Our August 2015 issue went on sale at Barnes & Noble on Tuesday, June 30. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s inside:
Jewel of the swamp:
Our cover story, by writer and photographer Mac Stone, is about one of North America’s most charismatic and amazing warblers — Prothonotary Warbler.
According to the biologists who study it in South Carolina’s cathedral-like Beidler Forest, it’s not only a deserving species of conservation concern but a true marvel. Able to migrate over oceans and islands, through high winds and rain, individuals not only make it back at the forest each spring, Stone writes, but land in the same trees from which they left the previous autumn. Incredible.
I bet you’ll like two other features in the issue, too.
The first is by Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Jim Williams, who describes a recent birding trip to Alaska’s accessible and beautiful Kenai Peninsula, just south of Anchorage. Consider it Alaska with all the conveniences, Williams writes. In addition to lots and lots of great birds, you’ll find paved roads, motels, restaurants, even souvenir t-shirts. Best of all, the trip was easy to arrange.
The second comes from naturalist and photographer Laure Wilson Neish, one of our favorite contributors to our online photo galleries. In “Invitation to Observe,” she tells why British Columbia’s first ever Breeding Bird Atlas was so successful, and how it turned everyone who participated into better birders. We illustrated the article with Neish’s own photos, taken while atlassing.
Also in the August issue:
• Pete Dunne describes unexpected encounters with great birds that he’s enjoyed while birding in severe weather.
• Julie Craves answers reader questions about whether turkey beards are made of feathers or hair, when and where you can find Red-breasted Nuthatches, and whether pennies keep algae from growing in bird baths.
• Using photos of Eastern Bluebird, Chipping Sparrow, European Starling, Northern Mockingbird, and Red Crossbill as examples, Kenn Kaufman tells what to look for to identify juvenile birds — we’re seeing so many this time of year!
• Eldon Greij surveys the astonishing variety of nests that all those juveniles are emerging from.
• Laura Erickson tells why she’s started a life list for a new birding companion — Pip, her super cute Havanese puppy.
• David Sibley explains what you can learn from the changing colors of a songbird’s bill.
The August issue also contains a photo gallery of recent record-setting rarities — including Kansas’s first Piratic Flycatcher, Delaware’s first Burrowing Owl, and Maryland’s first Snowy Plover — as well as six additional pages of beautiful photos taken by readers.
What’s more, as a special bonus, we’ve also included a four-page collection of photos snapped during the second annual Champions of the Flyway competition, held in Israel in March. The race supports a different conservation cause each year. This year’s goal was raising money to fight the illegal trapping of birds on Cyprus, in the eastern Mediterranean.
Please take a look, then don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or comments. I’d be happy to hear from you. — Chuck Hagner, Editor
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