Kingbird Highway

One of America's leading birders recounts his trek across the country at the age of sixteen in search of birds, his efforts to set a record for the most North American species seen in a year, and how he gained a deeper understanding of the ...

Author: Kenn Kaufman

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780618709403

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 667

At 16, Kaufman dropped out of high school and started hitching across America in an effort to see the most birds in a year. "Kingbird Highway" is a unique coming-of-age story, combining a lyrical celebration of nature with wild adventures and some unbelievable characters.

Kingbird Highway

The Story of a Natural Obsession That Got a Little Out of Hand Kenn Kaufman. Kingbird Highway The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder Kenn Kaufman HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY Boston New York First Houghton Mifflin paperback Front ...

Author: Kenn Kaufman

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0618062351

Category: Nature

Page: 336

View: 477

The author recounts his trek across the country at age sixteen in search of birds, his efforts to set a record for the most North American species seen in a year, and how he gained a deeper understanding of the natural world. Reprint.

In the Field Among the Feathered

Kaufman, Kingbird Highway, 16, xi–xii. Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher, Wild America (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1955), 15 Kaufman, Kingbird Highway, 151–61. Kaufman, Kingbird Highway, 2, 21. John C. Devlin and Grace Naismith, ...

Author: Thomas R. Dunlap

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199912696

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 857

America is a nation of ardent, knowledgeable birdwatchers. But how did it become so? And what role did the field guide play in our passion for spotting, watching, and describing birds? In the Field, Among the Feathered tells the history of field guides to birds in America from the Victorian era to the present, relating changes in the guides to shifts in science, the craft of field identification, and new technologies for the mass reproduction of images. Drawing on his experience as a passionate birder and on a wealth of archival research, Thomas Dunlap shows how the twin pursuits of recreation and conservation have inspired birders and how field guides have served as the preferred method of informal education about nature for well over a century. The book begins with the first generation of late 19th-century birdwatchers who built the hobby when opera glasses were often the best available optics and bird identification was sketchy at best. As America became increasingly urban, birding became more attractive, and with Roger Tory Peterson's first field guide in 1934, birding grew in both popularity and accuracy. By the 1960s recreational birders were attaining new levels of expertise, even as the environmental movement made birding's other pole, conservation, a matter of human health and planetary survival. Dunlap concludes by showing how recreation and conservation have reached a new balance in the last 40 years, as scientists have increasingly turned to amateurs, whose expertise had been honed by the new guides, to gather the data they need to support habitat preservation. Putting nature lovers and citizen-activists at the heart of his work, Thomas Dunlap offers an entertaining history of America's long-standing love affair with birds, and with the books that have guided and informed their enthusiasm.

Adventures Afar

Kenn Kaufman, in his book Kingbird Highway, called the ivory gull the "phantom of the shifting ice" and described it so beautifully as "a bird the color of deep snow, the color of distant icebergs, a bird of shocking white.

Author: Gloria A. Tveten

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

ISBN: 9781585445417

Category: Nature

Page: 245

View: 101

Polar bears in the high Arctic. Butterflies on Mexico’s mountains. Gray whales in Baja California. Golden toads in Costa Rica. Parrots in the West Indies. Albatrosses off the Olympic Peninsula. Whether on their own or as tour leaders for the Smithsonian Institution and other organizations, John and Gloria Tveten have encountered the world’s wildlife with an unfailing appreciation not only for animals of all kinds but also for the places those animals call home. For more than two decades, from some of the most beautiful and fascinating locations in the Western Hemisphere, the Tvetens brought their adventures alive for the readers of their weekly “Nature Trails” column in the Houston Chronicle. Here, with contemporary notes and updates, the Tvetens have gathered a sampling of their favorite, most recommended, most unforgettable trips to see wildlife and nature, which also include the Guatemalan Highlands, the International Crane Foundation, the Andes, the Grand Canyon, and Utah’s Redrock Country.

Eden s Endemics

Kenn Kaufman, Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997), 161. 10. Kaufman, Kingbird Highway, 154. 11. Kaufman, Kingbird Highway, 44. 12. Peterson and Fisher, Wild America, ...

Author: Elizabeth Callaway

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

ISBN: 0813944589

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 226

View: 643

In the past thirty years biodiversity has become one of the central organizing principles through which we understand the nonhuman environment. Its deceptively simple definition as the variation among living organisms masks its status as a hotly contested term both within the sciences and more broadly. In Eden’s Endemics, Elizabeth Callaway looks to cultural objects—novels, memoirs, databases, visualizations, and poetry— that depict many species at once to consider the question of how we narrate organisms in their multiplicity. Touching on topics ranging from seed banks to science fiction to bird-watching, Callaway argues that there is no set, generally accepted way to measure biodiversity. Westerners tend to conceptualize it according to one or more of an array of tropes rooted in colonial history such as the Lost Eden, Noah’s Ark, and Tree-of-Life imagery. These conceptualizations affect what kinds of biodiversities are prioritized for protection. While using biodiversity as a way to talk about the world aims to highlight what is most valued in nature, it can produce narratives that reinforce certain power differentials—with real-life consequences for conservation projects. Thus the choices made when portraying biodiversity impact what is visible, what is visceral, and what is unquestioned common sense about the patterns of life on Earth.

How to Know the Birds

Kingbird Highway is a book about hitchhiking across America, and Kaufman must have encountered thousands of kingbirds in the course of his ... Western Kingbirds, in particular, have a thing for the highways and byways of the continent.

Author: Ted Floyd

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 1426220049

Category: Nature

Page: 304

View: 756

Become a better birder with brief portraits of 200 top North American birds. This friendly, relatable book is a celebration of the art, science, and delights of bird-watching. How to Know the Birds introduces a new, holistic approach to bird-watching, by noting how behaviors, settings, and seasonal cycles connect with shape, song, color, gender, age distinctions, and other features traditionally used to identify species. With short essays on 200 observable species, expert author Ted Floyd guides us through a year of becoming a better birder, each species representing another useful lesson: from explaining scientific nomenclature to noting how plumage changes with age, from chronicling migration patterns to noting hatchling habits. Dozens of endearing pencil sketches accompany Floyd's charming prose, making this book a unique blend of narrative and field guide. A pleasure for birders of all ages, this witty book promises solid lessons for the beginner and smiles of recognition for the seasoned nature lover.


It inspired Kenn Kaufman's own early 1970s, lone jaunt across North America, which he chronicled in Kingbird Highway. Kaufman was (and is) an unabashed fan of Roger Tory Peterson: “I had read and memorized Wild America.

Author: Elizabeth Rosenthal

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1599216442

Category: Nature

Page: 460

View: 112

[2015 Reprint] Roger Tory Peterson—the Renaissance man who taught Americans the joy of watching birds—also invented the modern field guide. His 1934 landmark Field Guide to the Birds was the first book designed to go outdoors and help people identify the elements of nature. This self-proclaimed “student of nature” combined spectacular writing with detailed illustrations to ultimately publish many other books, winning every possible award and medal for natural science, ornithology, and conservation. Birdwatcher is a comprehensive, illustrated biography of Roger Tory Peterson--a hero in the conservation world--including interviews with friends, family, and protégés.

Birding Without Borders

Kingbird Highway had a profound effect on me when I first read it as a twelve-yearold. I was hungry for exotic stories. Here was a guy who refused to follow the typical path, a rebel, choosing instead to chase birds wherever they might ...

Author: Noah Strycker

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544558154

Category: Travel

Page: 351

View: 346

The story of how the associate editor of Birding magazine set himself a lofty goal: to become the first person to see half the world’s birds in one year. In 2015, for 365 days, with a backpack, binoculars, and a series of one-way tickets, Noah Strycker traveled across forty-one countries and all seven continents, eventually spotting 6,042 species—by far the biggest birding year on record. This is no travelogue or glorified checklist. Noah ventures deep into a world of chronic sleep deprivation, airline snafus, breakdowns, mudslides, floods, war zones, ecologic devastation, conservation triumphs, common and iconic species, and scores of passionate bird lovers around the globe. By pursuing the freest creatures on the planet, he gains a unique perspective on the world they share with us—and offers a hopeful message that even as many birds face an uncertain future, more people than ever are working to protect them. “Birding Without Borders is light-hearted and filled with stories of exotic birds, risky adventures, and colorful birding companions.”—New York Times Book Review “Highly recommended for anyone interested in travel, natural history, and adventure.”—Library Journal “Even readers who wouldn’t know a marvellous spatuletail from a southern ground hornbill will be awed by Strycker’s achievement and appreciate the passion with which he pursues his interest.”—Publishers Weekly

One More Warbler

As Kenn describes in his wonderful book Kingbird Highway (1997), a rogue wave suddenly crashed over the jetty and swept him and Edgar's prized Balscope into the Gulf of Mexico. The scope was lost, but, fortunately, Kenn was able to pull ...

Author: Victor Emanuel

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 1477312382

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 273

View: 849

With stories of sighting rare birds ranging from an Eskimo Curlew to the cranes of Asia, one of America's foremost birders recalls a lifetime of birding adventures, including friendships with luminaries Roger Tory Peterson, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton.

Extreme Birder

... 44, 213, 224, 245 Kingbird: Cassin's, 66, 133, 249; Couch's, 154, 209–10, 249; Eastern, 57, 131, 249; Gray, 74, 78, 249; Thick-billed, 157, 249; Tropical, 82, 249; Western, 66, 78, 249 Kingbird Highway, ix King Eider Hotel, Alaska, ...

Author: Lynn E. Barber

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

ISBN: 1603442618

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 847

One woman . . . one year . . . 723 species of birds. . . In 2008, Lynn Barber's passion for birding led her to drive, fly, sail, walk, stalk, and sit in search of birds in twenty-five states and three provinces. Traveling more than 175,000 miles, she set a twenty-first century record at the time, second to only one other person in history. Over 272 days, Barber observed 723 species of birds in North America north of Mexico, recording a remarkable 333 new species in January but, with the dwindling returns typical to Big Year birding, only eight in December, a month that found her crisscrossing the continent from Texas to Newfoundland, from Washington to Ontario. In the months between, she felt every extreme of climate, well-being, and emotion. But, whether finally spotting an elusive Blue Bunting or seeing three species of eiders in a single day, she was also challenged, inspired, and rewarded by nearly every experience. Barber's journal from her American Birding Association-sanctioned Big Year covers the highlights of her treks to forests, canyons, mountain ranges, deserts, oceans, lakes, and numerous spots in between. Written in the informal style of a diary, it captures the detail, humor, challenges, and fun of a good adventure travelogue and also conveys the remarkable diversity of North American birds and habitat. For actual or would-be “travel birders,” Lynn Barber’s Extreme Birder provides a fascinating, binoculars-eye view of one of the best-loved pastimes of nature lovers everywhere. "Lynn Barber challenges a traditionally male-dominated pursuit--the birding big year--and is successful beyond her wildest dreams. She is an inspiration for all who love adventure, nature, and birds."--Lynn Hassler, author, Birds of the American Southwest

The Life of the Skies

Kingbird Highway, Kenn Kaufman's memoir about his quest for a “big year,” hitchhiking his way across eighty thousand miles, getting rides from truckers, doing anything he had to do in order to see every bird he could, is the anthem of ...

Author: Jonathan Rosen

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9781429956031

Category: Nature

Page: 336

View: 795

Aerial delights: A history of America as seen through the eyes of a bird-watcher John James Audubon arrived in America in 1803, when Thomas Jefferson was president, and lived long enough to see his friend Samuel Morse send a telegraphic message from his house in New York City in the 1840s. As a boy, Teddy Roosevelt learned taxidermy from a man who had sailed up the Missouri River with Audubon, and yet as president presided over America's entry into the twentieth century, in which our ability to destroy ourselves and the natural world was no longer metaphorical. Roosevelt, an avid birder, was born a hunter and died a conservationist. Today, forty-six million Americans are bird-watchers. The Life of the Skies is a genre-bending journey into the meaning of a pursuit born out of the tangled history of industrialization and nature longing. Jonathan Rosen set out on a quest not merely to see birds but to fathom their centrality—historical and literary, spiritual and scientific—to a culture torn between the desire both to conquer and to conserve. Rosen argues that bird-watching is nothing less than the real national pastime—indeed it is more than that, because the field of play is the earth itself. We are the players and the spectators, and the outcome—since bird and watcher are intimately connected—is literally a matter of life and death.

The Big Year

Kaufman's memoir of his Big Year, Kingbird Highway, turned him into the mythical hero who got mobbed at birding conventions. Some were impressed by Kaufman; others were inspired. In 1976, during his junior year at Dartmouth College, ...

Author: Mark Obmascik

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 145164860X

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 627

Follows the 1998 Big Year competition between Sandy Komito, Al Levantin, and Greg Miller, during which the three rivals risked their lives to set a new North American birding record.

More Than Birds

Robert Bateman Centre at Royal Roads University, ... Kenn Kaufman, Kingbird Highway: The Story of a Natural Obsession That Got a Little Out of Hand (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1997), 4. 2.

Author: Val Shushkewich

Publisher: Dundurn

ISBN: 1459705602

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 296

View: 925

Once people encounter the natural world and become aware of its intricacy, fragility, beauty, and significance, they will recognize the need for conservation. The fascinating development of natural history studies in North America is portrayed through the life stories of 22 naturalists. The 19th century saw early North American naturalists such as Alexander Wilson, the "Father of American Ornithology," John James Audubon, and Thomas Nuttall describing and illustrating the spectacular flora and fauna they found in the New World. Scientists of the Smithsonian Institution and the Canadian Museum of Nature worked feverishly to describe and catalogue the species that exist on the continent. Great nature writers such as Florence Merriam Bailey, Cordelia Stanwood, Margaret Morse Nice, Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, and Roger Tory Peterson wrote in depth about the lives and behaviours of birds. Early conservationists such as Jack Miner, the "Father of Conservation," created nature preserves. Today, noted naturalists such as Robert Nero, Robert Bateman, Kenn Kaufman, and David Allen Sibley do everything they can to encourage people to experience nature directly in their lives and to care about its protection and preservation.

Birds and Birding in Wyoming s Bighorn Mountains Region

This process has caused new roads and power lines to fragment and thus compromise this landscape. At 6.3 miles turn left on Wyo. ... seen Eastern and Western kingbirds along this road in early June, so I call it the “Kingbird Highway.

Author: Paul A. Johnsgard


ISBN: 1609620402

Category: Bird watching

Page: 251

View: 348

An account of the birds of the Bighorn area of Montana, including descriptions of vegetation zones and bird distributions; notes on regional birding loops, birding locations, and site descriptions; species accounts; and a discussion of the zoogeographic significance and other ecological aspects of the bird life of the Bighorn Mountains.

A Bird in the Bush

But however hard he tries, the picture of two lads thumbing a lift on the B-roads of East Anglia simply does not have the ... in 1997, the middle-aged Kaufman recounted the story of his youthful birding experiences in Kingbird Highway.

Author: Stephen Moss

Publisher: Aurum

ISBN: 1781310092

Category: Nature

Page: 384

View: 707

‘A wonderful book… beautifully told. He packs his pages with fascinating, often hilarious anecdotes and information. A social history which is a surprise and a delight’ Val Hennessy, Daily Mail Critic’s Choice Scholarly, authoritative and above all supremely readable, Stephen Moss’s book is the first to trace the fascinating history of how and why people have watched birds for pleasure, from the beginnings with Gilbert White in the eighteenth century through World War Two POWs watching birds from inside their prison camp all the way to today’s ‘twitchers’ with their bleeping pagers, driving hundreds of miles for a rare tick. ‘Thoroughly researched and well-written’ Mark Crocker, Guardian ‘Moss knows his subject intimately and writes about it with just the right mixture of affection and occasional quizzicality’ Jonathan Bate, Sunday Telegraph ‘It would be difficult to imagine anyone producing a more comprehensive, thoughtful, intelligent and entertaining examination of how people have watched birds at each point in history. In fact, it is one of the few books which might prove such compulsive reading that even a dedicated twitcher might forego a day in the field to stay at home to finish it’ Bryan Bland, Birding World

Scarlet Experiment

Kingbird Highway: The Story of a Natural Obsession That Got a Little Out of Hand. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. First published 1997. Kelling, Steve, Carl Lagoze, Weng-Keen Wong, Jun Yu, Theodoros Damoulas, 202 Bibliography.

Author: Jeff Karnicky

Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

ISBN: 0803295758

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 998

Emily Dickinson’s poem “Split the Lark” refers to the “scarlet experiment” by which scientists destroy a bird in order to learn more about it. Indeed, humans have killed hundreds of millions of birds—for science, fashion, curiosity, and myriad other reasons. In the United States alone, seven species of birds are now extinct and another ninety-three are endangered. Conversely, the U.S. conservation movement has made bird-watching more popular than ever, saving countless bird populations; and while the history of actual physical human interaction with birds is complicated, our long aesthetic and scientific interest in them is undeniable. Since the beginning of the modern conservation movement in the mid-nineteenth century, human understanding of and interaction with birds has changed profoundly. In Scarlet Experiment, Jeff Karnicky traces the ways in which birds have historically been seen as beautiful creatures worthy of protection and study and yet subject to experiments—scientific, literary, and governmental—that have irrevocably altered their relationship with humans. This examination of the management of bird life in America from the nineteenth century to today, which focuses on six bird species, finds that renderings of birds by such authors as Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Don DeLillo, and Christopher Cokinos, have also influenced public perceptions and actions. Scarlet Experiment speculates about the effects our decisions will have on the future of North American bird ecology.

Invasive and Introduced Plants and Animals

... White Horse Press, Cambridge Kauffman, K. (1997) Kingbird Highway, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA Kitchener, A. C. (1998) 'Extinctions, introductions and colonisations of Scottish mammals and birds since the last ice age', in Lambert, ...

Author: Ian D. Rotherham

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134062028

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 563

There have been many well-publicized cases of invasive species of plants and animals, often introduced unintentionally but sometimes on purpose, causing widespread ecological havoc. Examples of such alien invasions include pernicious weeds such as Japanese knotweed, an introduced garden ornamental which can grow through concrete, the water hyacinth which has choked tropical waterways, and many introduced animals which have out-competed and displaced local fauna. This book addresses the broader context of invasive and exotic species, in terms of the perceived threats and environmental concerns which surround alien species and ecological invasions. As a result of unprecedented scales of environmental change, combined with rapid globalisation, the mixing of cultures and diversity, and fears over biosecurity and bioterrorism, the known impacts of particular invasions have been catastrophic. However, as several chapters show, reactions to some exotic species, and the justifications for interventions in certain situations, including biological control by introduced natural enemies, rest uncomfortably with social reactions to ethnic cleansing and persecution perpetrated across the globe. The role of democracy in deciding and determining environmental policy is another emerging issue. In an increasingly multicultural society this raises huge questions of ethics and choice. At the same time, in order to redress major ecological losses, the science of reintroduction of native species has also come to the fore, and is widely accepted by many in nature conservation. However, with questions of where and when, and with what species or even species analogues, reintroductions are acceptable, the topic is hotly debated. Again, it is shown that many decisions are based on values and perceptions rather than objective science. Including a wide range of case studies from around the world, his book raises critical issues to stimulate a much wider debate.

Lives of North American Birds

He has written about his birding travels in Kingbird Highway , and he edits and writes for a number of birding magazines . Kenn and his wife , Lynn , live in Arizona . ISBN 0-618-15988-6 90000 NATURE / $ 25.00 1101 / 6-96621 ...

Author: Kenn Kaufman

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780618159888

Category: Nature

Page: 675

View: 894

A natural history of birds provides information on more than nine hundred species of birds, including what they eat, where they build their nests, how many eggs they lay, what habitat they choose, when they migrate, and their current conservation status.

The Biggest Twitch

... Kingbird Highway,which tells the story of Kenn's big year in the USA. Kenn dropped out of high school to set a new US year list record on a shoestring budget, becoming a hero for birders everywhere. Though now a long time ago, ...

Author: Alan Davies

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408134322

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 778

Most people dream of packing in their humdrum city life, selling up and heading off into the unknown for a life of adventure. For Ruth Miller and Alan Davies this dream became a reality, albeit with a twist; they decided to pack in their jobs, sell their house and take on the ultimate birder's challenge - to smash the world record for the number of species seen in one calendar year. This book is the story of their great expedition, searching for birds from Ecuador to Ethiopia via Argentina, Australia and Arizona. We follow this birding odyssey as they rachet up the species and the stamps in their passports, sharing in amazing birding experiences such as monkey-hunting Harpy Eagles in the Brazilian rain forest, seedsnipes in the Peruvian highlands and lekking bustards in South Africa, all leading to the ultimate question - will they break the magic 4,000? Written in an accessible style, this book will be of great interest to birders, readers of travel literature, and to people who simply enjoy a good adventure!

Zen Birding

Kingbird Highway. New York: Mifflin, 1997. Smith, Jean. The Beginner's Guide to Zen Buddhism. New York: Bell Tower, 2000. Sumedho, Ajahn. Teachings of a Buddhist Monk. Srilanka: Buddhist Publishing Group, 1995.

Author: David M. White

Publisher: John Hunt Publishing

ISBN: 1846943892

Category: Nature

Page: 194

View: 128

David M Whites inspiring stories see birding as a meditative practice and pathway to true connectedness.