May 28, 2019—Audubon is pleased to announce that Morgan Evans has accepted the position of Center Manager at Bent of the River Audubon Center. He hit the ground running earlier this month and is well on his way to putting his bird and conservation experience to great use at the sanctuary.
While studying for an Environmental Biology degree at Plymouth State University, Morgan was introduced to birds through many of his classes, since the department head, Len Reitsma, was working on long term projects around Canada Warblers and Lousiana Waterthrush. Morgan spent many winters at the Reitsma property mist-netting and banding Black-Capped Chickadees and many other northeastern forest species. One of his most formative "birding" moments came one spring in New Hampshire as he spent an afternoon watching his favorite bird, the Belted Kingfisher, continuously dive and feed its young for hours.
After graduating, Morgan was given the opportunity to research the effects of mountain-top removal on riparian habitats, specifically on the nesting success of Louisiana Waterthrush in the hills and hollows of West Virginia. Here, he was exposed to an entirely different segment of Eastern U.S. birds and was instantly hooked. A trip to the southwest netted him many "lifers" and helped solidify his passion for birds and avian ecology.
Morgan got involved with education by working as a director for a large after-school program in Philadelphia before moving to Connecticut with his wife in 2015. Once here, he worked for an environmental after-school program in New Haven called Solar Youth before becoming a middle school science teacher.
His introduction to the Bent of the River came after he moved to nearby Sandy Hook. While looking for a new place to bring a group of students out of New Haven, he found the sanctuary practically in his backyard and reached out. Once he came with his students, volunteer opportunities like the Christmas Bird Count and events at the Bent drew him in.
Morgan next gave a helping hand leading summer programs at the Bent and was eventually offered his new current position. In his free time, Morgan loves working on keeping his yard "bird-friendly" and exploring new birding spots, as well as hanging out with his new daughter.
The next time you're at the Bent, stop by and say hello to Morgan!