Remembering Chuck Tague

Chuck Tague, 2008 (photo by Bill Parker)
Chuck Tague (photo by Bill Parker, 2008)

June 19, 2016:

Yesterday morning on The Allegheny Front Chuck Tague taught us about bluets in a rebroadcast of his article Field of Innocence, recorded in September 2001.   Hours later I learned that Chuck had died the night before from complications of a heart attack he suffered on May 11.  He was 71.

Chuck was an avid nature observer, writer, photographer and inspiring teacher. He touched thousands of lives with his love of nature and sense of wonder.  His enthusiasm for the outdoors was infectious.

I first met Chuck Tague more than 20 years ago when I attended his birding classes at the Rachel Carson Institute.  His welcoming spirit changed my life.  I spent more time birding, attended outings, joined the Wissahickon Nature Club and assisted him on the Raccoon Christmas Bird Count.  We became friends and I traveled with Chuck and his wife Joan to Presque Isle and Magee Marsh for spring migration and visited them in Florida where they made their home in 2010.

Chuck’s website and Facebook page are always educational and his outings were pure fun.  He never limited our curiosity as we examined birds, plants, insects, everything!  We always learned something new.

Chuck was an excellent photographer and generous with his time and knowledge.  When I began writing this blog he graciously offered his photos.  He was always available to answer questions and we collaborated on projects like the Phenology series which we mirrored on his website and mine.  This blog would not have been possible without him.

Many of my friends today are people I met on Chuck’s outings.  All of us are grieving.  It’s hard to believe he’s gone, though he lives on in all of us.  His own words in yesterday’s broadcast inspire us as we remember him:

“I picked up the dried bluet stem and examined the tear-shaped seed capsule. There was the life affirming assurance I was seeking. Life will continue. Bluets will return to the field.”

I need to go find some bluets.


Click here to listen to Field of Innocence.  Read Chuck’s biography here.

(photo of Chuck Tague in 2008 by Bill Parker.  Sadly, both Chuck and Bill are gone.)


20 thoughts on “Remembering Chuck Tague

  1. Hi Kate, Your blog is wonderful and your tribute to your friend is lovely. I discovered your blog after a devastating loss of my own. I read it first thing in the morning, because of my love of nature, and because it gives me a feeling of peace, to start another day. My condolences to you all. May he rest in peace. Yes, you need to go find some bluets.

  2. Beautifully said Kate. I will miss Chuck’s enthusiastic love of nature but he has passed that on to many people both young and old. May we all use that to pass it on to more.

  3. Very sorry for the loss you and, it seems, so many others have suffered. This is a wonderful tribute.

  4. I’m sorry to read about the loss of your dear friend, Kate.

    As Anne Marie stated, this is a beautiful tribute to him.

  5. I second what Linda said above. He was a wonderful, sweet man that truly loved nature and sharing his love for it. It was because of him that I developed a love of birds, especially raptors.

  6. Thanks for honoring Chuck, Kate. I knew I would be overwhelmed by the response to his passing and his friends and fans have not disappointed me. He was introduced to so many people through your blog who then followed him for years. He was always grateful for that.

  7. I too had classes with Chuck. He dared us to pay better attention to what we were seeing and hearing as we walked along with him. I’m thankful to have that introduction to nature by him. Thank you for sharing this warm personal tribute.

  8. Dear Kate, this is a beautiful tribute to your dear friend. Please know that we all grieve with you and Chuck’s family in this difficult time. My prayers are with you all.

  9. Thank you Kate for the kind words about Chuck. I am so sorry to hear this. I met him in 1980 when he was a volunteer at the then Pittsburgh Aviary. He was very enthusiastic when teaching visitors about the birds in the exhibits. I admired his energy which he never lost. I also knew Bill Parker. He was a keeper at the aviary who had an interest in Kestrel’s. He always had a smile and was very pleasant. So sorry to hear that he too is gone. May they both rest in peace.

  10. What a wonderful tribute to my FB friend…..Was hoping to meet him & his wife on a trip to Florida some day but my health prevented me from going…..He brought such joy into so many lives and he will be truly missed…..RIP my FB friend…The Stars will shine brighter at night as you have entered The Heavenly Fold….

  11. We have had Chuck at many of our Butler Outdoor Club events. I also knew him through his brother Russ Tague. We always enjoyed him.

  12. Kate, your tribute to Chuck, capped off with just the right life-affirming quote from him, is beautiful. Thanks for posting it.

  13. Kate, I am so very sorry for your loss and offer my condolences to you and to Chuck’s family. This is a beautiful tribute to your wonderful friend. I have no doubt that you will keep his memory alive.

  14. Countless natural wonders bring Chuck to mind, and bluets will take their place at the top of the list. Beautiful tribute, Kate.

  15. Thanks, Kate. So many great memories of outings, programs with Chuck. His enthusiasm for nature has been passed on to so many. He will be missed.

  16. Thank you, Kate for sharing this with Chuck’s family and friends. It was a moving article and a comfort to hear his voice. I am sorry I did not see you when you were in Erie for your Audubon talk. I do remember you from Chuck’s bird group trips to Erie. Pattie, Chuck’s sister.

  17. Thank you Kate for this tribute. I learned a tremendous amount from Chuck. No one was more generous in sharing information. Patrick McShea Carnegie Museum of Natural History

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