What am I?
Posted by Bret Goddard, Dec 07, 2016.
Posted by Linda Petersen, Nov 18, 2016.
Great Crested Cormorant
Posted by Laurel Butkins, Sep 23, 2016.
Posted by Laurel Butkins, Sep 23, 2016.
Posted by Linda Petersen, Jul 03, 2016.
If I keep on pulling just a bit more
Posted by Bret Goddard, Mar 23, 2016.
Posted by G. Schimpf, Aug 02, 2015.
Blue Grosbeak in my backyard
Posted by Debbie Stauffer, Aug 01, 2015.
Posted by Bill Thompson, Jun 21, 2015.
Cherry Tree Hosting Goldfinch
Posted by Sandi Long, Apr 25, 2015.
sparrows on the deck
Posted by Patsy McQuade, Feb 08, 2015.
Sun-worshipping Juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Posted by Tracy Patterson, Feb 07, 2015.
Macro of a house finch
Posted by Mark Moore, Dec 20, 2014.
Whatcha doin up there?
Posted by Sandi Long, Sep 27, 2014.
Wren on the Hunt
Posted by Bret Goddard, Sep 24, 2014.
Housefinch Eye Disease
Posted by Dwight Holcek, Aug 30, 2014.
Get Off My Food Tray
Posted by Ed Means, Aug 18, 2014.
Watching the sky!
Posted by Bret Goddard, Jul 28, 2014.
Posted by Bret Goddard, Jul 28, 2014.
Posted by Bret Goddard, Jul 28, 2014.
Posted on Mar 06, 2017
Did you know that pigeons and doves are members of the same family? The largest species in that family are usually called pigeons and the others are doves, but genetically, pigeons and doves are close cousins. Also, pigeons and doves are the only birds that can drink water by sucking it into their esophagus, head down. Other birds must tip their head back to swallow water.
Written by Bill Thompson, III, Nov 22, 2016
Did you know that you can turn your hobby of watching the birds at your feeder into genuine science? You can—just by participating in Project FeederWatch. If you can identify all the birds that visit your backyard bird buffet, you're qualified to participate in this citizen science project of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, which runs every November through April.
Written by Tom Gatz, Oct 12, 2016
A flicker's tongue can extend two inches beyond its bill tip! That's necessary for probing deep inside tree crevices for yummy insects. But where does it store that tongue when not in use?
Posted on Feb 19, 2016
We've always had one or more birders on staff here at BWD
and we've also been fortunate to have many staff members who are interested in nature and the outdoors, if not specifically focused on birds. Here in southeastern Ohio, where our offices are located, February is one of those winter months that can really make you long for spring. So this morning we went around the office to ask everyone his or her favorite sign of spring. Here's what we learned:
Written by Al Batt, Feb 08, 2016
Birds fly lower before a storm. A busy bird feeder means bad weather is coming. Birds singing in the rain means the rain will soon stop. Sometimes birds are more reliable than TV weather forecasters. Humorist Al Batt offers a list of weather-predicting bird behavior.
Written by Bill Thompson, III, Dec 28, 2015
Clever backyard bird watchers know that keeping their binoculars and a field guide handy to where they do most of their feeder watching is a smart idea. The last thing you want to do when a rare bird shows up is to scramble to find your binoculars.
Written by Bill Thompson, III, Dec 14, 2015
Many of us enjoy keeping track of the bird species we see in our yards. It's both satisfying and enlightening to keep a list from year to year to see how the mix of species changes with the seasons, and to note the arrival and departure dates of migrant visitors.
Posted on Jul 09, 2015
During the middle part of the 20th century, eastern bluebirds were nearly wiped out in North America. Habitat destruction, pesticide use, and increased competition for nest holes from starlings and house sparrows decimated bluebird populations.
Written by Jess Yarnell, Jul 02, 2015
reader Jess Yarnell has her cat Goldilocks to thank for turning her into a bird watcher. Her indoor-only window watcher needed some entertainment, so she purchased a bird feeder. The feathered friends started showing up, and bird watching became a family hobby.
Written by Cathy Priebe, Apr 09, 2015
The very first time I saw a Baltimore oriole was when it landed on my hummingbird feeder one spring. I was immediately hooked. I had to have this bird in my yard! For the next five years, I placed numerous orange slices on tree limbs and special oriole feeders filled with orange nectar on hooks all over the yard-to no avail.
Posted on Feb 12, 2015
Have you ever watched a bird vist your feeder during the winter and wondered, "Won't birds freeze their little feet off on the metal perches? It's 20 degrees below zero! How do they do it?" Nature has a clever way of keeping birds' feet warm and functional.
Posted on Jan 01, 2015
It was Henry David Thoreau who noted that the "bluebird carries the sky on his back." Thoreau wrote often of the eastern bluebirds that shared his space in Concord, Massachusetts, in the mid-nineteenth century.
Written by Michael Hurst, Dec 19, 2014
When my son, Ryan, and daughter, Amanda, were around 5 and 3 years old, we built our first squirrel box as a family project. Soon after placing it high in our maple trees, squirrels began to entertain as we watched their babies grow and frolic in and on top of the box—our gift to them.
Semi-retired 35 years later, I decided to relive the good times past by placing a new squirrel box in our mulberry tree.
Written by Nancy Castillo, Dec 12, 2014
You don't have to be an avid birder to keep a bird list. If you're serious about feeding the birds, why not keep track of the bird species that you have seen at your feeders, in your trees and shrubbery, or otherwise in or over your yard or property?
Posted on Dec 05, 2014
The seeds of evening primrose can be a valuable food source for birds in cold climates throughout North America. Each flower produces hundreds of seeds, and when the flower dies, it holds on to some and drops others. The stalks of dead evening primrose are "Eat Here" signs to songbirds, marking a likely food source at the base.
Posted on Nov 28, 2014
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was put in place to protect birds, and it "makes it illegal to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter, any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs" of native birds unless you have a permit to do so.
Written by Kathie Adams Brown, Nov 21, 2014
I have been watching birds in several yards as my husband and I have relocated around the country. Feeding and watching birds give me a sense of stability and pleasure as we move from state to state. Most recently I have watched and photographed birds in Tucson, Arizona; Andover, Massachusetts; and now on the coast of Maine!
Posted on Oct 24, 2014
My friend had grackles that nest in his yard. He informed me that he had been watching as two of the birds, which he refers to as blackbirds, built nests in adjacent trees. He related to me that he had been watching one bird steal material from the other's nest.
Posted on Sep 25, 2014
Have you ever noticed how much of what we consider "conventional wisdom" is actually wrong and ridiculous? Bird-feeding conventional wisdom is riddled with bad information. But you, my friend, are in luck! I have tried most everything in bird feeding at least once, and I have made nearly every mistake possible. Why? So you won't have to!
Written by Dawn Hewitt, Jul 24, 2014
All birds—and only birds—have feathers, but how much do you know about feathers, really? WBB
managing editor Dawn Hewitt shares surprising facts!
Written by Bill Thompson, III, Jun 19, 2014
Now that the buzz and tingle of spring migration is over, we birders can shift our attention to the low thrum of summer and the nesting season. This can be a tough transition. Bird numbers don't match those at the height of migration, bird activity such as singing is beginning to wane, and the weather (depending upon where you live) can get uncomfortably hot. A birding friend of mine said recently, "Summer birding is boring, if you don't know how to get into it." She's right. So here are some tips for "getting into it!"
Posted on Jun 06, 2014
Here's a great picture of a prothonotary warbler rocketing out of its nest box at the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Northwest Ohio. Got an idea for a caption?
Posted on May 22, 2014
A problem that bird watchers typically encounter more than any other is getting their binocs pointed right at the bird.
Written by Dawn Hewitt, Dec 30, 2013
The start of a new year is just around the corner. Now is a great time to consider starting a backyard journal to help you keep track of the bird information you observe each day. Keep it near your primary feeder-watching window, and add to it throughout the day.
A year from now, you'll know when to say goodbye to your winter visitors, and when to expect the earliest spring migrants.
Posted on Dec 20, 2013
Here's a great picture of a dark-eyed junco doing... we're not sure what, exactly. Maybe the hokey-pokey? At any rate, we need a caption for this image!
Posted on Dec 12, 2013
We're taking an informal survey of our readers: Are you noticing a reduced number of northern cardinals at your feeders? Several staffers here at BWD/WBB
headquarters are finding very few cardinals at their feeders. Please share your cardinal report with us! Are your cardinal numbers lower, higher, or about the same as last year? And please tell us where you're located.
Posted on Nov 07, 2013
Lots of people have bird stories worth sharing, and we'd like to hear yours! Watching Backyard Birds
is seeking short (400-words, tops) stories from backyard bird watchers. You don't need to be an ornithologist or a professional writer—we're not offering to pay you, but we will offer a one-year subscription or renewal to WBB
in exchange for stories we publish.
Written by Bill Thompson, III, Sep 16, 2013
Okay, I admit it. When the first signs of summer's end appear, I get that old "butterflies in the stomach" feeling associated with going back to school. This passes once I remember that school is something I no longer have to attend. Next comes a wave of sadness to see the lushness of summer and our farm's abundant birdlife begin to wane. Then I force my mind to focus on all the wonderful changes that autumn brings. "Live in the now
, dude!" I counsel myself. In the spirit of "living in the now
," here are 10 things I love about autumn in my backyard.
Written by Kyle Carlsen, Sep 12, 2013
Some backyard bird watchers are so focused on spring migration that they seem to discount the rest of the year. But guess what? Spring migration is only half the show! Here are a few tips to keep in mind when birding during fall, especially for warblers and other backyard migrants.
Posted on Jun 07, 2013
Breaking news: A common nighthawk has set up housekeeping on our warehouse rooftop here at the Bird Watcher's Digest
headquarters in southeast Ohio. Everyone here is having a blast watching this mother nighthawk as she diligently incubates her eggs, but she needs a name!
Written by Bill Thompson, III, May 16, 2013
Looking ways to attract birds to your backyard this summer? Here are 10 suggestions for enhancing the bird-friendliness of your backyard. These tips will work no matter where you live in North America!
Written by Kyle Carlsen, Apr 25, 2013
The return of the first ruby-throated hummingbird is one of the most highly anticipated spring events in eastern North America. Although a few of these winged gems spend the winter months in parts of the southern United States, the vast majority winter in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Each year the hummingbirds travel remarkable distances between their wintering grounds and their summer breeding areas, which span from the Gulf of Mexico to southern Canada.
Written by Bill Thompson, III, Apr 10, 2013
Most people can't wait for spring to arrive, and backyard bird watchers seem especially eager for the earth, spinning on its invisible axis, to lean closer to the sun. When the winter weather breaks, it's time to get outside to look for hopeful signs that spring is on its way!
Posted on Apr 10, 2013
We've got a problem. We have this great picture of a young pileated woodpecker in the nest cavity, but we need a caption!
Posted on Apr 03, 2013
Backyard bird watchers from more than 100 countries made history this past winter in the first global Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). In the largest worldwide bird count ever, bird watchers counted more than 25 million birds on 116,000 online checklists, recording more than 3,500 species. That's one-third of the world's total bird species.
Written by Julie A. Gidwitz, Mar 20, 2013
In our new Photo Blog segment, featured Blogger Julie Gidwitz shares captivating photos of juvenile phoebes, bluebirds, hummingbirds, and more.
Posted on Mar 13, 2013
These brand new field guides from Donald and Lillian Stokes are sure to become a valuable resource for many bird enthusiasts. Based on the best-selling The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America
, which was released in 2010, these updated volumes are split into two portable, regional guides, making them more concise and easier to handle in the field.