February 2016

From the Editor

Chuck Hagner

What I think about

It can be nothing and everything: The weather. Subspecies. And, more and more frequently, the coming elections.

Features

Whitewater diver

Whitewater diver

What changing numbers and new winter locations mean for our most beautiful sea duck.

Almost dinner

Almost dinner

The amazing story of the hiker who came eye to eye with a Great Gray Owl.

Birds on our radar

Birds on our radar

Leaders of the birding community describe issues that birders care about in the coming election year.

The subspecies conundrum

The subspecies conundrum

How it’s decided whether a subspecies deserves recognition as a full species.

Tablet Extras

Tablet Extras

See the articles from BirdWatching and other online resources that we added to our February issue.

Columns

Since You Asked

Answers to your questions

Answers to your questions

Unusual tail bands, woodpeckers that peck on stone walls, and more.

Birder at Large

The good stuff

The good stuff

Why no birder regrets buying premium binoculars.

Attracting Birds

For better or worse

For better or worse

Dealing with the smart and spirited Blue Jay.

Amazing Birds

Feather basics

Feather basics

Why birds’ feathers come in so many shapes and sizes.

ID Tips

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Only a minority of harriers are in the ‘gray ghost’ category.

ID Toolkit

Bill shape

Bill shape

To understand the wide variation, look first to similarities in structure.

Hotspots Near You

Also in Every Issue

Birding Briefs

Birding Briefs

Important news about birds, birdwatching, and conservation.

Your View

Your View

Reader-submitted photographs, including the winner of our regular Photo of the Week contest.
Fieldcraft

Fieldcraft

A photo taken by a reader, along with a description of how the photographer got the shot.