Showing posts from November, 2009

Giving Thanks

Kim Writes: This is Reginald Anthony Luzader , or "Reggie" as most people call him. I call him, Dad. He called me,"Kimmer Dukous." My Dad has Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's sucks. Dad was diagnosed about seven years ago. He had been having a lot of difficulty with simple things, and my brothers and sisters and I insisted that he go see a Doctor. Dad didn't want to. I think he knew what they were going to tell him. Here's Dad just a few precious years ago with his Great Granddaughter, Macy. My Dad was kind of a hardass . He didn't see much value in reading or studying or anything like that. The way you won my Dad's praise was to work; hard. We lived on a farm. We grew row crops like soybeans and corn on the Luzader family farm, which had been in his family for a long time. It was a good fit; the thin soil on "the ridge" in Wyandot County and this stubborn family who didn't know any better than to try. More rock that dirt, the farm

We're gonna fly with a little help from our friends...

Kim Kaufman's recipe for starting a young birders club: Start with a bowl of love for wild birds mixed equally with love for kids, add money --to your personal taste (*note, it always takes more than you think!), mix in two rounded spoonfuls of excitement, an entire box of energy (the extra large one!), add a healthy dollop of a trusting and believing board of directors (BOD)--(add the BOD all at once before they change their mind!), mix in six outstanding young people to guide you as you get started, pound in a big fat dose of stubbornness, and voila! Ohmygoodness , I almost forgot... Here are some key ingredients that help make a young birders club successful. Just add friends... The Nutty Birder Indiana Audubon Society Susan Gets Native Jim McCarty's Cleveland Plain Dealer Article Queen City Young Birders Club Jim McCormac's Blog Janet Creamer's Blog Midwest Birding Symposium WildBird Magazine Donald the Birder's Blog and these are just a few! Thank you all fo

Who Says Big Girls Don't Cry

Kim writes: I have been totally swamped (Black Swamped to be exact!) since the Ohio Young Birders Conference a week ago, and I feel really guilty for not posting anything about this amazing event yet. I'm working on a post to fill you in on all the great things that took up my time this week, and I hope it will explain why I haven't said a peep about this monumental event. My friends Kevin Loughlin and Chad Williams have already posted great summaries of the conference on their blogs, and rather than duplicate efforts, I'll just share a link to their blogs and you can check them out. But, before I send you off to other eLands far away... I'd like share some of my favorite things about the 3rd Annual Ohio Young Birders Conference. I get so emotional on conference day. I had someone tell me once that I should be a less emotional public speaker, that when I got weepy it made me seem unprofessional. I have this tendency to want to please everyone all the time (my Mom cal

Naturalist of the Year

From back home in Oak Harbor, Ohio, Kenn writes: The Toledo Naturalists’ Association (TNA) has a proud history going back more than 75 years. This organization has always counted some of the finest field biologists in Ohio and Michigan among its membership -- not just bird experts, but experts on every aspect of natural history. Once a year, the TNA honors someone as their Naturalist of the Year. Tonight, at their annual banquet, the Toledo Naturalists’ Association presented the prestigious 2009 Naturalist of the Year award to my wonderful wife Kimberly. I am so thoroughly bursting with pride at this point that I can hardly write a coherent sentence, but I wanted to let all our friends know about this. In presenting the award for the TNA, bird expert Greg Links acknowledged Kim’s background in natural history -- the thousands of hours observing and monitoring Bald Eagle nests, the volunteer work at Killdeer Plains in central Ohio, the tens of thousands of songbirds that she has banded

The Ohio Young Birders Club Conference

From the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Kim writes: Today felt like old times. When the Ohio Young Birders Club was younger itself I spent A LOT of time on the phone with parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and neighbors -- trying to arrange transportation for students still too young to drive. Last January, I took the position as the executive director of the Observatory that founded the club, and since then I've had to dish many of those responsibilities off to the OYBC coordinators, John Sawvel and Delores Cole. John and Delores are great, and it's very rewarding to see the club continue to grow and reach more and more young people while I'm doing other BSBO business. B ut, I have to admit that sometimes it's hard to accept that the club is not "my baby" anymore. Well, for a few hours today, I got my baby back! I just happened to be the one available to deal with this, and it felt so good to be back in the business of making great experiences happ

Pelagic Magic: When the gales of November are...absent?!!

From Terra Firma, Kim Writes: When Robert Faber, of Discovery Tours and Inside Outside Radio, contacted me last year to see if I was interested in BSBO partnering to host a Lake Erie Pelagic trip, I was very interested. But, I finally had to admit that, with all the other things BSBO had going on at that point, I just didn't have the time to do it and do it right. Now, I have some additional help in the office (volunteers make EVERYTHING that nonprofits do possible!) I was thrilled to tell Bob to count us in this year! And, I'm so glad we did. We planned two trips on board the HOLIDAY , and they sold out FAST! I think everyone on board yesterday felt blessed to be alive and outside! The trip really was marvelous. Great people, tasty food, phenomenal weather (almost weirdly warm...), a lake that looked like glass...flat calm, and some pretty special birds too--Kenn will fill you in on the birds in a later post. And so, I give you, trip number one: Our group, with the HOLIDAY (

The Winter of our Disconnected Wren

From home base in Ohio, Kenn writes: A number of years ago when I was a kid birder, bumming around North America to learn as much as I could about birds, my friends and I started to get interested in Winter Wrens. Of course, there are plenty of reasons to be interested in the Winter Wren. For one thing, there’s the question: is it a bird, or a rodent? Living in dense woods, it can be almost impossible to see sometimes, mousing around in the undergrowth, crawling under logs and vine tangles. (When it does pop up into the open, you have to be very lucky or very skillful to get anything better than the crappy photo shown below.) But when it starts to sing, then you get a different idea. It has a beautiful, long, varied, tinkling series of runs and trills, not what you’d expect to hear from a mouse, or even from the average bird. An "Eastern" Winter Wren at Magee Marsh, Ohio, in early April. Winter Wrens are common early spring migrants along the boardwalk at Magee, but they'

On the Wings of One Tiny Bird...

From the Headquarters of Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Kim Writes: The following post is taken from a migration fund appeal letter recently sent to all observatory members and contacts. I wanted to share it with all of you because it includes an amazing announcement about BSBO's research. 500,000… Roll that number around in your mind for a moment as I tell you the story of one small bird. Thursday, August 27, 2009: The tiny bird flitted among the branches of a large spruce, climbing until he had reached the tip of the uppermost branch. From there, he surveyed his world. Up until now his “world” had consisted of the forest close to the tiny nest he had left just weeks ago. But his world was about to change. It was a clear night in the boreal forest of central Alaska, and something in the wind was speaking to this little bird; it was telling him that it was time to go. After thoroughly preening his flight feathers, he lofted himself up, up, up, into the star-filled darkness. And all