Hey there, I’m the Ornery Biologist!

I am a 23 year old birder, photographer, creationist, and all-around nature enthusiast.  I live in Wisconsin with my husband and two beautiful daughters.

The Story Behind the Name:

At the age of 14 I was really excited about studying ornithology, and talked endlessly of it, to the point where friendly jokes were always being made. Among those jokers was my uncle who nicknamed me “the Ornery Biologist”. The nickname stuck and I decided to make use of it, so here I am!

The Long Version of My Story:

I’ve always loved birds. Ever since I can remember I’ve had a fascination with them; watching and photographing them. When I was nine I attended a raptor presentation at the local library, where I soaked up all of the information and carried it with me through several years while I accumulated ornithological reading material.

When I was twelve, we moved to Jackson County and it was full of wildlife; the birds were especially abundant. The longer I lived there, the more hot spots I found, both for birds and mammals. While we were living there I ticked many species for the very first time including Whooping Cranes, Trumpeter Swans, a Red-Shouldered Hawk, Prothonotary Warblers, and even a rare visitor; a White-Headed Woodpecker. Also while living in Jackson County I was dubbed “The Ornery Biologist.” The name stuck, and I immediately started planning to start a monthly newsletter. After trying that several times I found that I always hit a dead end. I just could not produce and send out enough material to make it worth something, and funds for postage was low. Instead I started blogging and found that it was easier, cheaper, and it reached a lot more people than I could have reached had I stayed with a snail mail newsletter.  I may eventually do a e-newsletter, once I have everything else in place.

When I was sixteen we moved again, this time to Monroe County. At first, I must confess, I was very rebellious at the thought of moving away from my favorite town, and all of my favorite birding and photogenic spots. I lived there for 7 years, and found it to be a very nice place for wildlife. Before I had only woods to explore; now I had woods, fields, and cranberry bogs. All of these types of habitats offered a wider variety of bird species, and kept me on my toes during the spring and summer months.

Now I live in Juneau County; not far from Monroe but yet again my favorite haunts are switched up.  I now have the gorgeous Necedah National Wildlife Refuge to explore!  We have only lived here since June 2017, and already I am seeing the perks of our new home; hearing the resident wolf packs, being in the middle of one of the busiest Whooping Crane (an endangered species) areas, and of course having easy access to the refuge just a few miles away.

Now, through my new website, I hope to teach other people about ornithology in a fun, exciting, and super-informative way.

Thank you for stopping by!

Mara ~ The Ornery Biologist


My Story — 10 Comments

  1. Mara – Thought I would pass along these links to an awesome WI birding opportunity and some books that are worth reading related to it. I have been to the Prairie Chicken Festival twice and it is worth getting up in the wee hours for – the chickens are fantastically weird to observe and the festival has excellent bird programs.

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