Bird Watcher's Digest

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2020 Issues

November/December 2020

Here it is: The final issue of Bird Watcher's Digest in 2020! Our cover species is the yellow-billed magpie. This bold, beautiful, and highly social species is unique to California, where it faces an uncertain future due to reduced habitat as well as a particular susceptibility to the West Nile virus. BWD columnist David Lindo reflects upon how his interest in birds evolved through his early life. Living in London, England, he was especially envious of America's bird list. Then he discovered that the two countries share a lot of species! Also, for a naturalist attempting to consider every living thing that forages and frolics in the brush throughout the year, there just isn't a perfect time to mow! BWD columnist Julie Zickefoose shares how she finally landed on when to mow her meadow so that it stays beautiful and blooming. Find all of this and more in the November/December 2020 issue.
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September/October 2020

There's a lot to love in the September/October issue of BWD. Our cover story features the trumpeter swan, which nearly went extinct in the early twentieth century, but reintroduction efforts have succeeded beyond expectation. Also, purchasing your first spotting scope can be intimidating, but optics experts Michael and Diane Porter are here to help with an explanation of a scope’s important features. Their overview of nine scopes under $1,000 includes various sizes, magnification ranges, and focusing solutions so you can determine which one is right for you. And, expect the unexpected, advises BWD’s in-house professional photographer, Bruce Wunderlich. Bruce shares the camera checklist he uses to ensure he is always prepared to capture an image. Find all this and more in the September/October issue of BWD!
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July/August 2020

Lark sparrows take the lead in our July/August issue of BWD. From the bold and distinctive patterns on its head to its elaborate mating display, this species truly exemplifies the word “unique.” Sheltering in place? Stuck indoors on a rainy day? Bird ID guru Alvaro Jaramillo recommends honing your bird identification skills by using eBird's vast photo library. Birding-by-ear expert Tom Stephenson concludes his three-part series on a better way to identify birds by their sounds with tips for memorization and recall. Also, vulture evangelist Katie Fallon assures us that these avian scavengers are wrongfully maligned. They are an important part of a healthy ecosystem and contribute greatly to public health. Find all this and more in July/August BWD!
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May/June 2020

Welcome to the May/June 2020 issue of BWD! Scarlet tanagers grace the cover. 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. Also, bird ID guru Alvaro Jaramillo explains how the least flycatcher is the gateway to understanding small-flycatcher identification. 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. And, BWD columnist Julie Zickefoose continues her gripping tale of the rescue, rehab, and release of a big female red-tailed hawk she found woefully entangled in a barbed-wire fence. Find all this and more in May/June BWD!
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March/April 2020

Welcome to the March/April 2020 issue of BWD! A red-faced warbler graces the cover. Countless birders have traveled to Arizona and western New Mexico in search of a warbler found nowhere else in the U.S., but you can find this beguiling species in this issue! Bird-song expert Tom Stephenson offers a better way to learn to identify birds by sound in Part 1 of a three-part series that could be life-changing for birders struggling to learn to bird by ear. Also, not all warblers are yellow! Bird ID guru Alvaro Jaramillo compares the habits, behaviors, and vocalizations of five beautiful brown warbler species to help you prepare for spring migration. Find all that and much more in this issue!
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January/February 2020

Artist John Sill’s striking pileated woodpecker graces our first cover of the new year, while author Stephen Shunk profiles the distinguishing features and behaviors of this modern pterodactyl. ID expert Alvaro Jaramillo suggests you up your gull identification game this winter by learning just one species: the herring gull. Start planning your next birding adventure with our third-annual festival roundup. Learn how one Minnesota neighborhood welcomed their new neighbors, a family of great horned owls, and Julie Zickefoose shares her wonder of witnessing uncommon behavior from a common bird. Read all this and more in our January/February issue!
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