Charles Hagner, author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin, is a writer, editor, and birdwatcher who knows the exact moment his love of birds was born.
It started the day he and his father washed out a bleach jug, filled it with seeds, and hung it on the swing set in his backyard. Soon cardinals, chickadees, and other birds started visiting, and a lifelong fascination was awakened. A career in publishing took Hagner first to the American Institute of Architects Press, in Washington, DC, and later to Time Life Books, in Alexandria, VA, where over 13 years he wrote and edited books on a dizzying array of topics but never about birds.
So in 2001, when the opportunity arose to become the editor of BirdWatching magazine, he couldn’t say no. Hagner managed the bimonthly magazine until 2017. During that time, he birded in a dozen countries, authored two books about birds, and worked with the most recognizable names in birding, including David Sibley, Pete Dunne, and Kenn Kaufman. Today he is the director of the statewide conservation program Bird City Wisconsin and the board chair of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory.