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On newsstands now: the April 2016 issue of BirdWatching

BirdWatching Magazine, April 2016, Baltimore Oriole by Richard Day/Daybreak Imagery, Scarlet Tanager (inset) by Jim Gilbert

Our April 2016 issue — featuring a bright-eyed Baltimore Oriole photographed against a blurred background of purple coneflowers — went on sale at Barnes & Noble on Tuesday, March 1. (The photo comes from talented contributor Richard Day.)

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

Experts Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, authors of the 2013 bestseller The Warbler Guide, tell what to do when you hear a bird song you can’t identify. The trick, say Tom and Scott, is using four criteria to notate the song’s unique properties, capturing its essence in an objective way.

Managing Editor Matt Mendenhall describes five beautiful backyards — in Washington, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and New York — and tells how their owners turned them into places birds love. The photos that accompany this article are gorgeous.

And distinguished senior scientist Paul A. Johnsgard shares photos of a fascinating behavior that most birders rarely ever get to see — the extraordinary courtship display of American Bittern.

Also in the April issue:


• In a special essay, conservation biologist and avid birder David Flaspohler speculates why a brilliant male Scarlet Tanager one day opted to leave its perch in a tree, sail down on jet-black wings, and alight lightly on his fingers as he held his binoculars to his eyes. “I vividly remember the delicate pressure of tiny talons on my skin,” Flaspohler writes.

Photo gallery: Seven pictures of vivid Scarlet Tanager.

• In “Hotspots Near You,” experienced local birders provide driving directions, tell the best times to visit, and list the birds you’ll see at hotspots in California, Illinois, Missouri, and Florida. See every hotspot we’ve written about in “Hotspots Near You.”


• In “Birding Briefs,” we share important news about climate change, bird-window collisions, Noah Strycker’s Big Year, and spring hawk watches around the Great Lakes.

From our contributors:

Pete Dunne tells how all woodpeckers, and Acorn Woodpeckers in particular, can spark a flame in young birders-to-be.

Julie Craves explains what to do when you find a dead bird, how to dispose of holiday wreaths decorated with orange berries, and why an American Robin might build a nest, lay an egg, and then disappear.

Kenn Kaufman describes how to identify “Yellow” and “Western” Palm Warblers, and explains why waterthrushes, phoebes, Palm Warblers, and other birds pump their tails up and down. View reader photos of Palm Warbler.


Eldon Greij writes about ostriches, rheas, emus, and cassowaries, birds that don’t fly but sure can run. See our archive of articles by Eldon Greij.

Laura Erickson provides simple steps you can take to keep backyard water features safe for birds.

• And David Sibley shows how reflected light gives goldfinches and other birds their most vivid plumage. He illustrates his column with wonderful paintings of American Goldfinch and House Wren feathers.

And then there’s this:


A photo gallery of rare-bird sightings in December and January… Before-and-after migration maps for Lark Sparrow and Wilson’s Warbler… The story of endangered Hawaiian Petrel chicks translocated by helicopter… A dramatic look inside a Northern Flicker’s nest cavity… And much more!

Take a look, then please contact me if you have questions or comments. As always, I’d be happy to hear from you. — Chuck Hagner, Editor

See the contents of the April 2016 issue.

Contact us.



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