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6 reasons to pick up the January/February issue of BirdWatching

BirdWatching, January/February 2018. Photo: Adelie Penguin by Dmytro Pylypenko/Shutterstock

I can think of quite a few reasons to read the January/February 2018 issue of BirdWatching, but I’ll point to six. The issue is available on newsstands now at Barnes & Noble and other newsstands, as well as on digital platforms such as iTunes, Kindle, and Google Play.

1, Penguins! Our cover story is from frequent contributor Charles Bergman. He recounts the epic quest he and his wife, Susan Mann, undertook to view all 18 of the world’s penguin species in the wild. It was a journey that took them to remote islands, the edge of Antarctica, and the site of an infamous prison in South Africa. I’m proud to have published Bergman’s moving article and his stunning images of King, Yellow-eyed, Gentoo, and other penguins. I hope you enjoy it.

2, Special report. The severe hurricanes in August and September prompted a special report in this issue. Jeremy D. Ross of the Oklahoma Biological Survey describes how birders can advance our understanding of severe weather by submitting their observations of wildlife after a storm or other natural disaster occurs. And Emma Lewis and Lisa Sorenson of BirdsCaribbean offer an update on the status of Caribbean birds after the recent storms.

3, Yellow-billed Cotinga. Our friend Craig Thompson, who works for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, tells about a trip he and several other Badger State birders took to Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. They were in search of Yellow-billed Cotinga, a rare tropical songbird found only in Costa Rica and Panama. They succeeded not only in spotting the bird but also in inspiring a new conservation effort on behalf of the cotinga.

4, Chickadee ID. If you think identifying chickadees is a piece of cake, you’d be right — most of the time. But as Contributing Editor Kenn Kaufman explains in “ID Tips,” distinguishing Black-capped Chickadee from its southern relative Carolina Chickadee is “among the most challenging” bird-ID puzzles. With photos from Brian E. Small, Kenn describes what to look for on Black-capped and Carolina, as well as Mountain and Mexican, Chickadees.

5, Hotspots Near You. We add to our growing collection of birding hotspots with descriptions of Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee and Ramsey Canyon Preserve in Arizona. Hiwassee is a spectacular place to see wintering Sandhill Cranes (and perhaps a few Whoopers). And Ramsey Canyon is a superb spot for southwestern specialties such as Painted Redstart, Rivoli’s Hummingbird, and, if you’re lucky, Elegant Trogon.

6, Rare birds. In each issue, near the end of the “Birding Briefs” news section, we feature photos of six recently spotted rare birds from around the U.S. and Canada. This issue showcases Canada’s first Yellow-breasted Bunting, New Jersey’s first Common Greenshank, Ohio’s second Calliope Hummingbird, and more.

You can read the full list of the issue’s contents and see a sneak peek on our Current Issue page. We hope you enjoy the issue. If you have comments about it, please send a letter to us here. — Matt Mendenhall, Editor

P.S., if you take photos of birds and would like us to consider a photo or two for the reader-submitted “Your View” section, please read our Your View Submission Guidelines and send in your best shots!


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