“I JUST LOVE BIRDS SO MUCH! THEY ARE SO COOOOOOL!”
These are the exact words proclaimed by Kelly Ball on a recent birdy morning as she peered through her bins at one of her favorite springtime migrants, the hooded warbler. If you’ve met Kelly, then you know that she is one of the most enthusiastic and lively folks on the planet. And lucky us, she brings all that energy along with a full arsenal of skill and experience to her role as Bird Watcher’s Digest‘s sales director.
Kelly explains her new role: “I oversee advertising for Bird Watcher’s Digest, meaning selling insertions for both magazines; for our electronic newsletter, BirdWire; and for the BWD website. I also manage Reader Rendezvous, BirdWire, and podcast sponsorship sales. I help advertisers tailor ad plans that meet their business needs, and respond to inquiries from potential advertisers. I also work closely with our Redstart Birding marketing team, our circulations team, our graphic design team, and our editorial team.”
Another area where Kelly shines that falls outside of her sales duties is with writing content. “Recently I’ve begun writing for our website and our blog, Out There With the Birds,” she says. “And I just recorded my first-ever interview for our podcast. And I’m about to begin co-hosting that very podcast with the amazing Dawn Hewitt!” You will also see Kelly’s byline occasionally in the magazine and in special publications like our optics guide. Writing has long been a part of her wheelhouse, and she is excited to have this outlet for her creative energy and share her contributions with our readers and listeners.
What is her favorite part of her job so far? “It’s a three-way tie between working alongside dedicated colleagues who are passionate about birds and conservation; working in this industry, period; and traveling for birding events.”
While she has long held an appreciation for birds, Kelly has been a birder for about a decade now. “A friend was super into it,” she says, “and I just started bugging him to take me along, and then I got hooked.”
One of her most memorable birding experiences since then was a springtime trip to Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado, in 2013, where she first witnessed migrating sandhill crane behavior. “I like loud birds, and I cannot lie.”
In fact, her favorite bird is known for it’s not-so-subtle call: the eastern whip-poor-will. “First, just look at the spelling of that name. I love a good ground-nesting bird, as that shows real chutzpah. They nest based on the lunar cycle. I dig their tiny beaks and ginormous eyeballs—not to mention that they’re included in a bird family known as goatsuckers. Finally, I love that they are both infuriatingly difficult to see, but will incessantly and loudly sing for hours on end at night. In fact, I’ve only ever seen one once—and that was in 2011.”