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Photo by Bill Thompson, III

Christmas Bird Counting

A long-standing program sponsored by the National Audubon Society, the Christmas Bird Count takes place each winter from December 14 to January 5 in designated 15-mile (24-km) circles across North America. Each circle count is conducted in one day. Thousands of bird watchers participate in this annual bird census, contributing data that is invaluable to assessing North American bird populations and guiding conservation action.
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Red-winged blackbird by Jessica Ingram

Spring Birds: When Does Spring Migration Begin?

Bird watchers anticipate spring migration like kids anticipate Christmas. Looking forward to first-of-year species helps us make it through the bleak days of late winter. But when does spring migration actually start? For the past 35 years, I've lived and watched birds in the lower Midwest—southern Ohio and southern Indiana. If you live in New England, the Great Plains, the Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest, or the South, your spring birding experience will probably be quite different in terms of the species and/or timing of their return.
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Turkey Trivia You Might Not Know

As you gather around the table with family and friends this coming week, chances are good that a bird will be the center of attention. This bird has been a popular menu item since as early as the sixteenth century, when European explorers took them home from Mexico. Before that, the Aztecs and other Native American groups were already domesticating turkeys both for food and feathers. Wild turkeys still roam the continent—watch for them in open woodlands, along field edges, and in clearings. During the day they spend most of their time on the ground, but at night they roost in trees. In honor of the upcoming holiday with which this species is so closely associated, we've cooked up a few trivia questions to test your turkey knowledge. How many can you answer correctly?
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