Netflix released two bird documentaries that you won't want to miss. Also, contribute to citizen science by participating in Project FeederWatch!
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News in Birding, November 2019
New in November: Must-Watch TV, Citizen Science Projects, and Perfume for Birds!

Jessica Melfi | Assistant Editor, Bird Watcher's DigestBy Jessica Melfi
Assitant Editor | Bird Watcher's Digest

These cool November days are perfect for snuggling up with a good bird documentary, and Netflix recently released two that you won’t want to miss. It’s also a great time of year to contribute to citizen science from the comfort of your warm home by participating in Project FeederWatch. Watching those backyard birds might inspire you to learn more about their behavior, such as why they preen, a question researchers recently shed some new light on.

North Shore Birding Festival

Go Birding at the Top eBird Hotspot in Florida!

Join us January 16–20, 2020, at the North Shore Birding Festival. Nearly 370 species of birds have been sighted at the Lake Apopka North Shore area, more than any inland site in the U.S.—including the Everglades!
Must-see TV for Birders (and Non-birders!)
Must-see TV for Birders (and Non-birders!)
Birds take center stage in two new Netflix original documentaries that are certain to engage birders and non-birders alike with their unique storytelling and visual delights. Birders transports us to the Rio Grande, where borders are meaningless to migratory birds, and birders on both sides of the wall are united by their shared passion. Dancing with the Birds is a cheeky look at the intricate mating dances of several tropical birds, cleverly narrated by Stephen Fry and perfectly scored to a whimsical soundtrack.
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Become a Citizen Scientist with Project FeederWatch
Become a Citizen Scientist with Project FeederWatch
The popular citizen science program Project FeederWatch begins a new season on November 9, running through April 3, 2020. Backyard bird watchers of any level of expertise can participate simply by doing what we love to do—watch our backyard birds—and then taking it a step further to report those observations to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
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Did You Know? To Birds, Bacteria Smells Like Perfume
Preening—So Much More Than Just Cleaning
The next time you see a bird preening, rubbing oil from its preen gland all over its feathers, think of it as the bird’s way of putting on its signature scent, just like we humans do with soap, deodorant, and perfume. A recent study out of Michigan State University found that bacteria in the preen gland produces a bird’s unique scent, and that odor is key to communication and finding a mate.
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Reader Rendezvous
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Birds, Blue Ridge, Beers & Biltmore: Ashville, North Carolina
Birds, Blue Ridge, Beers & Biltmore: Asheville, North Carolina
Warm days and cool nights, an abundance of wildflowers, a chorus of spring bird song, and spectacular mountain scenery: This is spring in the Southern Blue Ridge. Surrounded by thousands of acres of national forest, Asheville offers some fine spring birding. Over 20 species of warblers nest in the area, and every day sees more and more migrants arriving from their wintering grounds in the tropics. Wood thrush, veery, and hermit thrush sing from mountain forests.
Upcoming Festivals
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Podcasts
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OTWTB #61: British Invasion Series: An Interview with Jim Lawrence
OTWTB Episode #61: British Invasion Series: An Interview with Jim Lawrence
Episode #61 continues our "British Invasion Series," which features a series of interviews that BWD Director Wendy Clark conducted at the 2019 British Birdfair in the UK. The British Birdfair is one of the largest gatherings of bird watchers and conservationists from around the world. In this episode Wendy interviews Jim Lawrence, global marketing director for BirdLife International. Jim and Wendy discuss the British Birdfair, reflect on US and UK conservation relations, and get distracted by a few excellent bird sightings!
On Newsstands Now:
Bird Watcher's Digest: Nov./Dec. 2019
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COVER SPECIES
Blue Jay: Vigilance and Intelligence
In an excerpt from her recently published book, Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay, Julie Zickefoose shares one of the many lessons the young, orphaned Jemima taught her: No one needs to teach a jay how to be a jay.
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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY
Botanical Hotspots: Let the Birds Come to You!
Jim McCormac explains how strategically positioning yourself near the flora birds love and then patiently waiting for avian visitors is sure to improve your chances of getting close, natural shots of an often-wary subject.
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WATCHING BIRD BEHAVIOR
Geese Behaving Badly
They’re virtually everywhere, but how well do you really know the Canada goose? Ornithologist Dr. David Bird examines the controversial species’ behavior, including its rapid population growth and the loss of its migratory habit.
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