I can think of many reasons to pick up the October 2016 issue of BirdWatching, but I’ll highlight just five. The issue went on sale at Barnes & Noble and other newsstands on September 6.
1. An article from Pete: The first reason is a timely, and highly entertaining, article about the founding of the Cape May Hawkwatch. Our article is timely because, this year, both the Cape May Bird Observatory and the Cape May Hawkwatch are marking their 40th anniversaries. The article is entertaining because it’s written by none other than Pete Dunne, the longtime director of the CMBO, the founder of the World Series of Birding, and the first official counter at the hawkwatch.
2. History-making Bald Eagles: The second reason is Joe Trezza’s eye-witness account of the first Bald Eagles to nest in New York City in 100 years. The eagles produced a pair of dusky eggs in a tall pine at the western end of Staten Island last year. The eggs provided evidence not just of the species’ continuing recovery, Joe writes, but also of the rebirth of the island since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The nest ultimately failed to produce eaglets, but that doesn’t mean the story had a sad ending, as you can read in this update, which Joe turned in last week.
3. Peregrines in the Windy City: The third reason is Josh Engel’s article about the growing number of Peregrine Falcons now patrolling the skies over bustling, beautiful, skyscraper-filled Chicago. Josh is a research assistant at the Field Museum and a key member of its Chicago Peregrine Program, which works (successfully) to restore a breeding population of falcons in Illinois and the Midwest. The article made me want to go birding with Josh. “If I were to stand on the roof outside my office,” he writes, “I could see no fewer than six structures with active Peregrine nests.” (Six!) You can read about five of the sites here.
4. Elegant Trogon, up close and personal: The fourth reason is the amazing, and true, story written by writer and photographer Jim Burns, another longtime contributor to the magazine. When he was in Patagonia Lake State Park, in southeastern Arizona, not too long ago, he not only spotted one of the state’s most desired birds — an Elegant Trogon — but he had an unusually close encounter with it. “Every serious birder with several years’ experience has had one or two extraordinary encounters that he or she is reluctant to share with anyone,” Jim writes, “because the accounts are likely not to be believed.” Take it from me, this is one of those encounters.
5. Four hawk watches: The fifth reason is actually four reasons — four great places to watch hawks, just in time for the fall migration season. In “Hotspots Near You,” you’ll find maps, driving directions, and descriptions and tips from experienced local birders for Corpus Christi in Texas, Putney Mountain in Vermont, Bonney Butte in Oregon, and the Rosetta McClain Gardens in Toronto.
The October 2016 issue of BirdWatching is on sale now at Barnes & Noble and other newsstands now. The issue is also available on your favorite digital device. Please contact me if you have questions or comments. Or write a letter to the editor. I look forward to hearing from you. — Chuck Hagner, Editor
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