Spring migration is in full swing! Learn about the birds currently migrating through your area. Also, learn tips to help nesting birds.
An e-newsletter brought to you by the publishers of Bird Watcher’s Digest and Watching Backyard Birds. Proudly sponored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics.

What Birds Are in Your Area? Find Out!

Spring is in full swing! The experience of spring migration varies a lot across this continent. For those in the South, it means the abundant waterfowl and other more northerly breeders are departing. For those who live in the central tier of states, it means our winter visitors will be heading out while species that winter in the South and breed in the North will be passing through. For those who live in the northern states and Canada, the “snow birds” will be returning. The first birds to get the urge for leaving are, in most cases, those who haven’t traveled too far, including those that spend the winter on this continent. Here’s a spotlight on a few early migrants to whet your whistle and prepare you for what’s to come.
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Ten Ways to Help Nesting Birds
Spring is the start of the breeding season for most of our North American birds. They pair up with mates, build nests, lay eggs, raise young, and then some of them repeat the cycle—as many as three times. There are some things that you can do to assist your backyard birds at this busy time of year. Here they are, in the time-honored Top Ten format.
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Pop Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Nesting Birds?
Most birds build or use some type of nest to produce and rear their young, but only a relative handful of birds use human-provided nest boxes, or birdhouses. These species include chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, wrens, bluebirds, and tree swallows. Being a landlord to the birds is a thrilling experience: You are treated to an intimate peek inside the lives of your "tenants" and rewarded with the presence of their offspring, if nesting is successful. Enjoy our fun quiz to learn more about nesting birds!
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Amazing Facts About Hummingbirds
We could fill an entire book with “amazing facts” about hummingbirds because they are birds to which the adjective “amazing” very much applies. For example, did you know that hummingbirds require the most energy to live of any warm-blooded animal? Read on for more of our favorite hummingbird facts!
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Where Are the Birds In Your Area? Find Out!
Just because you may not be able to visit your favorite spring migration hotspots doesn't mean you can't keep up with where the birds are. BWD staffer Kelly Ball explains how she stays connected to the daily ebb and flow of migration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's BirdCast tool. BirdCast uses maps to show intensities of actual bird migration in real time as detected by US weather surveillance radar!
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#BirdsOnTheBrain
ATTENTION, BIRDWIRE SUBSCRIBERS: We want to hear from you! Each issue of BirdWire will include a poll question for our audience. Visit our website to offer your input and see results from your fellow readers!
Today's Poll Question: Do you participate in eBird?
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RESULTS OF OUR LAST POLL: In our last issue of BirdWire, we asked how you would describe your bird identification skills. We have a lot of sharp-eyed birders! 38% can identify most birds in their region. 36% can identify the birds at their feeder. 26% know most species on the American Birding Association checklist for North America! Only 2% confessed to being neophytes. No worries: Our bird identication guide is only a click away. Thanks to all who participated!



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Out There with the Birds Episode #66: Wonder Woman Weekend
Last October, a group of female birding friends gathered at Opossum Creek Retreat in Fayetteville, West Virginia, which is also the home of the New River Birding and Nature Festival each May (when there's not a pandemic happening in our world). They dubbed this gathering "Wonder Woman Weekend," and they spent time birding, talking, laughing, eating, and reconnecting to each other, to birds and nature, and to themselves. Regardless of your gender, we hope you'll enjoy this conversation between common—yet quite uncommon—Wonder Women, and we hope this message also encourages YOU during this global crisis that is affecting every person on our planet.
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Meet the BWD Family: Bruce Wunderlich, Production Director
While we all get pretty excited around here every time we get to hold a new issue of Bird Watcher’s Digest or Watching Backyard Birds, production director Bruce Wunderlich might be the most thrilled. And rightfully so. As the one who lays out every word, every image, every last little detail on every last page, Bruce is intimately immersed in our publications, and producing each issue is akin to breathing life into the ideas and creations of our many talented contributors.
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On Newsstands Now:
Bird Watcher's Digest: May/June 2020
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Generations of bird watchers have trusted our magazine for compelling content about birds, bird watchers, and birding adventures. Each issue includes articles from gifted writers who not only know about birds but also know how to present expert advice in a way that's friendly and accessible—perfect for beginners and experienced birders alike.
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* Canadian and international shipping apply. Orders shipping to Ohio are subject to sales tax.
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COVER SPECIES
Scarlet Tanager: Dweller of the Deep Woods
Just a flash of the purest red and blackest black in the treetops is enough to send a birder’s heart racing. A spark bird for many, the dazzling scarlet tanager leads a double life with secrets we’re still uncovering.
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IDENTIFY YOURSELF
Least (But Not Last) Flycatcher
Contrary to popular opinion, flycatchers are not impossible to identify! Bird ID guru Alvaro Jaramillo explains how the least flycatcher is the gateway to understanding small-flycatcher identification.
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SPECIAL FEATURE
How to Love Bird Songs Even More Than You Already Do, Part 2
Bird song expert Tom Stephenson continues his three-part series on learning to bird by ear, using spectrograms to help discern the details of bird vocalizations.


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