There they go!


It’s early September. I’m not ready to face the fade of summer. But the birds tell me that the season has already turned, and that I’d better accept the facts and get out there if I’m going to catch a last glimpse of their southbound undertail coverts. I’ve already seen migrating royal terns and red… Read more »

The Nuthatch

A Eurasian nuthatch, photograph by Matthew Merritt

Some birds like you to know they’re there. Take the European robin. It sings, sweetly enough, throughout the year as well as through the night on occasion. It visits feeders, and doesn’t hesitate to chase other birds off them, the result of a highly developed territorial sense. And, if you’re outside digging the garden at… Read more »

Oh the Fun of Bird Fairs and Festivals

Bo and Bill Thompson, III, at the British Bird Fair in early August 2014.

Around the world there are a whole host of birder gatherings, from Ornithological Congresses to lowly local get-togethers. Maybe as birders we just love to emulate the objects of our attention and flock together. Obviously ornithologists gather to talk taxonomy and wildlife refuge wardens meet to swap conservation tips and lobby governments. Birders, however, like… Read more »

The Lost Bird Project: Connecting with the Earth Through Art

"Great Auk," in bronze, by Todd McGrain, installed on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada.

The Smithsonian Gardens presents The Lost Bird Project, by renowned artist Todd McGrain, on the National Mall — an exhibition of five bronze sculptures of now-extinct North American birds. One of the 6-foot sculptures, “Passenger Pigeon,” has been gifted to the Smithsonian as a permanent display, as that bird marks its 100th year of extinction… Read more »

ABC: NFL Must Take Action on Bird-Killing Stadiums


By Dr. George Fenwick, President of the American Bird Conservancy   Things have been going pretty well lately for the National Football League. Revenues this past year were around $10 billion. Arguably, football is the most watched and followed sport in this country. But developments surrounding the planning of a new football stadium for the… Read more »

Birder of the Year Trip Report: Costa Rica

Resplendent quetzal digiscoped with iPhone 5 and Swarovski STX 85mm scope. Photo by Clay Taylor.

By Clay Taylor When the folks at Bird Watcher’s Digest collaborated with Swarovski Optik to supply the top prize for their 2014 Birder of the Year contest, picking the prize-winner’s birding trip was a no-brainer: Costa Rica! Winner Lyn Stallings and husband John Rumm of Cody, Wyoming, were thrilled to be taking their first birding… Read more »

Bird ID: There’s an App for That


Bird identification can be an overwhelming and intimidating process. But the challenge of putting a name on a bird is at the heart of what makes birding fun. A new app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology aims to make bird identification a little less overwhelming and a little more fun. Designed for beginning birders, Merlin… Read more »

What’s in a name?

Common cuckoo, by Matt Merritt

Bird names are a poetry in themselves. For every relatively straightforward, functional moniker—pied wagtail, or green woodpecker, for example—there are half a dozen that are more evocative, intriguing and, sometimes, hard to pin down. Those that imitate the bird’s song or call—cuckoo, say, or chiffchaff—have a music all of their own, and even to hear… Read more »

Champions in Conservation: The Wilds of Rural Ohio

Birders explore the grassland habitats of The Wilds during a winter outing.

Nestled in the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio, approximately 75 miles east of Columbus, are nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed surface mine habitat unlike any other area in the state. One of the world’s largest conservation centers has been located here since 1984. Birders know The Wilds as a phenomenal area to watch birds, especially… Read more »