A SERVICE OF THE OUTDOOR WIRE DIGITAL NETWORK
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2018
Carrol Henderson conducting a workshop at Itasca State Park where digital cameras were used to help get children more interested in nature.
Today, November 7th, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and a wealth of associates from around the state and beyond will recognize the more than 40 years of service by Carrol Henderson, the only supervisor of the MDNR's Non-game Wildlife Program. An avid birder and bird photographer, Carrol observed about 3,000 species of birds and his photo files include more than 1,100 bird species! During a recent interview with the Duluth News Tribune, Henderson noted, “We need to get people, families and kids outdoors. Nature is not something to be experienced through TV. It needs to be "in the habitat" and instill activities and opportunities for people that can extend through a lifetime.”
Carrol Henderson helped recovery efforts for then-endangered Peregrine Falcons, Trumpeter Swans and Bald Eagles along with many more species. His work with Trumpeter Swans may be the most well-known reintroduction project in the Midwest. It has been so successful that the largest Swans in the world can be seen relatively commonly in Minnesota in addition to the surrounding states of Wisconsin, Iowa, the Dakotas and beyond.
Henderson and his staff have also reached thousands of Minnesota youth with conservation education programs like Project WILD, Project WET and their digital photography Bridge to Nature workshops.
His books, Wild About Birds: The DNR Bird Feeding Guide, Traveler's Guide to Wildlife in Minnesota, Landscaping for Wildlife and Lakescaping for Wildlife give Minnesotans and visitors to the state hands-on information to help wildlife in the state. Plus the royalties for these books have generated more than $250,000 for the Nongame Wildlife Program. Henderson is also the author and photographer of such poplular books as Field Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica and Birds in Flight, the Art and Science of How Birds Fly.
The program has also worked to preserve more than 5,300 acres of land for non-game wildlife, designated as Wildlife Management Areas, Aquatic Management Areas, and Scientific and Natural Areas. These are all important birding areas where birds nest and feed and winter.
Even with this short description of Carrol Henderson’s professional accomplishments, it’s very apparent why he’s considered Minnesota’s Wildlife Champion – and Carrol is a genuinely nice guy and an enthusiastic birder. Even in retirement, Henderson will be the new conservation director for the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union, so he will continue to advocate for birds and wildlife conservation projects.