Evolution is Crazy

GPCH headshot

They stomp their feet like a child having a tantrum. They flare long “ear” plumes (pinnae feathers) into an impressive double erection like jackrabbit ears, and bend over to stick their tail feathers straight up in the air to moon anyone nearby. Most impressively, they inflate apricot-colored air sacs on the sides of their neck… Read more »

Birding Trail Guides: In Praise of Paper


A major perk of working at Bird Watcher’s Digest is that publishers and birding destinations send us stuff: books, promotional materials, and other loot that usually grabs my attention and sometimes rocks my world. Today I received a “virtual birding visit” —a box of promotional materials—from Colorado. Boy, did they target well! I don’t want… Read more »

Boyhood Birds: The Farms of My Youth and Adulthood


I don’t think I am old, but when I realize that my parents were born before the passenger pigeon was extinct, that my grandparents were born when bison filled the plains and that there were Eskimo curlews and, probably, ivory-billed woodpeckers inhabiting the planet with me at one time, I start to feel old. As… Read more »

Six Ways to Keep Warm While Birding

Common goldeneye, female. (D. Gordon E. Robertson / Wikimedia)

Winter weather is one of those things that separates the birders from the sane people. Today I spent part of my lunch break standing along the Ohio River in blowing snow and single-digit temperatures with the wind chill factor at twenty below zero, scanning for birds. It was totally worth it: I scored my first-of-year… Read more »

Bird Watchers Come in a Variety of Species

Roger Tory Peterson

By Roger Tory Peterson, excerpted from the March/April 1984 issue of Bird Watcher’s Digest Are you a bird watcher, an ornithologist, an ornithophile, an aviphile, a bird lover, bird fancier, bird bander, birder, bird spotter, lister, ticker, twitcher—or what? As for myself, I am primarily a bird artist and a bird photographer, a visual person… Read more »