Bill Lishman, known by many as ‘Father Goose’, passed on December 30 after a battle with Leukemia. Bill Lishman was an eccentric artist who found he had a strong affinity for birds after he began flying ultralight aircrafts. He found joy in flying alongside flocks of ducks and saw that he could use his unique skill of flying with birds to help Canada geese in their migrations by acting as the lead bird.
He enlisted the help of his friend Joe Duff, a photographer and fellow ultralight flyer. Together, they attempted their first migration with geese in 1993. Together, Bill and Joe co-founded Operation Migration to continue their work on aircraft guided bird migration. Since then, Operation Migration has graduated from leading Canadian geese to leading the endangered whooping crane on their migratory route.
Terra Informer, Sofia Osborne, spoke with Joe Duff about his memories of the late Bill Lishman. They also discussed the invention of human-led avian migration, the status of Whooping Cranes, and the legacy of Bill Lishman.