Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Best November Bird Weekend Ever!

My son and THE Kenn Kaufman! Ceth won first place this year in Kenn's I.D. Quiz, I am so proud of my boy and very thankful to Mr. Kaufman for signing the ENTIRE set of Kaufman Field Guides that he won! He was a happy kid!

Have you ever had one of those weekends that you don't want to end? A few days off spending time doing what you love in the presence of people that also love doing the same thing? I have. In fact, this past weekend was one of these very wonderful weekends. My son, daughter, best friend and I were able to attend the Ohio Young Birder's Conference in Dayton, Ohio.

This conference was put together to bring bird and nature lovers together in a forum that promotes youth birding. Almost the entire event was composed of young birders sharing exciting stories of their passion and experiences with birds. This years keynote speaker was the ABA's 2009 Young Birder of the Year - Harold Eyster.

Kenn and Kim Kaufman were also present along with a team of other great people from the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and as you would expect, their presence made the event all the more exciting. To be a birder and be in the presence of Kenn is no different that being next to a movie star. The only difference is that Kenn treats everyone that approaches him with the utmost respect and is always willing to talk as he has known you for years.

And then there is Kim. Kim has a way of making everyone feel important from the moment you say hello. She is an environmental angel that embraces everyone who is willing to defend things that are for the betterment of birds and nature. She also makes you feel like any "little" deed you have done is far bigger than what it really is. I always feel like a better person when I leave her presence.

From bird banding to guided birding. From I.D. Quizzes to door prizes, the conference was nothing short of absolutely outstanding. As a leader with the Indiana Young Birders Club along with continuing to see the OYBC become bigger and better, I am hopeful for our future. There ARE young nature lovers out there - we just have to find them and give them the support they need to protect our natural world in the future.

Thank you OYBC and BSBO for all that you have done, are doing, and will continue to do. For what it's worth, I got your back!

My son working on the Kaufman I.D. Quiz!

My very beautiful daughter and a Carolina Chickadee that was anxiously awaiting its release.

Of course this Chickadee deserves a close-up!

White-throated Sparrow... the best way to appreciate these small birds is to put them up against something VERY large! In this case, ME!

Northern Cardinal... my son worried be very careful not to get nipped! Cardinals aren't birds known to be very friendly.

Downy Woodpecker and Hairy Woodpecker... I love this picture. What a great comparison.

After spending time with the OYBC - can you believe the weekend got better? Me either, but, it did! My son and I decided to stop at Southwestway park in Indianapolis on the way home just to see what was going on in our neck of the woods. Let me say, I am SO glad we made the stop!

What do you get when you have a stream, trees with lots of berries, a cool fall day, sunshine, and nothing more than a subtle breeze in an area that spanned no more than 100 feet? Today, this formula gave us a flock of Cedar Waxwings and American Robins, Pileated Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches, Carolina Chickadees, Golden-crowned Kinglets, White-crowned Sparrows, and Northern Cardinals. I am certain there was more but there were so many birds that I could hardly separate them out at times!

We spent at least an hour in this one spot. Most of the time I was creeping through the brush on my knees (very painful I might add) trying to photograph the Robins that were having a blast bathing in the stream. I was able to get a few decent pictures of the event as you can see below but they really don't do it much justice.

We left the area after about an hour but didn't see much more. There was one spot to be at Southwestway Park today and we were there!

American Robins... Southwestway Park, Indianapolis, IN. I was able to sneak up on these birds (on my knees by the way) and was able to get this picture. I am not sure what the one was complaining about but he didn't seem to pleased.

Cedar Waxwing... Southwestway Park, Indianpolis, IN. A flock of these birds always put on a good show!

Cedar Waxwing... Southwestway, Indianapolis, IN.

Carolina Chickadee... Southwestway Park, Indianapolis, IN.


Kimberly Kaufman said...

I thought I had commented on your sweet, wonderful, happy, fun, post, but I don't see it there. So, I'm leaving another!

Chad, Your passion and enthusiasm for birds and birding and for sharing the joy of it all with others is so inspiring to me. I so greatly appreciate you for taking the time and making the effort to come to our conference. It really means a lot to me.

Birds Rule!


Kelly said...

Oh my exciting!!! First place...please pass on my congrats to your son. THE Kenn Kaufmann is right! It's so cool that Kenn and Kim live in Ohio. Love all the photos. Looks like you and your family had a blast. You were pretty close to my neck of the woods. I'm about an hour south of Dayton.

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal