Throughout history, birds and their behavior have been woven into the fabric of mankind. As symbols of power to those of peace… as subjects of art to names of inspirational objects… as a source of food to the fascination of flight, people have embraced the presence of birds since the dawn of time.
In this current technological age, however, the welfare of birds and other wild animals has taken a backseat to human endeavor. Wings In Nature is committed to creating quality educational media about birds and avian habitats, with the intent to inspire appreciation of these beautiful creatures, and to encourage respectful co-existence with all of nature.
~ bj worth, founder
Wings In Nature is a non-profit organization focused on education about birds and the conservation of natural habitats frequented by birds.
Meet our Board of Directors
Founder / President
BJ was drawn to nature at an early age and was particularly captivated by birds’ ability to fly. He attended the University of Montana primarily to be close to Glacier National Park, but secondarily to learn how to skydive – to be at one with the birds. BJ received his BS in Zoology, under the guidance of the highly esteemed Dr. Philip Wright. He also excelled at jumping out of not-such-perfectly-good airplanes under the guidance of highly animated former smokejumpers.
Distracted from a proper career in the biosciences, BJ followed his passion for this nascent air sport. 35 years later, after an accomplished career as an athlete, filmmaker, aerial stunt performer, innovator, and project director, and after serving on the boards of national and international air sports organizations in leadership roles, bj came back to his bio-roots.
Since 2000, BJ has pursued birding with utmost enthusiasm. He has enriched his hobby by recording bird behavior on video – tallying more than 900 species of birds doing what birds do. BJ has expanded his birding interests toward bird conservation, research, and promoting the enriching qualities of birding among the public. He has actively conducted surveys at the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch each season since its inception, for which he received Flathead Audubon Society’s highest conservation award in 2016.
BJ is now combining his filmmaking skills with his birding interests to help WIN develop projects and provide audio-visual and volunteer support for other like-minded entities that are enriching birding, pursuing research efforts, and developing conservation projects.
Chairman of the Board
Dan started birding as a young kid while growing up in Sussex County, New Jersey – mentored by local enthusiasts Jack Padalino, Floyd Wolfarth, among others. Stimulated by the annual warbler migration and easily manageable birding trips to the Jersey shore, Dan was hooked at an early age.
Dan’s hobby-turned-passion was formalized with Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Wildlife Conservation at Colorado State University. His formal education led to a lifelong career as a professional ornithologist that included extended positions at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and American Bird Conservancy. Dan currently provides his expertise for Ducks Unlimited, where he is focused on grassland birds in the Northern Great Plains.
Within the greater birding community, Dan served on the Colorado Bird Records Committee and the board of directors for the Flathead Audubon Society, where he was recognized as one of FAS’s premier birding guides. Dan currently serves on the Montana Bird Records Committee, is a moderator of Montana Online Birders (MOB), is the eBird reviewer for several counties, and recently co-authored the highly acclaimed naturalist book, “Birds of Montana,” in collaboration with Jeff Marks.
Board Member / Video Editor
Before he was ten, Josh was identifying birds and recording their behavior, calls, songs, and habitats to memory. With his parents’ encouragement and Dan Casey’s tutelage, he became a highly respected birder at an early age. Josh became active in the birding community and attended his first Young Birders national convention at 14 years old. Before entering high school, he was leading birding walks in the Flathead Valley.
Josh’s uncanny gift for identifying birds in the field is coupled with his natural ability to convey birding skills to others in a reserved manner that elicits effective learning in the field. When he has the opportunity to travel outside the Flathead Valley, Josh is typically among the leading birders at any site, regardless of location, season, or habitat.
Josh’s ultimate goal is to pursue his passion for birds and birding via higher education. In the meantime, he is developing his wildlife photography and video editing skills by working on WIN’s various multi-media bird-related projects and guiding bird walks and tours as WIN’s Chief Naturalist.
Josh is currently a member of Montana’s Bird Records Committee, serves as the eBird reviewer for Flathead County, and maintains his status near, or at the top of, the Flathead and Montana eBird lists. Josh is goal oriented, and is currently focused on submitting photos of a maximum number of species with his eBird check lists.
I was raised in a farm family in Iowa and Minnesota. I first saw the mountains in northern Utah at my first duty station in the Air Force. The mountains, in different places, have been home to me ever since.
I studied animal science and ranch management at Oregon State University and moved to Montana after graduation. Married, with two small boys, my wife Pam and I worked cattle ranches for several years.
We moved to the Flathead Valley in 1978 and I began working with a local construction company. I retired from that same company in 2010 after 31 years. We also bought and briefly owned a whitewater rafting company on the rivers adjacent to Glacier National Park.
Throughout my ranching, construction and whitewater careers, I saw the extremes of private management practices and government regulations, good and bad. I have gained experience and a conscience to help make decisions for the good of the land, water, wildlife and the people who live on, recreate on, or control our natural resources.
My passions have changed over time from backpacking, hunting and whitewater to carrying as much camera gear as possible and photographing whatever I can wherever I am. A visit to McGee Marsh, in Ohio in 2010, completely tipped me over and bird photography has since become an obsession.
I volunteer for the Harlequin duck banding project, waterfowl surveys, peregrine watch and hawk watch projects.
Board Member / Technology Director
Sara has always been a fan of both nature and technology. She remembers many happy summers hiking and camping with her father BJ in Glacier Park and the woods around the Flathead Valley.
Even as a child, Sara had a knack for computers. She built her first website in high school, and went on to learn WordPress publishing. Along the way she also learned video editing, audio production, and just enough code to make websites beautiful.
Sara’s particular skills that she brings to WIN include web and graphic design, social media outreach, database management, and digital asset management.
Outside of her work at WIN, Sara enjoys spending time with her daughter, playing synthesizers, and camping in remote places.
Meet our Staff and Advisors
I grew up in northeastern Ohio, spending my free time out of doors wandering the nearby woods, fields and playing in the streams. At age 19, I began the move west to Oregon with my husband Dick. In 1978 with two little boys added to the family, we settled in the Flathead Valley.
While being a wife, mom and working woman, we enjoyed all the outdoor activities Montana has to offer. My work years included managing small offices to a big golf course construction job office. Making lots of lunches for branding crews on the ranch to a week’s worth of meals for river trips. Driving 50 miles to pick up parts for the golf course to driving a team of horses with the babies tucked into the hay while Dick fed cows off the back of the sled .
The kids are grown, the jobs are over and we’ve traded in the skis and snowshoes for hiking poles, cameras, binocs, birding and a camper. It was not until just recently that I’ve taken an interest in photography and birds but then again, it’s hard not to when you spend time with those crazy birders!