Welcome to the news edition of BirdWire! The first issue of each month will focus on bird-related news. The second will include a bird-related quiz.
An e-newsletter brought to you by the publishers of Bird Watcher’s Digest and Watching Backyard Birds.
Where's the Quiz? Something New for BirdWire!

BWD Managing Editor Dawn HewittBy Dawn Hewitt
Managing Editor | Bird Watcher's Digest

Welcome to the debut of the new format for BirdWire! We’ll give you a bird-related quiz in the second, twice-monthly issue, which comes out on the third Saturday of each month. But this is a newsletter, after all, so it seems appropriate that the first BirdWire issue of each month focuses on bird-related news items. We’ll try to keep it fun and informative, but also useful. Please let us know what you think! Would you rather have a quiz in every issue of BirdWire? Send your constructive feedback to [email protected].

Bird Watcher's Digest

End of Summer Subscription Sale!

Get one year (6 issues) of Bird Watcher's Digest for only $15! That's 25% off standard online prices—and a whopping 50% off newsstand prices! Shipping and taxes may apply. Hurry, offer ends 8/31/2018.
Subscribe, Renew, or Give a Gift »
Wood stork by Bruce Wunderlich / BWD
It's Rarity Season
In the past week or so, wood storks have turned up in northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. This is the time of year for post-breeding dispersal, especially of colonial nesters, such as wading birds. Check out wetlands, river edges, lakeshores, sewage ponds, and other wet habitat for hatch-year herons, night-herons, egrets, spoonbills, ibises, and others. This movement of both adults and fledglings is a survival strategy—when prey sources near the breeding colony are depleted, birds must move to find food. This can be amplified by natural or human-controlled drying or draining of wetlands in late summer. When young birds fledge, many take off to find better foraging opportunities, and some wander far from their normal range.

Wading birds aren’t the only birds to engage in late summer dispersal, however. Many bird species take a tour after their nesting responsibilities are over. Hummingbirds, for example, are well known for “vagrancy” starting in late summer, so keep an eye out for strangers at your nectar feeder.
U.S. Interior Department Proposes Changes to Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Agency have proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act that the American Bird Conservancy says will jeopardize threatened bird species. “These rules put species listed as ‘Threatened,’ rather than the more dire category of ‘Endangered,’ at greater risk of endangerment by eliminating the blanket protection known as the 4d rule,” said Steve Holmer of the American Bird Conservancy. “Under these changes, birds newly listed as Threatened could legally be killed or harmed. The changes would also make it more difficult to list species that the best science indicates should be listed, and to conserve and restore habitat … for management of federal lands.”

Public comments are welcome through September 24, 2018.
Superb Bird of Paradise / Cornell Lab of Ornithology
New Species of Superb Bird-of-Paradise Recognized
Here’s an excuse to watch a fun video: Ornithological researchers have recently recognized a new species of bird-of-paradise. The greater superb bird-of-paradise is found throughout Papua New Guinea and in eastern Papua, Indonesia, where its courtship display has made the species into an Internet superstar. In the Vogelkop region of West Papua, Indonesia, however, is an isolated population of superb birds-of-paradise previously thought to be the same species as in Papua New Guinea. At a glance, the males of the Vogelkop area resemble superb birds-of-paradise, although the females are not similar in appearance. Furthermore, take a close look at the courtship display and you’ll note that the “dance steps” are different, and subtle plumage differences are clear, as well. Thus, a new species is recognized: the Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise.

Visit Somerset County: the Heart of Birding in New Jersey
The New Viper HD Binoculars: Better Than Ever.
At the American Birding Expo
American Birding Expo 2018: 3.	Indoor Optics Range
New at the 2018 American Birding Expo: Indoor Optics Range
Test binoculars, spotting scopes, cameras, and lenses from top optics and camera companies on our unique new 40-yard indoor optics range, featuring an array of bird, habitat, and resolution simulations! How cool is that? (VERY cool!)
Did You Know...?
Look for Featherless, Flightless, Male Ducks
When breeding season and the need to impress the ladies is over for the year, many male ducks lose all their flight feathers at once. Okay, so they’re not really featherless—they retain their small, body feathers. But the long primaries and secondaries on the wings and tail drop simultaneously, rendering them flightless for a few weeks in late summer. This is known as “eclipse plumage.” Because they are vulnerable to predators during this time, male ducks frequently seek the protection of tall vegetation in quiet backwaters and lake edges. While they are in eclipse, the males are much less colorful and resemble the females of the species.

Eclipse plumage doesn’t last long, though, and soon the birds will molt again into their breeding plumage. That’s right: Male ducks wear their freshest breeding feathers in the late summer. These new feathers are sturdy and strong to carry them hundreds or even thousands of miles south during fall migration.
This Birding Life Episode #82: Birding in Columbia, Part 2
This Birding Life Episode #82: Birding in Colombia Part 2: Camarones
In Part 2 of Birding in Columbia, TBL host Bill Thompson, III, travels to the Caribbean lowlands near Camarones to visit additional sites along the Northern Colombia Birding Trail. We hear from three different Colombian guides as well as three of Bill’s travel companions about the wonders (and challenges) of birding in Colombia. The origin of the vermilion cardinal’s colorful plumage is explained by the mythology of the Wayuu people. And we hear the full and tragic birding origin story from guide Angel “Neke” Ortiz Menenses.
Out There with the Birds #39: Live at Outdoor Retailer
Out There with the Birds Episode #39: Live at Outdoor Retailer
Ben and Bill take a break during the Outdoor Retailer show in Denver, Colorado to talk about the products, trends, and environmental awareness they found at this major event for retail stores. Like Johnny Appleseed, they planted the seeds of birding awareness among the many cool folks and companies they encountered. And there was free beer. Birding tip: It’s time to look for southbound shorebirds, swallows, martins, and nighthawks.
Register to Win!
Amazing Birds of Spain
On Newsstands Now:
Watching Backyard Birds: August 2018
If you love backyard birds, then you should be reading Watching Backyard Birds. It's the ONLY North American magazine devoted exclusively to backyard birds and the people who watch and enjoy them. Created by the friendly staff at Bird Watcher's Digest, every issue of Watching Backyard Birds is full of engaging, entertaining, and enlightening content and images.
  • Get one year (6 bi-monthly issues) only $16.00*
  • Print subscribers get the digital issue FREE!
* Canadian and international shipping apply. Orders shipping to Ohio are subject to sales tax.
Follow BWD BWD on Pinterest Like Us on Facebook BWD on Instagram BWD on YouTube
Copyright © 2018 Bird Watcher's Digest, All rights reserved.

Want to receive emails like this in your inbox?
You can join our mailing list ».