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Photo by Bill Thompson, III

Christmas Bird Counting

A long-standing program sponsored by the National Audubon Society, the Christmas Bird Count takes place each winter from December 14 to January 5 in designated 15-mile (24-km) circles across North America. Each circle count is conducted in one day. Thousands of bird watchers participate in this annual bird census, contributing data that is invaluable to assessing North American bird populations and guiding conservation action.
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American goldfinches flock at backyard thistle feeders. Photo by Randall Sholten.

Answers to Common Backyard Questions

We receive a lot of bird questions here at Bird Watcher's Digest. Since the earliest days of our magazine, we've taken seriously our responsibility as a source of accurate, reliable information about birds, so we've tried to answer each question as fully and clearly as possible. Some visitors have been taking advantage of the discussion features on our website and on Facebook to ask a variety of interesting questions or to chime in to address queries posted by other bird watchers. We've grabbed a few recent Q&As to feature here.
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Tree swallow photo by Bill Thompson, III

Test Your Knowledge of Swallows

Swallows are birds of wide-open spaces. They wing their way over fields and waterways, pursuing flying insects of all sorts. Oftentimes we find them near us humans, as many species nest in barns, under bridges, and in artificial nest boxes. About nine swallow species exist in North America, and in many places in the East, it is possible to encounter six of these at one time. After the nesting season, in late summer, many of our swallows form flocks of thousands or even tens of thousands, resulting in one of the greatest spectacles of fall migration. How much do you know about these aerial insectivores? Test your knowledge with the quiz below.
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