Recently, we had the opportunity to talk with Dr. William Scharf at his home in Traverse City. Having studied birds and their parasites for nearly 50 years, Bill is one of the world’s leading authorities on birds in northwestern lower Michigan. In fact, he has extensive academic and research experience as an avian parasitologist – a scientist who studies bird parasites. Retired from teaching at Northwestern Michigan College, he continues to hold a post with Lake Superior State University (LSSU) and works as a consultant on ornithology projects across the Midwest.
In short clip from our conversation, Bill talks about some of the changes he’s seen in the bird population of Northwest Lower Michigan over the past 45 years or so. A changing climate, he says, is bringing new birds to our area – and the parasites that travel with them.