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Our May/June issue features hummingbird photography, birding the Appalachian Trail, and much more

Subscribe today to BirdWatching magazine for identification tips, birding hotspots and more!

May/June issue
BirdWatching, May/June 2018. Cover photo by Alan Murphy

The May/June 2018 issue of BirdWatching is available now at Barnes & Noble and other newsstands, as well as on digital platforms such as iTunes, Kindle, and Google Play.

Our cover story, “Hummingbirds at Home,” offers tips and techniques for shooting memorable photos of Ruby-throats or other hummingbirds in your backyard. Author and photographer William Jobes has created a sizable garden with bird-friendly plants, including bee balm, swamp milkweed, shrimp plant, and many other flowers, and in the article, he explains how anyone can attract the tiny birds and learn how to photograph them. 

Birder, author, and Sea Bird Count founder Diana Doyle shares the entertaining story of her recent hike along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. Not only did she listen and watch for birds during the two-month-plus walk, but she also reported every bird she tallied to eBird. And her checklists did double-duty through the use of breeding codes, allowing the information to be valuable for Virginia’s second Breeding Bird Atlas. 

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska has been in the news lately because the recently approved tax bill includes a provision that allows oil drilling to occur in part of the refuge. In the photo essay, “America’s Serengeti,” Malkolm Boothroyd, a photographer from Whitehorse, Yukon, reminds us what’s at stake. He shows us photos of Arctic Tern, Pectoral Sandpiper, nesting Pacific Loon, and other wildlife that could be affected by oil development. 

Read my editor’s note about the photo essay


In addition to the feature articles, our group of A-list columnists has produced a terrific lineup of bird-ID content. For starters, if you tend to overlook gulls when you’re birding, Contributing Editor Pete Dunne explains why it’s time to start paying attention to the mostly white and gray birds. In David Sibley’s “ID Toolkit” column, the field-guide author describes how ducks and geese hide their wings when they’re swimming — and why it’s useful for us birders to understand how they do it.

And in “ID Tips,” just in time for spring migration, Kenn Kaufman explains how to tell the differences between Blue Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting. 

Also in this issue: 


• Descriptions of birding hotspots in California and British Columbia.

• Answers to readers’ questions about anting, what goldfinches eat, the bird with the most specialized diet, and more.

• eBird maps showing where to look for Sedge Wren and Willow Flycatcher. 

• The amazing displays of manakins.

• And more! 

You can read the full list of the issue’s contents and see a sneak peek on our Current Issue page. We hope you enjoy the issue. If you have comments about it, please send a letter to us here. — Matt Mendenhall, Editor


P.S., if you take photos of birds and would like us to consider a photo or two for the reader-submitted “Your View” section, please read our Your View Submission Guidelines and send in your best shots!


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