Creating a Kingfisher Mascot with Spencer Wilken

April 20, 2023

The sporting world is full of bird mascots. While there are countless eagles, hawks, and cardinals there are no, so far as we know, Belted Kingfishers. But that might change thanks to the efforts of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This flagship university has a mascot vacancy that, according to guest Spencer Wilken, should be filled by our 2023 Bird of the Year.  Spencer’s story is featured in the April 2023 issue of Birding and she joins us to talk about the peculiar politics of bird mascots.

Also, the bird flu pandemic hits California Condors.

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This episode brought to you by:
National Geographic Birder’s Life List and Journal

The American Birding Podcast brings together staff and friends of the American Birding Association as we talk about birds, birding, travel and conservation in North America and beyond.

Join host Nate Swick every other Thursday for news and happenings, recent rarities, guests from around the birding world, and features of interest to every birder.