Craig Watson

Craig currently resides in Charleston County South Carolina and recently retired from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service where he worked full time as a migratory bird biologist. A native of Sevier County, Tennessee, Craig did his graduate research on the Red-cockaded Woodpecker in Tennessee, and after five years with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, he accepted a position with the U.S. Forest Service in coastal South Carolina managing a designated recovery population of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. Shortly after he arrived, Hurricane Hugo struck South Carolina, decimating the woodpecker population, and Craig worked for the next nine years striving to recover that population with the first use of artificial cavities for Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Craig transitioned into his position with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service where his primary duties were writing regional landscape bird conservation plans and species-specific plans. His primary work prior to retirement was working on the Threatened Eastern Black Rail.

Craig began seriously birding while in graduate school at the University of Tennessee, and he takes all opportunities to travel and learn more about regional birds, their habitats, and conservation needs. He has extensive experience in the United States, and through his work has been able to work in several places in the Caribbean, including a five-year effort conducting shorebird and landbird surveys in Turks and Caicos, focusing on Piping Plover and Red Knot.

Craig is currently Chair of the Grants Committee of the Carolina Bird Club, and he leads birding trips for CBC regional meetings. He is also a volunteer for Audubon South Carolina, leading local trips, and he is a trip leader for the North Shore Birding Festival in Lake Apopka area. Craig is also a volunteer for South Carolina DNR, leading monthly bird tours at Botany Bay Plantation WMA. Craig participates in many Christmas Bird Counts and leads other local birding activities. He also speaks at local Audubon and other bird club events focusing on Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, and Limpkins expanding their breeding range into South Carolina. Craig spends most of his time exploring and birding and spreading the word about birds!