whooping Crane named Gee Whiz. Today, Gee Whiz has seven offspring.

Dr. Archibald is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Species Survival Commission, and has been the subject of numerous television, radio and newspaper features. Dr. Archibald is an honorary member of the Russian Ornithological Society, and Chinese Ornithological Society, and is an Honorary Inspector of China's Zhalong Nature Reserve. Over the past decade, Dr. Archibald has received numerous awards including the Fellows Award from the MacArthur Foundation, a Gold Metal from the World Wildlife Fund, the Conservation Award from the Ryerson Nature Center in Chicago, the Roll of Honor for Environmental Achievement of the United Nations Environment Program, the National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation, and the Conservation Award from the National Audubon Society.

WOW 2003 Featured Artist Doris Justice-Martin

Doris, a long-time resident of Willcox and southeastern Arizona, is the creator of our cover. Her husband, G. H. "Marty" Martin, an avid birdwatcher, cultivated her interest in birds and in painting birds. He is her strongest supporter and critic.

Doris Justice-Martin Artwork

As a self-taught artist, Doris has experienced many successes with her art and prefers to paint with acrylics or watercolors. A few of the art shows where she has exhibited her paintings include; the Southeastern Arizona Fine Art Show, Cochise County Fair, Benson Art Show, and Christmas Apple Festival Art Show. Doris has received many awards and ribbons for her work. She designed a label for a local restaurant to be used on their popular barbecue sauce, and has sold paintings throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada and England. She is a member of the Willcox Art League, where she has been chosen artist of the month and served twice as the organization's Vice President.

Doris is a graduate of Bowie High School in Bowie, Arizona, and the Southwestern Oregon Community College where she received a degree as a Family Service Aid for the Community Action Program. She has four children, fourteen grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Wings Over Willcox 2002
WOW 2002 Speaker Bill Clark

bill Clark


Bill Clark will discuss and show photos of many of the world's 64 species of eagles. He will describe the four major kinds of eagles and share some of his many field experiences with eagles in the field on four continents. This will include the capture of Golden Eagles by hand, Indian style. Bald Eagles are featured in a sequence of behavioral photographs showing eagles being eagles.

Photographer, author, and lecturer, Bill Clark has over 30 years experience working with birds of prey, including five years as Director of the National Wildlife Federation's Raptor Information Center. He has published numerous articles on raptors; has traveled extensively world-wide studying, observing, and photographing raptors; and has led raptor and birding tours and workshops, both at home and abroad, in recent years with his company, Raptors. Clark regularly teaches evening and weekend courses on raptor field identification and biology and frequently presents lectures on raptors.

Bill has written a recently released raptor field guide for Europe, and is writing another for Africa, as well as a companion raptor photographic guide. He and Brian Wheeler, coauthors of the Photographic Guide to North American Raptors, are also revising their Peterson series guide, Hawks. Clark has also written raptor accounts for a bird field guide for India, which is currently in preparation. He has published numerous articles on identification, taxonomy, and migration of birds of prey. For the last 30 years, Clark has coordinated the Cape May Raptor Banding Project in New Jersey. Bill is well on his way towards his personal goal to see and photograph all of the world's diurnal raptors.

WOW 2002 Featured Artist Caryl McHarvey

As a teacher of The Book Arts and Creating Reading Materials in Native Languages, Caryl travels to distant corners of the world where she keeps her sketchbook and camera handy to record the life around her. At Three Crane Studio, these impressions become paintings and limited edition etchings and serigraphs. Caryl is particularly moved by cranes. Their elegant grace has been a recurring theme in her work for several years now, ever since she first saw them at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.

Caryl McHarvey artwork

Last year, she was the Featured Artist at the Festival of the Cranes there. Caryl has begun to migrate with the birds, showing her crane impressions in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nebraska, where the Stuhr Museum at Grand Island featured her work in a solo show in March, 2000. Caryl studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and University of New Mexico. Her work is available at her Three Crane Studio and the Red Bird Gallery in Albuquerque, and the gift shop at the Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico. Her work will be featured at the 2002 Wings Over Willcox festival, where Caryl will be selling her limited edition serigraphs at the Trade Show.

Wings Over Willcox 2001
WOW 2001 Speaker Dan Fischer

Dan Fischer

Dan Fischer's close association with the borderland region began after arriving as a young boy with his parents in Yuma, Arizona, in 1937. Although his professional career was that of an engineer in industry, his preoccupation, or second vocation, has clearly been related to natural history subjects with a strong emphasis on birds. For over fifty years he has traveled the borderland scene pursuing and photographing birds while retracing the journeys of many early explorers and naturalists.

As a resident of the Southwest for most of his life, he expanded these interests to where he became a serious student of the historical aspects of ornithology during the last several years. Following a suggestion to write about early naturalists, his fascination grew to where he began systematically researching the subject. Consequently, after reviewing several hundred journal entrees, manuscripts, and publications on the topic, a book on this long neglected subject finally took form. Early Borderland Naturalists: A Chronology of Southwestern Ornithologists, 1528-1900 has been completed and will be published by the University of Arizona Press and is scheduled for release in the fall of 2001. Dan's photographs have also been illustrated in several magazines and books.

Wings Over Willcox 1994 - First Festival
WOW 1994 - Announcement

first WOW press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 18, 1993 Contact:Ellen Clark

The Willcox Playa sandhill cranes are ba-ack! Resident & migrant waterfowl are increasing in numbers daily in the area.
Plans are underway for the first annual WINGS OVER WILLCOX/ sandhill crane celebration in Willcox January 28, 29 & 30, 1994.
Guided tours will be offered to the Willcox Playa, Cochise Lake, the AEPCO Ash Pond, Muleshoe Ranch & Chiricahua National Monument. A "Hawk Stalk" through the County promises many species of hawk.
Seminars, workshops, field trips and interactions designed both for the novice and expert bird enthusiast and for those especially interested in the birds of Southeastern Arizona will be offered.
A trade show on Saturday will feature information about wildlife and related products.
A banquet with guest speaker Phil Smith of Arizona Game and Fish Department will include an art auction.
A photo contest is underway now and the winners will be featured at the trade show. The winning photo will be included in the art auction as will framed posters from Arizona Game & Fish Department.
Other activites include special programs for kids. For more information call the Willcox Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture at (602) 384-2272 or 1-800-200-2272.

PO Box 1097Willcox, AZ • 85644

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