Click here for information on this image
DVOC Main Page > Our Members > Hart Rufe
Hart Rufe (see also Jewel Rufe)
Fellow of the
Honorary Member of the DVOC
1991 Julian K. Potter Award
Bob Billings Award Committee
DVOC Interns Fund
A classic Larus article: The Bare Truth About Birding Martha's Vineyard by Hart Rufe from the Spring 1989 Larus. (Also presented as an Ornithological Moment on 4/21/11)
A profile of Hart Rufe in the Winter 2006 Bucks County Birders newsletter. Written by his brother, Bob Rufe.
Many pictures taken by Hart are on the St. Lucie Audubon Society Photo Page
Photo by Roy Frock
| I began birding as a
Boy Scout, working for ‘Birding’ merit badge in 1944, when my
Scoutmaster was the only other birder any where in the area. In the spring
we would bird early most mornings for a couple of hours until he had to
be at work and I had to go to school. We could bird right around my home
town, Sellersville, PA by walking to a dozen ‘birdy’ locations,
most of which are now lost to development. After high school I lost eight
years of birding when I went away to school, took up golf, got married and
started a family and a career in law. I never knew any other birders until
I met Joe Pearson, the patron saint of Upper Bucks County birding and the
first field trip leader for Bucks County Audubon, who had just moved into
Sellersville. I then got re-involved.
My birding really took off, both figuratively and literally, when I started going on long distance trips to such exotic places as Cape May, Newburyport, and ultimately to Churchill, Manitoba, with Rick Mellon Nature Tours, before he was married and settled down. I learned much, and saw some birds too.
For about twenty years, from the early 70’s until 1992, I organized and led many birding trips for Bucks County Audubon, (and occasionally for DVOC and DOS), including day trips, week-end trips and every year at least one week long trip to some hot birding location in North America. The cumulative total of species, encountered by several regular participants on those trips, exceeded 650 ABA area species. My favorite birding buddy in those years, particularly on pelagic trips, was my brother, Bob Rufe.
More recently, since 1990, my constant birding
companion has been my wife, Jewel, and we have
done some international birding; much Florida birding from our winter
retirement condo in Fort Pierce where we lead one or two trips a year
for St. Lucie County Audubon Society; some revisiting favorite spots on
trips west to visit our daughter in California; and the occasional chase
for new life birds such as the Crimson-collared and Yellow Grosbeaks,
Yellow-faced Grassquit and Western Reef Heron. In 2005, after serving
as compiler for the Upper Bucks PA Christmas Bird Count for thirty years,
I turned that role over to Bill Etter and the next generation, but continue
to participate in the count. Bucks County Audubon, DVOC, St. Lucie County
Audubon, and now the new Bucks County Birders are all wonderful organizations
for new birders to get started and learn all about our great sport. I’ve
often wondered where my life might have gone if I had such an organization
available to me when I started out in 1944.