[Tweeters] Ken Knittle

Tom Mansfield birds at t-mansfield.com
Tue Jan 7 11:37:20 PST 2020

Laurie Knittle has asked me to let everyone know that Ken Knittle passed away at home in Hazel Dell (Vancouver) on Sunday evening, January 5. He was a month shy of his 70th birthday. The “Godfather of Washington Listing” and co-founder with Scott Ray of Washington Birder, Ken had been diagnosed having Parkinson’s in 2014 with complications from the disease curbing his ability to get out and bird. That said – an errant Ferruginous Hawk reported at Woodland Bottoms in October was just too good to pass up and it became his final tick (#221 for Cowlitz) on a very long statewide list. Ken was a remarkable friend, mentor, birder supreme – many of you reading this have special memories of his legendary field trips (and cornball humor – sheesh!). But, all kidding aside, he was all about the birds: he could hear them, he could make them visualize out of a canopy, he could get you on them no matter your skill, and there wasn’t a back road in Washington his tires (or mine!) hadn’t trod. He relished telling tales of birding with Patrick Sullivan – “DANG, we always had (insert species) at this location, every single time” and he was a familiar/friendly figure in the darndest birding places whether landfill, STP, park, cemetery, pier, tideflats, shoreline, meadow, field or mountaintop. There will be more details of Ken’s extraordinary contribution to Washington birding to come, as will details of a celebration of his life.

Tick and job well done old friend, Tom Mansfield in Seattle.
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