2019 Keynote Address

Kenn Kaufman


Kenn Kaufman burst onto the national birding scene as a teenager in the 1970s, hitch-hiking all over North America in pursuit of birds, an adventure later chronicled in his cult-classic book Kingbird Highway. After several years as a professional tour leader, taking birding groups to all seven continents, he transitioned to a career as a writer, editor, and illustrator. Kenn currently serves as a field editor for Audubon Magazine and puts most of his energy into book projects and painting bird portraits. Kenn is also a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society (formerly the American Ornithologists’ Union), based on his exceptional and sustained contributions to ornithology and/or service to the Society.

About the Keynote

“Ornithology and Birding: An Unbroken Circle”

Ornithology and birding are two different pursuits. One is a science; the other is a hobby, a game, or even a sport. Sometimes they seem impossibly far apart. But it would be wrong to assume that birders and ornithologists make up separate camps, looking at birds from opposite directions. The connections between them run deep, perhaps more than for any other branch of science. Kenn Kaufman has had years of adventures along the interface between birding and ornithology; in this talk, he’ll discuss how the hobby and the science both benefit from their connections, in surprising and unexpected ways, and how this synergy can be even better in the future.