Bird Watcher's Digest

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2019 Issues

November/December 2019

Author, artist, and naturalist Julie Zickefoose shares the star of her latest book with both her dazzling cover art and an engaging excerpt from Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay. Just as Julie learned life lessons from the young, orphaned jay, so has columnist Scott Weidensaul been educated by the birds he has encountered as a raptor rehabber over the years—with sometimes painful results. A birding priest confesses 10 “ornithological sins,” while Dr. David Bird presents a balanced look at the “bad behavior” of the controversial Canada goose. Get your dose of adorable as bird ID guru Alvaro Jaramillo distinguishes North America’s chickadee species. Read all this and more in our Nov./Dec. issue!
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September/October 2019

This issue is destined to be a keepsake! On May 25, 2019, Elsa Thompson, co-founder and beloved matriarch of Bird Watcher's Digest, passed away unexpectedly. Read a touching tribute by publisher Wendy Clark. An adult male northern goshawk stares intently from its perch in the cold wilderness gracing the cover of this issue. Read a profile of this amazing accipiter by Pete Dunne. In the market for mid-sized binoculars? Optics experts Diane and Michael Porter present a side-by-side comparison of 13 models of 8x32 bins so you can make an informed decision. Read all this and more in our Sept./Oct. issue!
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July/August 2019

This issue is destined to be a keepsake. Bill Thompson, III, our beloved editor, succumbed to cancer on March 25, 2019. Read a heartfelt tribute penned by BWD columnist Julie Zickefoose. A family of quail graces the cover of this issue. Once common and frequently heard, conservation efforts are underway to help this species in steep decline. Sandpipers and plovers can be so confusing! Bird ID guru Alvaro Jaramillo offers help in studying size, shape, and structure before color to aid in identification. Also, find tips for bird watching while on an African safari. Read all this and more in our July/August issue!
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May/June 2019

Barry Kent MacKay, the artist who painted the birds on the cover of this issue, also wrote the species profile. As a child, the American West and its birds intrigued and allured him. When he finally spotted lazuli buntings, he saw the colors of the West. Similarly, columnist Scott Weidensaul longed to visit the West as a youth, and now recalls the adventures he has had there. Also in this issue, dive into the muck with bird ID guru Alvaro Jaramillo and learn to distinguish marsh and sedge wrens. Discover birding hotspots in our Nebraska Spotlight, and our Far Afield column on Rhode Island. Find all this and more in our May/June issue!
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March/April 2019

A Wilson's snipe, camouflaged in marshy vegetation—so typical of this species—adorns the cover of the March/April issue of Bird Watcher's Digest. Inside is an insightful profile of this fascinating bird that really does have superpowers! For comparison, read about the skydance of the American woodcock‚ a bird similar yet very different from the cover species. Bird ID guru Alvaro Jaramillo takes a look at fox sparrows and their regional differences. Scott Weidensaul pays tribute to his bird banding mentor, Bob Sargent, and Julie Zickefoose, aka "Li'l Hippie," remembers her unlikely friendship with "Big Redneck," and what they had in common: bluebirds, wild turkeys, and country living.
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January/February 2019

This is an extra-wintery issue of BWD. The northern cardinal, on our cover is especially eye-catching against a snowy backdrop. Writer Erik Bruhnke offers an interesting and informative species profile of this iconic species. Columnist Scott Weidensaul mediates on the soul of the wild: the sounds of nature. Julie Zickefoose offers six tips for better winter bird feeding. Considering purchasing a new spotting scope? Birding optics expert Ben Lizdas review the brand new, top-shelf Zeiss Harpia. Take a wintry tour of Ocean City, Maryland, in the Far Afield column to find northern ducks in breeding plumage and other uncommon species.
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