Birding With Friends
It’s impossible to describe the Watershed’s birding program without mentioning our late, beloved friend and founding member, Jack McCall. John “Jack” McCall came to the Edwardsville area in 1965 to teach in the Psychology Department at the newly opened campus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Jack’s love of nature (and especially birds) had been formed at a young age in rural North Carolina. After moving to Edwardsville, Jack began exploring the Metro East’s natural areas. It wasn’t long before he joined the local Audubon Society and the Sierra Club. He became a “birder” and went on outings whenever time permitted.
After retiring from SIUE in 1989, Jack had more hours to pursue his love of nature. At this time, the vision of the Watershed was forming under the leadership of John and Kay Kendall. Edwardsville’s old sewage lagoon had great possibilities as a “passive park”, and Jack joined many others in helping achieve the Kendalls’ vision of a nature preserve in Edwardsville. During his retirement years Jack focused his attention on the bird life at Watershed:
improving the habitat
building and putting up nesting boxes
educating people about birds
writing articles for the newsletter
leading bird walks
posting the monthly and yearly list of birds seen/heard
keeping extensive records on bird sightings for over twenty years
He was out at Watershed at least once a week for years checking on the bird life. He passed away on April 9, 2015 and enjoyed a final trek on the trails one month before his death. He is survived by wife Ginger, their children, and grand kids – who all love and support the Watershed Nature Center.