Craig Watson

Craig currently resides in Charleston County South Carolina where he works full time as a migratory bird biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 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 current position with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service where his primary duties are writing regional landscape bird conservation plans and species-specific plans. His most current collaborative effort is the newly released Black Rail Conservation Plan.

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 Vice President of the Carolina Bird Club where he leads birding trips for 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 participates in many Christmas Bird Counts and leads other local birding activities. When not working on bird conservation, Craig spends most of his time exploring and birding, and spreading the word about birds!