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View a slideshow of winning images from the 2020 Bird Photographer of the Year contest. The increasing use of neonicotinoid insecticides is a major factor in the decline of grassland birds in the United States, according to a recent study. New resear
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Multiple Solitaires
Among the thrushes north of the Mexican border, Townsend’s Solitaire may seem unique. But farther south, from Mexico and the Caribbean to South America, there are seven other species of solitaires in the same genus, Myadestes. They are recognizably s
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BirdWatching
Editor Matt Mendenhall Founding Editor Eldon D. Greij Contributing Editors Pete Dunne, Cheryl Lyn Dybas, Laura Erickson, William Jobes, Kenn Kaufman, David Allen Sibley Editorial Consultant Lee Mergner Graphic Designer Jaron Cote Vice President, Circ
BirdWatching1 min lettiNature
Hotspots Near You
THE LINE OF cliffs shown in the photo above is Precambrian Sioux Quartzite bedrock that lies within Blue Mounds State Park in southwestern Minnesota. The park is named for the roughly 100-foot-high cliffs because they are said to have appeared blueis
BirdWatching2 min lettiNature
An ‘Urgent’ Call For Conservation Action
In mid-September, a mass die-off of migratory birds in New Mexico and other western states occurred as wildfires were raging across the West. One expert said hundreds of thousands of birds may have died. Many suspected that smoke from the fires may h
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Blue Mounds State Park Luverne, Minnesota 43°42'50.44"N 96°10'48.06"W
This park’s abundant quartzite rock outcroppings, buffalo herd, and rare assemblage of tallgrass prairie wildflowers and grasses give it a unique appearance compared to the surrounding agricultural landscape. The summer months offer the best birding
BirdWatching2 min letti
Eye On Conservation
Adrian Torres is the director of conservation and development for Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN) in Peru. Hired in 2019 with support from ABC, Adrian started his path to this role long ago. Constantino Aucca (known as Tino), president of ECOA
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Viking Lake State Park And hacklebarney Woods County Park Stanton, Iowa 40°58'29.26"N 95°2'6.63"W
In a little-visited corner of southwestern Iowa lie Viking Lake State Park and Hacklebarney Woods County Park, forming an important patch of hardwoods amid expanses of farmland and remnant grasslands. The parks, about 3 miles apart, harbor several bi
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A Tragedy For Condors
Nine adult California Condors were feared dead this fall, about a month after a wildfire ripped through the Big Sur Condor Sanctuary in central California. The birds have not been detected since the fire, and after the passage of several weeks, condo
BirdWatching3 min letti
Virginia Rose
• Profiles of birdwatchers who make a difference For the last couple of years, a movement has been building to help people with mobility challenges gain better access to the outdoors, specifically for birding. It all started thanks to Virginia Rose o
BirdWatching1 min lettiPolitics
Longspur Renamed
In early August, the American Ornithological Society said it was renaming McCown’s Longspur as Thick-billed Longspur. The new name refers to a physical feature of the bird that distinguishes it from other longspurs. The change does away with a name t
BirdWatching5 min letti
Beauty And Grace
Waterfowl are among the best-known and most fascinating birds. They vary widely from the large, elegant swans to the small, colorful teal. Spectacular flights of waterfowl in both spring and fall are awe-inspiring. And for many, skeins of Canada Gees
BirdWatching1 min lettiNature
A Surprise Yard Bird
Ricky Olson of Fort Pierre, South Dakota, got a big surprise on Sunday, September 20, when he saw this Painted Redstart bathing in a fountain in his yard. The bird, also known as Painted Whitestart, returned a few times the next day but wasn’t seen a
BirdWatching2 min letti
Grin And Bear It
My mother-in-law lived alone in the woods of northern Wisconsin until she was 93 years old. Despite knowing there were plenty of bears in the area, she couldn’t imagine giving up bird feeding, and so even in the final year before she came to live wit
BirdWatching7 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Exhilarating Challenges
The howling wind out of the northeast was at once haunting and comforting, a familiar reminder that late-spring weather along the Mid-Atlantic seaboard could soothe one day and threaten the next. Blanketing the overnight darkness with an envelope of
BirdWatching5 min letti
New Books We Like
Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder, by Julie Zarankin, Douglas & McIntyre, 2020, paperback, 256 pages, $18.95. The list of authors who can say that their first book received praise from birding legends Kenn Kaufman and Scott Weidensaul must be
BirdWatching3 min letti
Pete’s Tips For Watching Raptors
Having indentured much of my life to seining distant raptors out of the ozone, or “dot watching,” as wife Linda calls it, I thought I’d treat readers to the sum of my knowledge (i.e., a crash course in the detection of high-flying raptors). Many bird
BirdWatching1 min lettiComputers
Sights And Sounds
From our readers! Submit photos as full-resolution, high-quality JPG files via email (no TIFFs, please). Include a short description of the photo; include the bird name, the equipment used, and the location. Please include your name, address, phone n
BirdWatching6 min letti
A Glimpse Of PARADISE
In 2004, BBC correspondent Frank Gardner was on assignment in Saudi Arabia when he was shot six times by al-Qaeda terrorists and left for dead. Gardner’s cameraman was killed in the ambush, and Gardner ended up paralyzed from the waist down. After 14
BirdWatching2 min lettiNature
Tails Tell Tales
Many birds have white patches in their tails, and the shapes of those white patches can be a very useful identification clue. But they look different from above and from below, and they change dramatically as the tail opens and closes. Understanding
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From Britain With Love
Just before the coronavirus pandemic, Frank Gardner, an author of two books of nonfiction and two of fiction, combined a birding expedition to Canada with a writing “lockdown” outside Jasper, British Columbia, to complete his latest spy novel on loca
BirdWatching12 min lettiNature
Call To ACTION
BY the mid-1970s, only four Mauritius Kestrels remained in the wild, and many scientists had given them up for dead. Not Carl Jones, however. The Welsh biologist arrived on Mauritius, a tropical island in the Indian Ocean, determined to save the spec
BirdWatching2 min lettiNature
Hawaii: The Epicenter Of The Crisis
Often called “the extinction capital of the world,” Hawaii has experienced far more avian loss than the other 49 states combined. Using the fossil record, scientists have identified at least 71 species and subspecies of forest birds — along with seve
BirdWatching8 min lettiNature
At Your Fingertips
When I was asked to write a roundup of today’s best smartphone apps for birders, I had little idea what I was getting into. Sure, I had used eBird and iBird Pro and had heard of other apps, but that didn’t prepare me for the breadth of mobile birding
BirdWatching1 min lettiComputers
For Birds — And Much More
Anyone who has even a passing interest in nature should have the brilliant crowdsourcing app iNaturalist on their phone. It enables users to identify all sorts of insects, plants, and animals with the help of other users of the platform and report th
BirdWatching1 min lettiInternet & Web
Premium Content
I’m happy to let you know that we have launched a new Membership Program on our website. It’s modeled after a similar program offered by our partner publication Outdoor Photographer, and it’s designed for anyone who wants to improve their bird-identi
BirdWatching4 min lettiNature
Townsend’s Solitaire
I was 11 years old, a wildly avid birder, eager to find everything I could. On a cold December morning, I walked into a grove of evergreens in a Kansas park a few miles from my parents’ house. Search as I might, I could find only a single bird in tha
BirdWatching8 min lettiNature
Birding In Place
Are you looking for ideas to enrich your birding world while staying closer to home? Are you also, like many of us, missing the birdwatching community as well as our feathered friends? I have had the good fortune to tour the world as a storyteller an
BirdWatching7 min lettiNature
Saving Florida’s rarest bird
IT is early morning in one of the largest tracts of Florida dry prairie. A chorus of insects fills the dark chilled air, and heavy dew soaks through my pants as I carefully navigate thick underbrush. I make slow and calculated movements. After nearly
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Florida’s Other Rare Sparrow
Florida Grasshopper Sparrow is not the only endangered sparrow subspecies found in the Sunshine State. The other is Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow, a permanent resident of southern Florida — specifically Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National
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