October 2015 From the Editor Snowies, vultures, and seabirds By Chuck Hagner New info about Snowy Owl, Turkey Vulture, and seabirds. Features Snowy enigma By Scott Weidensaul Why Snowy Owl is the world’s most recognizable and most misunderstood owl. Audubon’s earliest originals By the editors Ten rare drawings show the artist’s development years before he produced Birds of America. Northern novelty By C. Stuart Houston The head of the largest Turkey Vulture study in North America describes our northernmost vultures. Tablet Extras By the editors See the articles from BirdWatching and other online resources that we added to our October issue. Columns Since You Asked Answers to your questions By Julie Craves Birds that drink blood, spider-egg cases in nests, and more. Birder at Large My little sit By Pete Dunne Even a two-hour off-season Big Day can still be big. Attracting Birds At its own pace By Laura Erickson Well into fall, Cedar Waxwing remains in summer mode. Amazing Birds Grace under water By Eldon Greij The adaptations that let birds dive and swim below the waves. ID Tips Vesper Sparrow By Kenn Kaufman How to distinguish it from Savannah and Henslow's Sparrows. ID Toolkit Changing color By David Sibley How birds can alter their appearance without molting. Hotspots Near You 217. Hawk Cliff Hawk Watch, Elgin County, Ontario This hawk watch overlooking the north shore of Lake Erie records up to 15 raptor species daily in fall. By Dave Brown Published: 8/18/2015 218. Franklin Mountain Hawk Watch, Davenport, New York Overlooking the Susquehanna River Valley, this hawk watch is a great spot to see buteos, falcons, eagles, and other birds. By Charlie Scheim Published: 8/18/2015 219. Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek, Iowa Each fall, up to 20 raptor species pass this hawk watch, located in western Iowa’s globally significant Loess Hills. By Mark Orsag Published: 8/18/2015 220. Chelan Ridge Hawk Watch, Pateros, Washington This watch site in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is where to see northwestern specialties like Black Merlin and Harlan’s Red-tailed Hawk. By Jerry Liguori Published: 8/18/2015 Also in Every Issue Birding Briefs Important news about birds, birdwatching, and conservation. Your View Reader-submitted photographs, including the winner of our regular Photo of the Week contest. Fieldcraft A photo taken by a reader, along with a description of how the photographer got the shot.