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BirdWatching magazine celebrates Snowy Owl and other birds

BirdWatching Magazine, January-February 2017.
BirdWatching Magazine, January-February 2017, Snowy Owl by Lee H. Rentz, Bokmakierie (inset) by Scott Marshall.

Keep your eyes peeled for the January-February 2017 issue of BirdWatching magazine! It went on sale at Barnes & Noble and other newsstands across the country on January 10.

We’ve filled it with stories about finding and identifying birds, doing monthly Big Days, counting albatrosses, the amazing abilities of homing pigeons, and why you should add Portugal to the list of places you must visit.

Our cover story comes from Pete Dunne, who writes about the hawks, gulls, and other exciting birds to watch for in winter. Our cover photo shows one of them — the Snowy Owl. Photographer Lee H. Rentz snapped the picture at Damon Point State Park, in Grays Harbor County, Washington, in January 2012, an irruption year.

The January-February 2017 issue also contains two columns on bird identification from the best in the business: Kenn Kaufman, creator of the popular Kaufman field guides, and David Sibley, creator of the Sibley Guide to Birds.

Kaufman tackles the challenge of identifying Sagebrush Sparrow and Bell’s Sparrow — the two birds were considered a single species, Sage Sparrow, as recently as 2013 — while Sibley describes how a bird’s overall shape can change with the seasons.

Also in the issue:


* An exclusive first-hand account from a nest counter on Midway Atoll, home of nearly 70 percent of the world’s Laysan Albatross and almost a third of all Black-footed Albatross. Our article is an excerpt from the book Holy Mōlī: Albatross and Other Birds, by Hob Osterlund, founder of the Kauai Albatross Network.

* Columns by Eldon Greij and Laura Erickson. Eldon tells how odors and infrasound are thought to help homing pigeons find their way home, while Laura describes how bird-feeding stations are helping protect habitat in Peru.

* Answers from Julie Craves to questions about Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers with washed-out plumages, robins that visit suet feeders, and premade hummingbird nectar.


* Bird lists, tips, maps, and directions for birding hotspots in Washington and New Jersey.

* Seven pages of breaking news — what tracking devices have revealed about the migration of Kirtland’s Warbler, why there may soon be two species of Willet, outdoor cats’ dramatic effect on small animals and birds, why seabirds eat plastic, and more.

* Beautiful photos by professional photographers Donald M. Jones, Alan Murphy, Judd Patterson, David E. Seibel, Brian E. Small, and others, as well as six pages of photos taken by readers, including one of recent rare-bird sightings.

* And, topping things off, Chicago-area birder Beau Schaefer recounts 11 lessons learned while doing three years of monthly Big Days, while Editor Chuck Hagner explains why southern Portugal is a great place for birders from the New World to discover the birds of the Old.


You can take a sneak peek inside the January-February 2017 issue on the website of BirdWatching magazine at

You can also find news and updates from the magazine on Facebook (BirdWatchingMagazine) and Twitter (@BirdWatchDaily).

For more information about the January-February 2017 issue, contact editor Chuck Hagner at (617) 315-9160 or [email protected].

Geolocators reveal loop migration and stopover regions of Kirtland’s Warbler.


Five birding hotspots in southern Portugal.

Year in review 2016: The 50 most important stories about birds and birders.


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