Your Tour Guides

Dan Schneider

Wisconsin Bigby (Big Green Year ) record holder . In the year 2011 when Dan set the Wisconsin record of 240 bird species spotted during the calendar year he logged over 2500 miles biking and walking.

Jon Krapfl

USFWS biologist working at Horicon NWR.

Dick Nikolai

Dick is a retired wildlife biologist and master bird bander who has been conducting ongoing research since 1985 on purple martins in Wisconsin. He is one of the founding members of the Bluebird Restoration of Wisconsin (BRAW) and a Board Member of the Wisconsin Purple Martin Association

Jerry Genzmer

Born and raised in Horicon. The marsh was a big part of Jerry’s childhood which made him a natural when he joined Horicon Marsh Boat Tours as a guide in 1986. He began his interest in birding at a young age when his parents got him his first bird book and feeder

Mickey O’Connor

Master bander and one of only a few licensed to band hummingbirds in Wisconsin. Mickey works at the Milwaukee Zoo where she is an avian ecologist. She is also treasurer for the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology

Renee Wahlen

Renee is the director at Marsh Haven Nature Center and is responsible for programming, educational opportunities, and management of the facility. With a degree in ecopsychology, she is interested in helping people find their personal connection with nature.

Sandy Komito

During the 1980’s and 90’s, Sandy Komito was the most traveled birder in North America and would often chase after any report of a bird he hadn’t yet seen. Sandy thought nothing of rushing to the airport within twenty minutes of a reported rarity. By reacting quickly, he was able to be successful in more than 60% of the chases. In North America, during this two-decade period, Sandy regularly recorded more than 500 species per year, with two of the years seeing over 600 species and in two others, seeing more than 700! In 1987, He set the ABA record for the most birds seen in a single year with 722. Eleven years later, in 1998 in an attempt to break his own record Sandy spent 270 days away from home in the pursuit of all the birds to be found in North America. He also logged nearly 275,000 miles, (nearly 80% of which was by air). By year’s end, Sandy had totaled the incredible number of 745 birds plus four that weren’t yet on the ABA list. It took several years before three of the four sightings were accepted by the various State Rare Bird Committees and finally, the ABA Checklist Committee. This brought the official total to 748. Sandy has also written two books detailing each of his two Big Years. His book on the 1998 record year inspired the book and movie, “The Big Year” by Twentieth Century Fox.

Joel Trick

Joel worked as a Biologist for USFWS for 27 years (retired) all of it in Wisconsin. He worked with Whooping Cranes, Piping Plovers and Kirtlands warbler. Joel is now on the Board of Directors of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory.

Greg Seegert

Greg birds extensively and typically sees 550-600 birds in the ABA area each year, Greg has an ABA life list of over 700 birds in North America. He grew up in Beaver Dam, owns a farm in the area, and has birded for many years throughout Horicon Marsh and the surrounding area. He enjoys working with and mentoring birders of all levels.

Daryl Tessen

Member of Wisconsin Society of Ornithology for over 50 years where he was past president.
24 years Western Great Lakes regional editor for North American Birds. Author of the book “Wisconsin Favorite Bird Haunts”. Co-Author of the field guide “Birds of Minnesota and Wisconsin” . Daryl has a Wisconsin life list over 400 species of birds.

Jeff Bahls

Jeff is a lifelong resident of Dodge County, Wisconsin. He has been an avid waterfowler for nearly 40 years. He has vast knowledge of the Horicon Marsh where he works part time for the Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources. Jeff has been a Member of Horicon Marsh Bird club for the past 15 years and is the current President. He currently sits on the board of the Wood Duck Society, a nationwide organization devoted placement and care of wood duck boxes and wood duck habitat.  Jeff was a member of Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2007 search team, for Ivory Billed Woodpecker in Arkansas.

Holly Bartholmai

Holly became interested in birding when she and her husband Jack moved to 22 acres of varied habitat in rural Beaver Dam; a place they call Hickory Springs where they began feeding the birds in their yard. She has assisted Jack in monitoring their nest box trails. They are avid backyard birders with a list of 170 some species of birds that have visited their Hickory Springs home over the years.

Jack Bartholmai

Jack has been photographing birds in and around the Horicon Marsh for the last 15 years. Jack has also been doing frog surveys for the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge for the last 7 years. This has given him the opportunity to be in the marsh after dark and become familiar with not only the sounds of frogs and toads calling, but also the birds that call from dusk into dark.

Marty Evanson

Marty has been interested in bird watching since the early 1980s. He has participated in various bird surveys throughout Wisconsin since the early 1990’s such as the Christmas bird counts and breeding bird surveys. He participated in the Wisconsin bird atlas project. He has led numerous bird hikes for youth groups, co-lead bird walks for the Friends of the Nature Lakeshore Preserve (Picnic Point) and led bird trips for the Madison Audubon Society. Marty, being a very active birder, has accumulated a Wisconsin life list of over 315 bird species.

Liz Herzmann

Liz Herzmann is a Wildlife Educator for the Department of Natural Resources at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. She is responsible for the educational programming and special events held at the Education Center. These programs allow people of all ages to experience the wildlife and natural resources of Horicon Marsh. Previous to working at the Education Center, Liz worked for Northern Illinois University teaching outdoor education at a field campus to 4th-8th grade students.

Dennis Gustafson

Dennis holds a PhD in biology. He was a Biology teacher at Rufus King High School in Milwaukee for 35 years. He has birded for 48 years, primarily in southern Wisconsin. Dennis has been birding Horicon Marsh for most of those years.

Erin Railsback

Erin works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Visitor Services Specialist at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. She is responsible for the environmental education, interpretive, and volunteer programs at the refuge – programs that provide opportunities for numerous youth, visitors, and volunteers to learn about and connect with the Horicon Marsh.

Brad Webb

Brad started birding several years ago and it quickly became a passion. He is a founding member and tour leader of a new group scheduling bird walks in Dodge and Jefferson Counties. Brad enjoys introducing new members to the pleasures of birding and sharing birding moments with experienced birders as well. A member of the Horicon Marsh Bird Club, he is often found somewhere on the marsh checking out residents and migrants alike.

Marc Zuelsdorf

Marc’s family has owned and operated Horicon Marsh Boat Tours since 1994. Marc, who purchased the business from his father, Roland, (founder of the business in 1963) has been guiding tours since the age of eleven. Marc enjoys leading and educating visitors through the marsh in an effort to preserve the natural state of Horicon Marsh. In March of 2007 the business received a Travel Green certification from the WI Deptartment of Tourism and WI Environmental Initiative for their effort in environmentally sustainable business practices.