Birders show off their Avian Ink in contest during 'The Biggest - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Birders show off their Avian Ink in contest during 'The Biggest Week in American Birding' event

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
OREGON, OH (WTOL) -

It’s a side of birders you may never have seen before.

We know they like to watch birds, they like to photograph birds but some also like getting bird tattoos.

So that’s why one of the biggest highlights during the event known as ‘The Biggest Week in American Birding” is the bird tattoo contest.

Emily Francis has had a passion for birds since she was a child. She has a tattoo sleeve on her right arm depicting seven birds she loves.

“All birds that I know I know their call. Hear them call. Easily able to spot them,” Francis said.

There will be three winners.They’ll be judged on accuracy, creativity and the story behind their avian ink.

One of the judges is birder and actress Lili Taylor.

“You can do it anywhere. They’re infinitely interesting and they open you up to all sorts of interesting things: trees, insects, gateway to other things," said Taylor.

On Erin Lehnert’s calf is an albatross representing her wanderlust spirit.

“I like the idea of it carrying me on my next adventure. Put right foot forward. Go where the wind takes you," Lehnert said.

There’s a condor on Christina Baal’s shoulder. She’s a wildlife artist.

“And I think it’s just a symbol of freedom, defiance and hope. Something to aspire to have it on my shoulder all the time," she said.

The winner of this year’s bird tattoo contest is Francis and her bird sleeve tattoo.

“It just brings joy to be able to connect with a bird, find them so beautiful and majestic," said Francis.

A soaring concept for these birders who consider their tattoos quite the flight of fancy. 

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