Grab the walking stick. Fill the bike tires. Lace up the rollerblades. Our October 2013 issue goes on sale on newsstands today. You’ll want to hurry to your favorite bookstore or bird-specialty store to pick up a copy.
Here’s a rundown of what you’ll get:
Hawk-watching hotspots. Just in time for the autumn migration, we give maps, directions, and tips for four of the best hawk watches in North America: Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania, Hawk Ridge in Minnesota, Bridger Mountains in Montana, and Hawk Hill in California. (The dashing adult Cooper’s Hawk on our cover, by the way, was photographed by New York City photographer and Jamaica Bay Shorebird Festival organizer Lloyd Spitalnik.)
ID tips from David Sibley and Kenn Kaufman. David explains how to read the stripes and patterns on the heads of songbirds, while Kenn, recently elected a Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union, tells how you can ID Red-bellied, Golden-fronted, and Gila Woodpeckers.
An exclusive excerpt from the latest Peterson guide. The Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching won’t be published until later in September, but you can read part of it here. Authors Cameron Cox and Ken Behrens not only reveal the 10 steps that experienced seawatchers use to identify distant waterbirds but express, beautifully, persuasively, why seawatches matter.
A once-in-a-lifetime hummingbird. That’s how our writer describes the way out-of-range Rufous Hummingbird that appeared in her eastern Pennsylvania backyard last October and stayed, against all odds, until mid-January. Not even the gales of Hurricane Sandy could budge it.
A moving life story. Reporter Frank Zufall explains how good binoculars, the teachings of Aldo Leopold, and the death of his parents combined to help him discover that birdwatching is not only enjoyable but a way to live well. It’s a great read.
Also in the issue: Gary Lantz profiles our most interesting shorebird, Mountain Plover… Pete Dunne describes the last birds to be added to his life list… Eldon Greij writes about the behavior known as anting… Laura Erickson ponders the healing power of birds… And Julie Craves explains why birds yawn, and she answers this eternal question: Birds have always come to my feeders, but now they’re not. Where did they go? What happened to them?
Tablet Extras. In all four of our feature articles and in “Birding Briefs” and “Attracting Birds,” you’ll find short lists of related stories. Tap them, and you’ll open up a world of extra information: recordings of Mountain Plover calls, seawatching stories from our archives, previous columns written by Laura Erickson, news stories that broke after our August issue went to press, and more. We hope you like them.
Look for our October issue at your favorite bookstore or bird-specialty store on September 3. And please let me know how you like it! — Chuck Hagner, Editor