Watching Backyard Birds

Our final issue of 2018 features a crimson beauty, the northern cardinal. Those of us who see them all the time tend to forget how striking cardinals really are. In her Watcher at the Window column, Julie Zickefoose muses on the smaller, starker aspects of nature: textures of dried weeds, the bones of a bare tree. Birdsquatch, our hairiest columnist, forecasts an abundance of red-breasted nuthatches this winter. Editor Bill Thompson, III, offers 10 things to do during winter to maintain and enhance your connection to the birds in your neighborhood. Find this and more in the December 2018 issue of Watching Backyard Birds!
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Our October issue has an autumnal theme, with several stories about backyard wild turkeys, and one about a live Halloween display: eastern screech-owls. Featuring a strutting tom on the cover, a story by William Gorman, who lives in a wooded area near Albany, New York, recalls his experiences of experimenting with food choices among the regular flock of wild turkeys that visited his yard. Bill Thompson, III, offers some suggestions for maximizing your enjoyment of fall birding, including behaviors to watch for, and ID tips. Find this and more in the October 2018 issue of Watching Backyard Birds!
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The cover of the August issue of Watching Backyard Birds features a greater roadrunner, which can be a backyard visitor in the Southwest. Read about an Oklahoma family that came to the rescue after storms destroyed a roadrunner nest-with nestlings. Hummingbirds also feature prominently in this issue, with two stories by Bill Thompson, III, including all you need to know about nectar feeders, and the fascinating life history of these flying gems. Find all this and more in the August issue!
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This issue of Watching Backyard Birds covers the joys of summer. WBB managing editor Dawn Hewitt provides advice on attracting orioles to your backyard. Editor Bill Thompson, III, offers advice on recognizing recent fledglings visiting your feeders—birds that can be hard to identify, and might not even look like their parents! Columnist Julie Zickefoose wonders whether she’ll see the impacts of Hurricane Harvey in her hummingbird numbers this year. Find all this and more in the June issue!
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Ah spring! The April issue of Watching Backyard Birds is all about getting ready for the season of migration and nesting. Red-winged blackbirds returning to their marshy nesting territory is a sure harbinger. Columnist Julie Zickefoose recalls one late winter day when she received six gifts from nature. Bill Thompson, III, offers ten tips on maintaining nest boxes that will ensure the health and happiness of the occupants. Bird photographer Bruce Wunderlich shares secrets and tips on taking publication-worthy shots of birds in your backyard. Find all this and more in the April 2018 issue of Watching Backyard Birds.
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The monkey bars in Renny Gehman’s Texas backyard provide a perfect place for an American kestrel to perch and hunt. The author provides a study of its behavior and habits. Columnist Julie Zickefoose muses on how wildlife handle frigid temperatures, and provides help through food and habitat to make their lives a bit easier during the winter. Also, Why are there so few birds at your feeder right now? Bill Thompson, III, discusses why birds might be steering clear of your feeders at this time of year. Find all this and more in the February 2018 issue of Watching Backyard Birds.
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Most easterners recognize the blue jay, and those who feed birds enjoy their antics at the feeders. In the West, Steller’s jays can dominate feeders. But there are seven other species of jay in North America—all of which are colorful and fun to watch. Also in this issue: Bill Thompson, III, (Bill of the Birds) offers expert advice to help you attract a wider variety of birds to your yard this winter. Find all this and more in the December 2017 issue of Watching Backyard Birds!
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A pileated woodpecker with an injured leg turns up at a suet feeder. Find out about North America’s largest woodpecker and what happens to this sad bird. Hint: The story has a happy ending. Eight turkey vultures soared above columnist Julie Zickefoose’s garage for three days one October. The vultures were aware of something foul that Julie didn’t realize. A Denver native has watched the diversity of backyard bird species change through the decades. This autumn issue of WBB offers advice on how to prepare your yard and bird feeders for wintry weather ahead.
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This issue of WBB has a special focus on hummingbirds. Only one species of hummingbird nests the East, but fifteen species breed in North America, including the orange rufous hummingbird. Hundreds more live in Central and South America, ranging from the tiny blue bee hummingbird, to the robin-sized giant hummingbird. Also in this issue: Read one contributor’s story of a hummingbird rescue, and discover ways to deter ants and bees at hummingbird feeders. Find all this and more in the August issue of Watching Backyard Birds!
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Kick summer off with the June issue of Watching Backyard Birds! On the cover is a spectacular tree swallow, a bird that is increasingly becoming part of the suburban and backyard landscape in North America. June is nesting time for many backyard birds, and Julie shares some insights on several species nesting around her home in southeastern Ohio. Read about the curve-billed thrasher, a common backyard bird in the desert Southwest. Find all of this and more in the June 2017 issue of Watching Backyard Birds!
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