Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Wednesday, March 4, 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.


On March 4, 2009 at 8:39 AM KatDoc said...

Look out, Laura! You are getting close to losing your non-birder status!

Sweet crossbill! Everybody is reporting them throughout the state this winter, and I have yet to see one. Maybe I should get off my butt and go outside.

verif word: INKER (for Laura)

On March 4, 2009 at 9:05 AM MaineBirder said...

Beautiful photo!

Crossbills have been so numerous here that it's moving in on the status of the common yard bird. But that won't last for much longer.

Here's hoping Laura becomes a new birder!

On March 4, 2009 at 12:10 PM burdr said...

Wow 50+ Crossbills! Awesome! Hopefully they WILL be her spark bird!

On March 5, 2009 at 12:31 AM Deborah said...

More than 50! I've been looking for them all winter, too — maybe they were meant to be Laura's spark bird! And they're such lovely birds.