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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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Osprey photo by S.J. Marshall.

Did You Know These Facts About Ospreys?

We call them fish hawks, fish eagles, and a multitude of other nicknames. Many are familiar with the osprey, that large, crooked-winged raptor patrolling the world’s watery habitats for fish, its preferred food source. Found on every continent except Antarctica, ospreys are summer birds for most of us in North America, spending their winters along warmer waterways in the South American tropics. Florida is an exception, as ospreys can be found in that state year-round. Ospreys have made an impressive comeback since the mid-twentieth century, when their numbers plummeted due to DDT poisoning and other environmental hazards. Thanks to conservation efforts, these incredible birds are on the rise again. How well do you know ospreys?
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