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BirdWatchingBirdWatching

BirdWatching

November/December 2019

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Madavor Media, LLC
Read More
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6 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

2 min.
your year in review

This is our last issue of 2019, so I thought it would be fun to ask: What have been your most memorable birding moments of the year? Did you find a rarity? Did you witness a bird behavior you’ve never seen before? Did you take a dream trip? Did you get a child hooked on watching our feathered friends? Did you plant a boatload of native plants to benefit pollinators? My highlights of the year, so far, have included my first sightings of Black-backed Woodpecker and Canada Jay, which I saw during the Adirondack Boreal Birding Festival in New York State. I also saw, for the first time, truly wild Whooping Cranes, which I wrote about in our last issue. My No. 1 birding high point, however, didn’t involve life birds. It…

1 min.
birdwatching

Editor Matt Mendenhall Founding Editor Eldon D. Greij Contributing Editors Julie Craves, Pete Dunne, Laura Erickson, Kenn Kaufman, David Allen Sibley Editorial Consultant Lee Mergner ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Carolyn V. Marsden Graphic Designer Haley Nunes OPERATIONS Vice President, Circulation Strategy Jason Pomerantz Operations Supervisor Andrea Palli Operations Coordinator Toni Eunice Human Resources Manager Alicia Roach Supervisor, Client Services Cheyenne Corliss Senior Client Services Associate Tou Zong Her Client Services Aubrie Britto, Darren Cormier, Rachel Nee Accounting Director Amanda Joyce Accounts Payable Associate Tina McDermott Accounts Receivable Associate Wayne Tuggle DIGITAL OPERATIONS Senior Director, Digital Projects Renee Dextradeur Digital Ad Operations Director Leza Olmer Wordpress Developer David Glassman Senior Digital Designer Mike Decker SALES & MARKETING Media Solutions Director Scott Luksh sluksh@madavor.com Senior Media Solutions Manager Bob Meth bmeth@madavor.com Senior Media Solutions Manager Alexandra Piccirilli apiccirilli@madavor.com Client Services clientservices@madavor.com Marketing Director Andrew Yeum Audience Development Analyst Ryan Gillis Marketing Associates Shawn Daniel, Tommy Goodale Social Media Manager Tim Doolan Content Marketing…

2 min.
a game-changer for conservation?

In late September, mainstream news outlets around the world carried stories about a new study that says North America’s bird populations are collapsing. The alarming study, written by scientists from seven conservation and research organizations, reported that since 1970, bird populations in the United States and Canada have declined by 29 percent, or almost 3 billion birds, signaling a widespread ecological crisis. The results show tremendous losses across diverse groups of birds and habitats — from meadowlarks to swallows. Articles about the research appeared in dozens of media sources, likely reaching millions of listeners and readers who aren’t birders and, presumably, don’t pay much attention to trends in bird populations. Could the volume of news coverage of the study spark positive actions for conservation by individuals and/or politicians and decision makers? “Yes, this…

2 min.
a towering turnaround helps save birds

Every year in North America, approximately 7 million migratory birds collide with tall communication towers and die. Most of these are night-flying long-distance migrants that crash into the towers after being attracted to and disoriented by their steady-burning red lights. The annual death toll includes an estimated 6.6 million birds in the United States and at least 220,000 in Canada. These include familiar backyard species such as the White-throated Sparrow; birds of rural and forested areas, including American Woodcock; and many Neotropical migrants such as the Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Blackpoll Warbler. Species of great conservation concern are impacted, including Black Rail, Bell’s Vireo, Golden-winged Warbler, and McCown’s Longspur. Luckily, awareness of this problem has grown, and change has begun. Simply turning off the steady-burning lights can reduce a tower’s rate of…

3 min.
since you asked

Q I recently noticed that the male House Wren that uses my bird house stopped singing daily, then resumed after 10 to 12 days. I thought perhaps that once the first brood fledged and the parents were feeding off nest that they were either too busy or no longer needed to sing. Now they’re back at the box with a second brood, and the singing has resumed. Is this common in songbirds who raise two broods a season, or have I misunderstood the silence? — Judy Power, Cape Cod, Massachusetts A Many songbirds do largely cease singing once they’ve established a territory, attracted a mate, and especially when they begin feeding young. Some species, such as House Wren, demonstrate a little more complex song phenology. Males will continue singing over much…

2 min.
gene linked to bird migration

Scientists have known for a few decades about a genetic component to bird migration. Recent studies in birds have identified large regions of the genome, encompassing hundreds of genes, associated with migration, but it has been more difficult to pinpoint the specific roles of any single gene. In a study published in August, however, researchers who studied Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers found one gene that is associated with the final wintering destination of the species. The genetically similar species breed in the Midwest and Northeast. Blue-winged Warblers, for the most part, migrate to wintering grounds in Central America, from Guatemala to Panama. The Golden-winged population that breeds in the Great Lakes also winters in Central America, whereas the Appalachian population migrates to South America, primarily Venezuela. The researchers took genetic samples from the…