Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Photo of the actual white-winged crossbills by Shila Wilson

My sister, Laura Fulton, is the circulation director at Bird Watcher's Digest. She is many wonderful things (cook, numbers cruncher, mom, Wii player—and not in that order, mind you) but she is also a self-described non-birder. Sad but true, such people DO exist, and a few—a very few—even work at BWD.

So it was with a bit of wonder that I stood in her kitchen a few days ago, looking out the window at 50+ white-winged crossbills!

No lie!

Laura noticed them, realized they were something different, and IDENTIFIED THEM. Then she called me to come see them, figuring I'd be interested. Heck yes I was interested!

The last time I saw a crossbill in Ohio was in 1979, when I was in 11th grade! This was a special occurrence, so I called my local birding pals to come see the crossies.

Now I'm wondering if this will be Laura's spark bird?

It's a great thing when an avid bird watcher finds a rare bird. But it's even better when a non-birder finds one, because that's how new bird watchers are made. Contrary to popular myth, new bird watchers are NOT made by the transfer of a virus via a bite to the neck. That's only true for the Transylvania Bird Club.

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