December 2018 From the Editor Inspirations By Matt Mendenhall Gifts that can spark a love of birding. Features Gear up! By Pete Dunne A basic primer on dressing for whatever Mother Nature serves up. Holiday gift guide By Matt Mendenhall Binoculars, spotting scopes, cameras, and other gear we like. The wild parrots of America By Charles Bergman Thousands of free-flying parrots of more than 20 species are challenging the way we think about invasive and native birds — and even ornithological history. When nature throws curve balls By Maeve Kim Improve your bird-ID skills with these strategies for dealing with weather, poor light, and other obstacles to clear views of birds. Columns Since You Asked Answers to your questions By Julie Craves How to determine where a banded bird comes from, and why Mourning Doves are able to nest nearly year-round. Attracting Birds Next-level feeding By Laura Erickson Why birdwatchers should take part in Project FeederWatch. Plus, how to attract winter finches. Amazing Birds The eyes have it By Eldon Greij How avian vision works. ID Tips Williamson’s Sapsucker By Kenn Kaufman How to differentiate this western woodpecker from Yellow-bellied and Gila Sapsuckers. ID Toolkit Winter flocks By David Sibley To identify distant waterbirds, learn their flocking behavior. Hotspots Near You 283. Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, Denton, Texas Bottomland hardwood forest, upland prairie, and other birdy habitats northwest of Dallas Published: 10/13/2018 284. W. Kerr Scott Reservoir, Wilkes County, North Carolina This enormous lake is a great place to see a variety of ducks in winter. Published: 10/13/2018 Also in Every Issue Birding Briefs Important news about birds, birdwatching, and conservation. Your View Photos submitted by readers.