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A beautiful snowy owl photographed during the Bird Watcher's Digest Reader Rendezvous in Sax Zim Bog, Minnesota. Photo by Peter Trueblood.

Snowy Owl Viewing: Observe Without Disturbing

Seeing a snowy owl is a rare privilege. Snowy owls are magnificent birds, and attract considerable attention when they visit the Lower 48 in winter. Enthusiastic observers and photographers should understand and remember that these birds may be stressed by hunger and long-distance travel. It is important to resist the temptation to get too close for a clearer look or better photograph.
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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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Broad-winged hawk by Virginia State Park / Wikimedia

How Much Do You Know About Winter Hawks and Eagles? Find Out!

Watching hawks and eagles is a popular activity in winter. Perhaps that's because it's easier to see a big bird perched on the naked branches of a deciduous tree than it is when the foliage is full. Another reason is that interesting species of hawks visit the Lower 48 in winter, and bald eagles are more numerous. Some raptor species depart North America during the cold months, but some northerly breeding hawks head south and spread out across the continent—winter-only visitors. Winter is a spectacular time to go birding, so bundle up and get out there! Here's a quiz that focuses on hawks and eagles you might spot during the winter. Maybe some of them are in your neighborhood!
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