Kenn Kaufman

Dendroica Farewell: new classification for the American warblers.

Thumbnail image for Dendroica Farewell: new classification for the American warblers. by Kenn Kaufman 24 May 2011

Dendroica, we hardly knew ye. Here in northwest Ohio (Warbler Capital of the World) we have been awash in beautiful, colorful, sprightly American warblers (family Parulidae)  for the last several weeks.  I’ve been so busy looking at actual birds, and talking to actual birders, that I haven’t kept up with news from the ornithological world, [...]

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Will and Kate: the prequel

Thumbnail image for Will and Kate: the prequel by Kenn Kaufman 28 April 2011

If you pay close attention to the popular media, you may have noticed recent references to some couple named “Will and Kate.”  Perhaps you’ve been mystified as to the identity of this couple.  I’m here to tell you that it would be no mystery if you were a birder with a good grasp of the [...]

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SparrowTime

Thumbnail image for SparrowTime by Kenn Kaufman 17 March 2011

I am blessed to live in a major migration hotspot. Northwestern Ohio, USA, has fabulous concentrations of migrants in spring and fall. Visiting birders come here to see the waterfowl, the raptors, the shorebirds, the warblers — especially the warblers, which gather here in colorful throngs in May, earning this area the title of “Warbler Capital [...]

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Location Matters

Thumbnail image for Location Matters by Kenn Kaufman 3 February 2011

The idea of “green energy” is popular today, as it should be.  It makes sense for us to find ways to produce power in non-polluting ways, from renewable sources, to protect the environment of our planet and to create a sustainable future.  Most birders probably would agree with that. One potential source of “green energy” [...]

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First Bird of the Year?

Thumbnail image for First Bird of the Year? by Kenn Kaufman 31 December 2010

Generally I’m not superstitious. If I’m lucky, I’ll never have reason to be superstitious (knock on wood). But all my life, ever since I started birding at the age of six, I have had this kind of superstition surrounding my first bird of the year every year. I know the calendar doesn’t really mean anything. [...]

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Christmas Feast: Macaroni and Cheese

Thumbnail image for Christmas Feast: Macaroni and Cheese by Kenn Kaufman 23 December 2010

My wife Kimberly and I, as two bird-obsessed people, may not celebrate the holidays in quite the same ways that an average couple would. This year we’ll go on Christmas Bird Counts and get together with birding friends, as well as family members, before we leave to chase birds in Central America. Two years ago, [...]

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Worthen’s Sparrow: What is it?

Thumbnail image for Worthen’s Sparrow: What is it? by Kenn Kaufman 1 December 2010

Worthen’s Sparrow (Spizella wortheni) has been a creature of mystery ever since its discovery.  It was first found in the southwestern United States, near Silver City, New Mexico, in June 1884, but it has never been found north of the border since then.  Its total known range today is a limited area on the northern [...]

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Just Add Migrants, then Chop, Slice, Stir

Thumbnail image for Just Add Migrants, then Chop, Slice, Stir by Kenn Kaufman 24 November 2010

  I live where I do (in northwest Ohio, USA) because it’s such a great place for observing bird migration.  When I first got together with Kimberly, who is now my wife, she was working as a bird-bander in this phenomenal region; after I had visited here and seen something of the migration, I decided [...]

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Inverted Invaders

Thumbnail image for Inverted Invaders by Kenn Kaufman 13 November 2010

We could call them “nutcases” instead of “nuthatches,” and we wouldn’t be far off.  Nuthatches don’t hatch nuts; they run around on trees, clambering up, clambering down headfirst, making nasal or squeaking notes.  They act as if they’ve spent too much time upside down, permanently warping their brains.

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Rising From The Caves

Thumbnail image for Rising From The Caves by Kenn Kaufman 5 November 2010

During the last week of October 2010, an intense low-pressure system moved from west to east across the mid-latitudes of North America.  Local weather forecasters wondered whether it would become “the storm of the century” – a term that seems to get used practically every year. 

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Lovable gulls for gull-haters!

Thumbnail image for Lovable gulls for gull-haters! by Kenn Kaufman 21 October 2010

First: ugly Gulls! I admit it: I love gulls.  They are endlessly fascinating and challenging.  If we look at a gull flock closely, we find that no two individuals look exactly the same.  They vary with age, season, and individual, many species are confusingly similar, and they often hybridize, further adding to the challenge of [...]

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