Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
Select this button stylePrint Friendly

Migratory Birds staff Katie Koch, Bob Russel and Tom Will. Photo by USFWS.

Migratory Birds staff Katie Koch, Bob Russel and Tom Will. Photo by USFWS.

Migratory Birds Division’s Bob Russell Retires

Bob Russell retired on July 31, ending a 34-year career with the Federal government. He has been with the Fish and Wildlife Service for 17 years and with the Region 3 Division of Migratory Birds since 2001.

Bob is a geographically diverse fellow. He grew up in Chicago, got his B.A. degree (in English!) at St. John’s University in Minnesota, an M.A. degree (in Biogeography) at the University of Arizona, and did additional graduate work (in Restoration Ecology) at the University of Wisconsin.

Before coming to the Midwest Region, Bob helped save the Meadowlands with the Ecological Services Field Office in New Jersey, worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Department of Corrections (as a biologist, he claims), Defense Mapping Agency in Washington D.C. (he’s always been secretive about that work), Everglades National Park, and Gulf Island National Seashore in Mississippi. His most exotic job was warden for the Cape Clear Bird Observatory in Ireland.

Bob is a gifted birder, with a life list of 1200-plus species (which does not YET include Ivory-billed Woodpecker and Eskimo Curlew). He has an encyclopedic knowledge of bird distribution and abundance. He serves on the Records Committee for the Minnesota Ornithologist’s Union and was the most active contributor to the recently completed Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas.

One of Bob’s major duties has been to help develop and implement conservation plans for shorebirds and waterbirds that occur in our region’s Bird Conservation Regions and Joint Ventures. He has been involved in the Whooping Crane Eastern Population reintroduction project since its inception.

Bob’s breadth of field experience has allowed him to provide excellent technical assistance to Regional field stations and partners. He has assisted Refuges in the development of Comprehensive Conservation Plans, Inventory and Monitoring Plans, has worked with Ecological Services to assess impacts and determine Best Management Practices and mitigation for pipelines, wind turbines, power lines and communication towers.

Bob loves traveling and fine food. He has visited many special birding spots in both the Palearctic and the Nearctic. We know he will have an active and interesting retirement. He has spent many hours (of his own time) in Region 4 looking for the elusive Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and he’ll be able to intensify those efforts once he is retired. Another thing that Bob might do in retirement is write a long-promised book on the birds of Stearns County, Minnesota, based on decades of monitoring data he has amassed in this area that is near and dear to his heart.

Bob will continue to assist the program as a volunteer after his retirement by helping complete Breeding Bird Survey routes and survey blocks for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas Project.

By Tom Cooper
Regional Office – Migratory Birds

(from left) Migratory Birds staff Tom Will, Steve Lewis, Tom Cooper, Andy Forbes and Bob Russell. Photo by USFWS.

(from left) Migratory Birds staff Tom Will, Steve Lewis, Tom Cooper, Andy Forbes and Bob Russell. Photo by USFWS.

 

 

Last updated: July 31, 2015