Kenn Kaufman

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Kenn Kaufman
Born 1954 (age 60–61)
South Bend, Indiana, U.S.

Kenn Kaufman (born 1954) is an American author, artist, naturalist, and conservationist, known for his work on several popular field guides of birds and butterflies in North America.

Born in South Bend, Indiana, Kaufman started birding from the age of six.[1] When he was nine, his family moved to Wichita, Kansas, where his fascination with birds intensified.[2] At age sixteen, inspired by birding pioneers such as Roger Tory Peterson, he dropped out of high school and began hitchhiking around North America in pursuit of birds.[3] Three years later, in 1973, he nearly set the record for the most North American bird species seen in one year (671) while participating in a Big Year, a year-long birding competition.[4] However, this record included regions like Baja California that are no longer ornithologically considered part of North America and has since been surpassed.[5] His cross-country birding journey, covering some eighty thousand miles, was eventually recorded in a memoir, Kingbird Highway.[6]

Subsequently, he focused his work on creating and expanding upon birding field guides. In 1992, he was given the Ludlow Griscom Award by the American Birding Association. Kaufman also received the ABA Roger Tory Peterson Award in 2008 for a "lifetime of achievements in promoting the cause of birding."[7]

Kaufman resides in Oak Harbor, Ohio with his wife Kimberly.[8] Today Kenn writes for Birds and Blooms,[8] Bird Watcher's Digest,[9] and works/volunteers at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory.[10] Kaufman maintains a weblog where he reports bird sightings in the northwest region of Ohio and makes predictions about the spring bird migration.[11]



  1. ^ Kaufman, Kenn. Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, pp. 2-3.
  2. ^ Ibid., pp. 3-6.
  3. ^ Ibid., pp. 6, passim.
  4. ^ Ibid., Appendix, pp. 317-8.
  5. ^ Ibid.
  6. ^ Ibid., passim.
  7. ^ "American Birding Association Awards". Retrieved December 18, 2005. 
  8. ^ a b "Interview with Ken and Kimberly Kaufman". Birds & Blooms. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Kaufmann at Birdwatchers' Digest". Birdwatchers' Digest. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  10. ^ "BSBO Staff". Black Swamp Bird Observatory. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  11. ^ Kaufman, Kenn. "Birding the Crane Creek". Retrieved January 1, 2013. 

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