Chattanooga man honored for protecting birds for over 60 years

Female Peregrine Falcon taken in Wales, UK.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A man who has studied and protected Tennessee birds for more than 60 years is being honored by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Kenneth Dubke, known as “the birdman,” has received the 2019 Robert Sparks Walker Lifetime Achievement Award. A department statement says Dubke has been instrumental in the preservation of Tennessee’s golden eagles, osprey, and whooping cranes.

The 88-year-old joined the Tennessee Ornithological Society while a student at the University of Tennessee in the 1950s. He later studied Sandhill cranes in the Elizabethton area before moving to Chattanooga, where he established public hawk watches on Signal Mountain.

Dubke later established the first formal Eagle Days program at Reelfoot Lake. And his work led to a network of wildlife viewing areas across Tennessee.

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