Has it been a while since you last stood on a bridge over the Platte River in Nebraska and watched as Sandhill Cranes, thousands of them, came to roost? It’s been years for me, yet I can still remember the sights and sounds plainly.
It had been years for writer Cecily Nabors, too. She says she made her first pilgrimage to Nebraska in March 1995. Then, curious what effect 20 years of development, water diversions, and drought might have had on the annual arrival of the great swirling clouds of circling cranes, she went back.
As she writes in our April issue, available on newsstands today, she needn’t have worried. The cranes were just as numerous, the spectacle just as thrilling.
Cecily’s article was a treat to edit, and it’s a pleasure to read, but there’s much more to enjoy in the April issue.
There’s Managing Editor Matt Mendenhall’s article about Jim Stevenson’s home on Galveston Island, Texas. We became curious about the property when we learned that it holds the record for the largest yard list in North America — 318 species.
There’s Maeve Kim’s article about teaching birding classes and leading birdwalks for beginning birdwatchers. Her story will make you chuckle, but it’s also inspiring. Beginners, we learned from Maeve, have much to teach about birds, birding, beauty, and enthusiasm.
The issue also contains a sneak peek inside Kevin Karlson and Dale Rosselet’s long-awaited Peterson Reference Guide to Birding by Impression, due to be published in April. In our exclusive excerpt, the authors describe a novel way to identify sparrows.
And in “Hotspots Near You,” we present four more excellent places to find birds: Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, in Key West, Florida; August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, in St. Charles, Missouri; Kettleson Hogsback WMA, Spirit Lake, Iowa; and Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, in Fallon, Nevada.
Reminder: Every hotspot description we’ve ever published in “Hotspots Near You” — all 208 of them — are available on our website. You can search for them by state or province.
Also in our April 2015 issue…
Kenn Kaufman tells how to identify Louisiana and Northern Waterthrushes, Eldon Greij explains how birds keep their legs and feet warm during the winter, Laura Erickson writes how taking up photography changed her birding, and David Sibley passes along simple tricks for locating well-hidden singing birds.
We also report important bird news, list upcoming festivals, describe migrating birds, and show a gallery of rare-bird sightings.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know how you like the issue. Here’s how to contact us. – Chuck Hagner, Editor
On sale now!
The April 2015 issue of BirdWatching — featuring Cecily Nabors’s cover story about watching the cranes along the Platte in Nebraska, Matt Mendenhall’s description of the birdiest yard in America, and the excerpt from the new Peterson Reference Guide — is on sale now at Barnes & Noble and Chapters book stores. If you don’t see it on the newsstand, ask for it!