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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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Eastern towhee. Photo by Bill Morin.

Pop Quiz: The Lowdown on Towhees!

Spend some time walking along the edge of a wooded area or through an overgrown field, and you might encounter a towhee. These oversized sparrows prefer thickets and tangles where they tend to stay hidden. To locate them, listen for their calls or the sound of their feet scratching through leaf litter for food. Only one species is common in the East; several others are found in the West. Some venture out of the woods and into backyards and city parks, especially during the winter months. How well do you know these secretive birds? Take our quiz and find out!
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