Meet the BWD Family: Katherine Koch

Would you believe that the Bird Watcher’s Digest employee with the longest tenure went birding for the FIRST time a couple months ago? It’s true!

Meet Katherine Koch, our webmaster and marketing specialist, the wizard behind the curtain who makes most of our digital magic happen! Katherine first joined the BWD family in 2004, when she was hired right out of college to move website content from an old site to a new one. BWD editor Bill Thompson, III, quickly saw that Katherine was capable of so much more—and boy was there so much more to be done as the media world turned rapidly more digital!

Over the years her responsibilities have grown to include management of not just the BWD websites (birdwatchersdigest.com, watchingbackyardbirds.com, redstartbirding.com, readerrendezvous.com) but also the production of BirdWire (our free twice-monthly e-newsletter), our podcasts (Out There with the Birds, This Birding Life, and—new for 2020—BirdSense), our blog (Out There with the Birds), our email marketing, ad designs, subscription offers, the Big Sit database… the list goes on and on! Basically, if you’ve seen something from BWD online or in an email, Katherine likely made it happen.

Now, about that long-time-coming first birding trip: After telecommuting from another corner of Ohio all these years, Katherine made a huge move to San Antonio, Texas, last summer with her family, whom she devotedly cares for in her “spare time.” When BWD publisher Wendy Clark’s travels took her to the area in November, Katherine asked her to take her on her first-ever real birding trip.

“As soon as I stepped out of the car, I saw a gray bird with a white stripe on its wing, and lifted my binoculars to get a better look. I said to Wendy, ‘Hey, that’s a white-winged dove, isn’t it?’ I had never seen the bird before, but I didn’t have to crack open a field guide to identify it, nor did I need a lesson in how to focus my binoculars, or spot the bird in them. It turns out that all that knowledge was absorbed through osmosis after 15 years of working with the content! I finished that trip with 53 lifers, and I knew about half of them on sight!”

Katherine is now the proud owner of Zeiss Conquest binoculars, and she plans to make good use of them in the coming year. “I’ve just ordered a second pair of binoculars from Redstart Birding (Vortex Viper HD 8x42s),” she says. “I’m hoping to get my family out birding with me in the new year, so I can make this a regular thing!”

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