Chat Happens was founded in 2006 by Chad Witko and Ryan Butryn, two close friends that met each other several years prior while attending the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY.

Baxter State Park
During the early years of their friendship they quickly discovered they shared similar interests in the environment, specifically birding. Over the next few years these two intrepid birders and young scientists went afield in search of as many bird species as they could find across the Lower 48. Having birded 30 states together, there were many stories and pictures to share with their friends and family, but no real outlet available. After discussing the possibility of jointly working on some articles for local birding newsletters, it was decided that perhaps an online blog would be the best outlet for these two young birders to share their personal birding stories and educational articles on birding. It was through this that Chat Happens was born.

Early posts centered around the birding forays of Chad and Ryan, but soon a more substantial website began to take shape with product and equipment reviews, essays on identification challenges, and contributions from others within the birding community, including scientists, artists, and other birders.

Born out of necessity and quickly filling a vital niche, Chat Happens was vaulted into the virtual limelight when it was voted a “Favorite Website” for its inspiration to other birders in 2006 by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. Even the name Chat Happens was born of a necessity to find that perfect name that would best describe the social nature of the site, give insight to others about all the crazy and amazing stuff that happens when you’re afield birding, yet also tie into the name of a wonderfully symbolic bird species who, for lack of a better way of saying it, is a little odd with an uncertain placement to its relatives…much like this site!

With all of that said, we hope you enjoy our site where we hope is that it might help you (re)discover or strengthen your love for our feathered friends and the roads that take us to them. Whether this is your first time viewing the site, or your one-hundredth, we hope that you can utilize its presence, and are in some way enlightened, or at the very least, amused by what we have presented.


Interested in becoming a guest contributor? Please contact: chad AT chat-happens dot com