Q. How long have you been birding?
Q. What got you interested in birding?
Q.  What's your favorite birding spot in Oklahoma?
Introducing our May 2003
Birders of the Month:

Kurt & Sharon Meisenzahl
Lawton, OK
Q.  What field guide do you prefer to use?
Q.  What are your 3 favorite birds? and are there any particular reasons they're your favorites??
Q.  Tell us about your BEST birding experience.... so far.
Q.  What was your WORST??
Q.  What are you most likely to say when a bird flies before you can ID it??
Q.  What was the last book you read?
We noticed birds in our backyard and got a bird guide to identify them.  One thing led to another and soon we were planning our vacations to take advantage of birding "hotspots" from Maine to California.
It's a toss-up between our backyard and the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge.
Kurt:  I started with Peterson's Guides while Sharon preferred the National Geographic, Birds of North America.  Now we use Sibley's.
Sharon:  Scissor-tailed Flycatcher--beauty in flight; Carolina Chickadee--feisty; and Northern Saw-whet Owl---just too cute.
Kurt:  Painted Bunting, Black-capped Vireo, and Wood Duck---for their incredible colors.
Sharon:  Looking eye to eye with a Northern Saw-whet Owl while sitting on Kurt's shoulders (to get a bird's-eye-view photo).
Kurt:  Everytime I visit a birding "hotspot" for the very first time.  But for my BEST experience, identifying the Green Violet-ear at our backyard feeder.
Sharon:  A three-mile hike (one way) in Sycamore Canyon in southcentral Arizona in July, on a trail for experienced rock climbers!! looking for the Five-striped Sparrow.
Kurt:  We were headed for Arizona with Lou and Mary Truex and our first planned stop was the Spofford backyard in Portal, AZ.  Sharon and I saw 5 lifers on our first visit to Spofford's so I probably spent several hours preparing Lou and Mary for many great sightings.  We got to Spofford, sat down and waited, but because a Cooper's Hawk had also discovered Spofford's, we didn't see one bird.  The incredulous expression on my face prompted Lou to refer to any unlucky situation for the rest of the trip as a "Spofford Moment."
Sharon:  "Kurt, did you see it?  Why not??"
Kurt:  "#@%&*!!  Where did it go??"
Sharon:  After Midnight, by Merline Lovelace.
ruthless.com, by Tom Clancy
Kurt:  My mother used to feed the birds when I was a kid in Massachusetts so I knew some of the more common birds when Sharon and I started backyard birdwatching 16 years ago.
Q.  Who are your heroes or role models?  Whom do you admire? and if you care to comment, why are they your heroes?
Sharon:  My parents have played a very important role in who I am and how I address life's issues.  And I greatly admire my husband, Kurt, who is also my hero.
Kurt:  A long time ago, JFK was my hero.
Editor's note:  One glance at some of the visitors to the Meisenzahl backyard and you can see why they prefer birding at home.  The blissful look on the squirrel's face (right) as he hogs the mister says it all. > > > > >

L-R (counterclockwise):  Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Tiger Swallowtail,  escaped Budgerigar, Painted Bunting, and squirrel.