Dan Stephens has made considerable contributions to the Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest. For 21 years, Dan has designed and lead Bird Fest field trips to explore Douglas County’s shrub-steppe habitats. Recently, Dan has offered pre-festival participants to join his Wenatchee Valley College (WVC) ornithology students on a class field trip. Dan is a tenured biology professor at WVC, and is curator of the college’s bird study skin collection. Dan started building this collection in the early 1990s, which currently contains 480 bird study skins, including 160 different species of birds, ranging from the American coot to the Western screech owl.
More than 200 community members, ornithologists, students, colleagues, and friends have contributed their time to collect, prepare and maintain the bird skins. As part of the 2023 Bird Fest, Dan and the WVC biology lab will be hosting a first-ever open house showcasing the entire collection. Through this cooperative effort, Dan has created a valuable collection that is available for scientific research. The collection is frequently used by local schools and for community outreach events by organizations such as the Wenatchee River Institute and Cascadia Conservation District.