Part of the Shores & Islands Ohio Like a Local series – Meet Kim Kaufman, Executive Director
S&IO: Tell us about your business.
Kim: Black Swamp Bird Observatory is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to inspiring the appreciation, enjoyment, and conservation of birds and their habitats through research, education, and outreach.
S&IO: What makes the Shores & Islands region a good location for your business?
Kim: The southern shore of Lake Erie in northwest Ohio is one of the most significant songbird migration stopover habitats in the Western Hemisphere. If you’re interested in birds, there is perhaps no better place in the world to be than right here in northwest Ohio in spring! And for studying songbird migration, the massive number of birds that pass through the area in spring and fall provides an incredible opportunity to learn more about the behaviors and needs of migratory birds, as well as the ability to teach others about our findings.
S&IO: Anything exciting or new planned for the 2023 season? What special events do you have planned for 2023?
Kim: The Observatory has two major projects in the works for 2023. We’re planning a complete renovation of our current headquarters located just inside the entrance to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, and building a brand new 42x60 ft. education center on the site! Both of these projects will do so much to enhance the experience for all visitors to the area.
S&IO: What is your favorite thing about living and working in the Shores & Islands Ohio region?
Kim: While the birds are our focus, it’s the wonderful people here that make it such a special place to live, and a dream to market to the world. We know visitors will not only have a spectacular birding experience, they’ll also be welcomed in the warmest, friendliest way, and THAT is what keeps people coming back year after year.
S&IO: Where/how do you find your Lake Erie Love?
Kim: Of course, we spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying all of the wonderful natural areas we’re so fortunate to have. But I absolutely LOVE going out and doing “touristy” things, too! It’s so much fun to bring my family and friends here from other parts of the state, and places around the world, to explore all of the marvelous attractions we have here.
S&IO: If you had friends visiting from out of town, where would you take them?
Kim: Well, of course I’d take them to the Magee Marsh Boardwalk! But we also love visiting the Marblehead Lighthouse, Kelleys Island, and Put-in-Bay!
S&IO: Perch or pizza? Where is your favorite place for either?
Kim: Our favorite restaurants are Ciao Bella for pizza and McCarthy’s Irish Pub for perch! And, we always have to stop at Great Lakes Popcorn!
S&IO: Lake or land? Would you prefer spending time on the water or by the shore?
Kim: The birding is best along the shore, so we spend the vast majority of our time on land. And, believe it or not, I rarely get out on the lake, so I’d love to do more of that!
S&IO: Anything else to add regarding how to enjoy the region “like a local?”
Kim: If you’ve never visited the area and want to experience it like a local, there’s no better source of information that the Shores & Islands Ohio website and social media accounts! All of those resources are chock-full of wonderful information – for visitors and residents alike!