PIONEERING THE EFFORT: Jack & Liz Hailman
At one of end of the century of conservation work in Florida are folks like Jack and Liz Hailman. Their photos were taken in 2015, just a year before Jack passed away. “That makes it even more special,” Liz said.
Jack was a well-respected professor of zoology at the University of Wisconsin. In 1970, as part of his research, he began studying scrub-jays at Archbold. “He just loved the outdoors,” said Liz, who described both her husband and herself as naturalists. In 2000, the couple retired and moved to Florida to more regularly don their binoculars, clipboard, and walkie talkie (the same ones seen in their photos) for the monthly Florida scrub-jay census.
“We could get twice as much done because there were two of us, especially when you’re trying to find those birds and identify them by their color bands,” Liz recalled.
Jack was always interested in bird behavior and bird communication. He worked with another intelligent bird species up north: the chickadee. But Liz described the scrub-jay census as “the highlight of our lives, in a sense.”
“We were working with such a great group of people at Archbold, and we were able to contribute to the body of knowledge.”