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The qualified staff of the Wild Bird Center are here to help you enjoy feeding birds. Stop by and say hello, and share some of your birding stories with someone who really cares.


Denise Kirkpatrick, Owner
Denise likes to describe herself as a corporate refugee after spending most of her career as a marketing professional in large corporations. Two of the many factors that she looked for in a change of careers were being her own boss and a lot less travel. Her background includes a BA in Psychology from Mizzou, a BS in Nuclear Medicine from Indiana University, and a Masters in Business Administration from University of Missouri. Denise opened the Wild Bird Center in early 2002 after looking for a way to combine her love of birds and nature with her educational and work background. Denise lives in Sunset Hills with her husband Chuck. Their daughter Lauren just graduated from the University of Missouri Medical School and is doing her internship in Columbia, MO. Their son Doug graduated from Saint Louis University in 2011 and is currently a graduate student in analytical chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Denise enjoys bird watching in her rare free time and has been feeding backyard birds since she was very young. One of her favorite memories was going to the local butcher shop for some fresh suet for their Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker when she was only a small child. Even with the demands of owning her own business, Denise finds time to keep 8-12 feeders filled in her own backyard.

Chuck Kirkpatrick, Owner
Chuck spends some time in the store, but spends more time working on store projects not on the sales floor. Chuck does the accounting and the web site for the Wild Bird Center, as well as taking care of maintenance and building projects for the store. Chuck's day job is at Saint Louis University, where he is a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry. Chuck has a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Indiana University. He teaches freshman chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and has research projects in computational chemistry. Chuck enjoys taking pictures of birds in the yard. His "prize" photo was taken several years ago when a Pileated Woodpecker visited the suet feeder on the deck.

Marty Mallett, Assistant Manager
Marty grew up in Madison, Wisconsin where she attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison and earned a BS degree in Wildlife Ecology. While at the university, she helped with research on urban crows and feral cats. Marty has worked in wildlife rehabilitation at the Vermont Raptor Center, the Dane County (Wisconsin) Humane Society, and at the World Bird Sanctuary here in St. Louis. While working at the World Bird Sanctuary, she gave live bird educational programs for all ages throughout Illinois and Missouri. She also was a naturalist at Powder Valley Nature Center for the Missouri Department of Conservation. Marty has been working for Wild Bird Center stores longer than any staff member, having started at other locations before moving here to the South County store. She is a real expert on all birds, but has an exceptional knowledge of birds of prey. Marty lives with her husband Mike and son Aaron who just turned 9, in High Ridge.

Ken Barrows
Ken is retired from a 30-year career at NGA where he used his degrees in geography. During his tenure there, Ken lived and worked in Australia for 5 years and has some great stories to share of the culture and wildlife there. He has always been an avid outdoorsman with an interest in birds and wildlife. As a volunteer for the Missouri Department of Conservation, Ken helps to educate others so that they can enhance their own enjoyment of nature. Although always interested in birds, he has sharpened that interest since his employment here and enjoys helping to identify birds as well as search for diverse species on his own property south of St. Louis.

Dennis Crain
Dennis is retired from a career as a computer system specialist and is a great resource at the Wild Bird Center. Besides his interest and experience in backyard feeding, Dennis has a great deal of knowledge about his other hobby, backyard ponds. He maintains his own successful ponds at home, with fish and water plants. Dennis also has experience breeding and raising canaries, so he is one of our few staff members that can answer questions about indoor birds. Stop by and talk to Dennis about any of these topics, or just general birdfeeding.

Cindy Fleisher
Cindy comes to us by was of Southern California and now is a long-time St. Louisan. Her career has been mainly in the medical/mental health fields. Her passion however, has always been in animals, expecially in the areas of rescue and volunteering. Throughout her entire life she has maintained domestic birds. Since she has been with us, she has greatly expanded her knowledge of wild birds.

Zoe Geist
A St. Louis native, Zoe Geist is a part-time employee at Wild Bird Center and she is also an adjunct faculty at St. Louis Community College. She teaches general biology courses and an elective course at Florissant Valley, Animal Behavior. She received her M.S. in biology and her B.S. in Biology from Central Missouri State University. For her graduate research, she studied habitat selection of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers in Western Missouri. Zoe's first career experience was working as a seasonal naturalist for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, State Park Division. She worked at Harry S. Truman Park while she was a student at CSMU, at Watkins Mill State Parks while she lived in Kansas City, and at Babler State Park when she moved to St. Louis in 2001. Nature programs such as spiders, night walks, bird walks and stream table demonstrations were her favorites to present to park visitors. Zoe also worked part-time for a Wild Bird Center store in Kansas City. Zoe took an interest in bird counts when she was a student and she and her husband participated in the Christmas Bird Count of Knob Knoster, Missouri annually for six years. She started participating in the North American Migration Count with her graduate advisor when it began in 1993. Although Zoe has had many birding experiences in Missouri, she cites her observations of the courtship rituals between male and female Scissor-tails and the agonistic behavior among the males as the best. Zoe and her husband live in Imperial, MO with their two dogs. They are backyard enthusiasts and spend as much time outdoors as possible. Zoe continues to bird watch in the St. Louis area and now compiles NAMC data for St. Louis County.

Bill Giese
Bill retired from The Boeing Company after a few months shy of 30 years working in a variety of positions related to corporate compliance and ethics. Prior to his career at Boeing, Bill served as an officer in the U.S. Army. Bill and his wife Linda love all animals and have been backyard bird feeders for many years. Bill also trains dogs using only force-free positive reinforcement-based methods in both a volunteer capacity for the Greater St. Louis Training Club, Inc. and in his own business, By My Side Dog Training, LLC. Bill is thrilled to have joined the Wild Bird Center team.

Tom Wren
Tom retired from AmerenUE after 37 years as a supervisor of administrative services at the Meramec power plant. Throughout his tenure he worked at all of the coal-fired plants in Missouri, most of the coal-powered plant in Illinois, and all of the hydro-electric plants in Missouri and Iowa. Tom has been feeding backyard birds for years. Tom enjoys nature, particularly on a golf course. Tom has lots of real-world bird feeding and squirrel-fighting experience to share.