Information about birding with children and birding in Cuba, and a rundown of the latest new books about birds and birding — that’s what you’ll find in our June 2015 issue, on newsstands today.
Birding with children
Is there a more important topic? It’s hard to think of anything that will have a bigger effect on the long-term health of birds than getting young people outside, fostering their appreciation for nature, and exposing them to the wonder and beauty of birds. Our June issue contains a special section, consisting of three articles:
The first comes from educator and parent Danielle Harris, who outlines the many ways that birding can improve a child’s physical and mental health — and perhaps change the world. The second was written by environmental educator Rebecca Deatsman, who passes along tried-and-true ways to spark an interest in birds among young people. And the third, we prepared: a list of 15 sources of information and ideas for young birders and their mentors. We compiled our list with help from our friends Laura Erickson, Kim Kaufman, Alicia Frances King, and Bill Stewart, so you know it’s good.
Birding in Cuba
And is there a birding location that inspires more curiosity than Cuba? If you’re curious, as we are, don’t miss Carrol Henderson’s article. He’s the nongame wildlife program supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, an author, and a tour leader. In his article, he describes two recent trips to the island. On the first, in 2013, his group tallied 144 birds, including 21 Cuban endemics and 13 regional endemics. On the second, last year, he recorded 169 birds, including the Cuban Tody pictured on our cover. (Glenn Bartley took the photo.) “Our visits were wonderful experiences,” he writes. “My hope is that the recent thaw in our governments’ relations will not only allow more American birders to visit but also open doors for meaningful bird conservation in the years ahead.”
Visit Cuba with us!
BirdWatching magazine and the Caribbean Conservation Trust will lead a bird-survey trip to Cuba February 6-15, 2016, and you can join us! Accompany Editor Chuck Hagner, Arturo Kirkconnell, co-author of Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba, and other naturalists as we visit the western mountains, the Zapata Swamp, and other hotspots. Read a detailed description and see our itinerary.
Books about birds
As if an article about birding in Cuba and a special section on birding with children weren’t enough, our June 2015 issue also contains our mid-year roundup of new books about birds. Managing Editor Matt Mendenhall and I had a great time examining many just-published or soon-to-be-published books, and we reviewed an even dozen, including new titles from “Attracting Birds” contributor Laura Erickson, “ID Tips” writer Kenn Kaufman, Carrol Henderson (author of our article about Cuba), and Kevin Karlson. See a list of the books we reviewed.
Our June 2015 also contains profiles of four excellent hotspots: Sterling Nature Center, in Sterling, New York, described by Jerry Uhlman; Wakodahatchee Wetlands, in Delray Beach, Florida (Carlos Sanchez); the 33-mile-long Virginia Creeper Trail, in Abingdon, Virginia (Eric Harrold); and Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, in Playa Del Rey, California (Shirley L. Ruhe).
They and the 208 other hotspot descriptions we’ve published in “Hotspots Near You” through the years are available on this website. You can search for them by state or province. Just select a state or province from the pull-down menu and then click “Find it.”
Also in the June 2015 issue…
Kenn Kaufman tells how to identify White-rumped Sandpiper, Eldon Greij explains where eggs come from, Laura Erickson writes about the social norms of the chickadees in her Minnesota backyard, and David Sibley describes how to reconcile different looks of folded and extended wings.
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.) And don’t put off registering for that trip to Cuba in February; spaces are filling fast. — Chuck Hagner, Editor
On sale now!
The June 2015 issue of BirdWatching — featuring the special section on birding with children, our roundup of new books about birds, and Carrol Henderson’s article about birding in Cuba — is on sale now at Barnes & Noble and Chapters book stores. If you don’t see it on the newsstand, ask for it!