Today: Lori Naumann, information officer for the Nongame Wildlife Program of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Among other duties, Naumann manages the popular EagleCam, perched above a nest in St. Paul.

Reading

“The Road to Character” by David Brooks. With the dawn of social media and the current volatile political climate, I am fascinated with shifting social paradigms and always want to learn more. Where and how human belief systems are formed, influenced and projected has always interested me. Brooks digs deep into historical events which help explain some of the influential zeitgeists in our country.

Following

The destruction of habitat that is occurring in preparation for a possible border wall. There are several species of animals that will be greatly affected. The monarch butterfly population is threatened. Mammals, amphibians and fish also may be impacted by the construction and presence of a physical barrier that encroaches on habitat.

I also am following a recent story regarding four bald eagles that were shot in northern Minnesota. I don’t believe anyone has been arrested or charged with the killings, but I was happy to hear that it was reported and that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating.

Watching

The EagleCam! I operate the EagleCam for the DNR. To raise awareness and funding for the Nongame Wildlife Program, a camera was placed in an eagle’s nest in 2013. The camera has gained a large following around the world. Wildlife watchers, teachers and students from 170 countries have watched. It is displayed and seen regularly in many classrooms. The nesting season is beginning for this pair of eagles, so it really dominates my work time and also occupies a fair amount of nonwork hours. Many questions come in regarding the camera: the weather, identification of the individual eagles seen at the nest and, of course, general questions about bald eagles.

Listening

I recently went to the Zephyr Theatre in Stillwater for its production of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It was a very small but powerful performance by local talent. It struck me how many similarities to today’s world we can compare to life in the United States several decades ago.

Doing

I participated in the Christmas Bird Count last weekend. The Audubon Society organizes a yearly, citizen-science count of birds that I participate in, along with many volunteers across the country. The data has been used to track population trends of birds. It is a fun way to participate in important data collection, meet new people, and enjoy the company of local birders every year.

I wasn’t able to join the larger group this year, but I did count the birds in my yard and my neighborhood, which, next to watching them feed at my feeder, is one of my favorite things to do!