Earlier this year, Kenn Kaufman published a new book, “A Season On The Wind: Inside The World of Spring Migration.” Now that spring is over, I have finally had enough time to read it.
This is a book birders of all abilities will want to soak in, but this also is basic environmental knowledge that everyone should be aware of. Kaufman explains the science and poetry of the spring migration from the vantage point of his home in northern Ohio.
Every spring, this region of the country becomes one of the most active avian bottlenecks anywhere in North America. Kaufman takes readers inside the struggles many of those birds face during migration, from storms in the gulf, to misplaced wind turbines, to geographic hurdles.
Kaufman also educates the reader on some new technologies that ornithologists are using to track bird migrations. Using a series of Motus towers that ping tagged birds locations, Kaufman chronicles the journey of one gray-cheeked thrush, who traveled from Columbia, South America, to Ontario, Canada, in just 46 hours.
The bird, Kaufman said, had to average about 47 mph. Amazing.
There is a whole chapter on warblers, others detailing the effects of climate change and yet, more about the complex relationships birds and the people who watch them have.
Spring migration is magical on its own, but Kaufman lets us all peek behind the complex curtain of the science behind it. The fall migration is just now starting as bird species start heading back south for the winter. Now is as good of a time as any for you to pick up this book and fly along with them.