Professor Edward Burtt, universally known as “Jed” to his friends, passed away at home on Wednesday, April 27. Many of us in Columbus Audubon counted Jed as a friend. We knew and loved him for his service to Ohio Wesleyan University, generations of students, the wider central Ohio community, and birders and ornithologists throughout the country. Listing Jed’s professional accomplishments and honors would take pages. As a mere sample, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized him as 2011 Ohio Professor of the Year; he served as president of the American Ornithologists’ Union from 2008 – 2010; authored seven books and untold numbers of research papers; delivered hundreds of presentations; was awarded over $3 million in grants; and was made a fellow of the International Ornithological Union, one of only 100 people so honored. Even with all this and much more, Jed somehow found time to be an extraordinary mentor to his students and to lend his knowledge, skills, and joy of life to the central Ohio community. For example, he founded and led monthly meetings of the Delaware County Bird Club, and for many years led the Delaware Christmas Bird Count. He invited members of the community into his classrooms and on field trips, allowing many of us to share our love of birds with hundreds of students over the years. As one student said, “Everyone knows the obvious: he was one of the most extraordinarily passionate people I have ever met, crazy about winged creatures, and despite his medical problems, he was always so upbeat.” That willingness to dig in and live fully everyday truly defined Jed for many of us. And always, it was his about his students. In his own words, “The most exciting part of teaching is working one-on-one to help each student fulfill her or his special potential,” he said. “As a friend, colleague, and mentor, I can share my values by living them and sometimes by speaking of them when consulted by a student dealing with a difficult situation. I hope that I convey to all students my passion for the birds I love, the science that provides me with boundless excitement, and the privilege I feel in becoming a trusted confidant in their lives. Awakening a passion in a young person and helping each student fulfill a newly formulated dream is the essence of teaching. There is no higher calling, no greater purpose in life.” Jed Burtt was a tremendous asset to our birding and conservation communities. He will be greatly missed. Ohio Wesleyan University has published an obituary at Scores of tributes from Jed’s former students and other friends can be found on Facebook at