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Travel & Outdoor


January/February 2021

BirdWatching is a must-read for anyone who loves birds, whether you are a casual birdwatcher or avid birder. Each issue includes articles by the best known, most respected names in birding, identification tips, spectacular photography, hands-on information about the best birding locations in North America, answers to intriguing reader questions, and much more.

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United States
Madavor Media, LLC
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

Birds that made headlines in October and November included a Barred Owl in New York’s Central Park, a Black-throated Blue Warbler at a preserve in metro Phoenix, and a Common Cuckoo at a state park in Rhode Island. The cuckoo and warbler were found well outside their normal ranges, and while Barred Owls aren’t all that unusual in Central Park, one was quite obliging this fall, allowing good views and lots of photos and video. All three birds drew crowds of birdwatchers. And therein lies the problem. Photos I saw and anecdotes I heard about these and other recent sightings of out-of-range vagrants indicated that most people wore masks (although some didn’t cover their nose), but many didn’t adhere to 6-foot social distancing guidelines. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you…

1 min.

SCIENCE Researchers recently discovered an extinct group of seabirds that had wingspans of up to 21 feet. The specimens had been overlooked for decades in a museum. CONSERVATION After Joe Biden won the election, leaders of Audubon and other conservation groups shared their hopes for his environmental policies. CONSERVATION Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Eastern Black Rail, Gunnison Sage-Grouse and other endangered and threatened birds made headlines recently. Brian Choo; Matt Smith Photographer/Shutterstock; feathercollector/Shutterstock…

2 min.
learning more about peregrines

Two studies published in the September 2020 issue of The Journal of Raptor Research have expanded our understanding of the migration and population stability of the Peregrine Falcon. The first, from Oscar Beingolea and Nico Arcilla of the International Bird Conservation Partnership, reports that Peregrines banded at their North American breeding or natal sites or during migration all flew to Peru for the winter. Eight falcons banded at breeding sites from Alaska to Nunavut to Minnesota and Nebraska between 1963 and 2016 were later found at sites in Peru, the study shows. And 13 falcons banded at migration sites in Texas and along the East Coast also turned up in Peru. A bird from Alaska traveled the farthest — 6,630 miles (10,671 km). The findings suggest that falcons of two subspecies, Falco peregrinus…

2 min.
eye on conservation

A big fight against a small foe Teya Penniman’s career in bird conservation and research began with an internship tracking the habits and haunts of White-crowned Sparrows, Wrentits, and Spotted Towhees in California’s coastal scrub. It was supposed to be a short hiatus from college for Penniman, but that three-month stint morphed into nine years as a staff biologist with Point Blue Conservation Science, much of it on remote islands. Now, a new chapter has started both for Penniman and bird conservation on islands in Hawai‘i, where a project to combat a small enemy in a big way is beginning. “I never grew tired of sitting in a blind, watching the antics of Brandt’s Cormorants stealing nest material from an absent neighbor, and I never lost the awe of extracting a vagrant from…

1 min.
magpies share food with others

Helping others has long been regarded as a human behavior. Nowadays we know that primates and some other social mammals also show so-called prosocial behavior. Dutch biologist Jorg Massen has found in past studies that birds of certain species will sometimes help another individual. Recently, he set out to learn if such behavior is instinctive or flexible — and “whether these birds might also take into account how great the need of the other animal is.” He discovered that his study species, Azure-winged Magpie of eastern Asia, will share food with other birds of their species that do not have enough to eat. “They seem to take each other’s perspective into account in their decision and thus seem to show sympathy,” says Massen, who is based at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. In…

1 min.
young condor rescued

In our last issue, we reported on an August wildfire in California that killed adult and young California Condors. One young bird that survived but initially appeared to be in ill health rebounded thanks to its dedicated mother, known as Redwood Queen. Then, in mid-October, a six-year-old male named Ninja arrived at the nest tree and forced the youngster, named Iniko, out. Iniko landed below the nest and was protected by Redwood Queen. Staff members from Ventana Wildlife Society soon realized that Iniko suffered a leg injury and would require treatment. They rescued the bird and took it to the Los Angeles Zoo for care. Iniko will be released into the wild sometime in 2021.…