Bird watchers spend close to $40 million in area - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Bird watchers spend close to $40 million in area

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Bird watchers flock to the area every year for the Biggest Week In American Birding and they bring big bucks with them.

In 2012 alone, these visitors spent $37 million between April and May. They come from all over the country and even the world. Visitors from 44 states and 13 countries came this week.

They stay in hotels, visit restaurants and spend money in stores.

Larry Marshall came all the way from Israel.  "I know that in the Americas, it's a completely different set of birds."

Paul Riss traveled from Canada to sell shirts.  He sells shirts birding T-shirts that he hopes will break some stereotypes of bird lovers. "Because everyone think all birders are little old ladies their shorts. I wanted to do is take birds and turn them -bird shirts- into something that is has some sense of design and style."

He adds that birding is for everyone. "You don't have to be a nerd or a geek or a loser. It's not like that. So what I did is, I did a big year in Ontario and I tattooed the Latin name of everything I saw on my body."

Kim Kaufman of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory says the spotlight is on our area. "It's not just for the general populous, but even the entire state is taking notice of how important birding and bird habitat is are for our economy."

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