'Tis the season for Christmas trees and bird counts! Find ideas to give your holiday tree a new life. Also, where do birds sleep? We'll tell you.
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Where Do Birds Go at Night?

A sleeping bird is more vulnerable to danger, so finding shelter from predators and weather is vital to birds' survival. As you might imagine, each species has a technique of locating shelter as unique as its methods of finding food, and this varies based upon options available in the environment. Cavity nesters (bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, some woodpeckers, and swallows, for example) tend to roost in enclosed areas such as tree hollows, birdhouses, caves, or culverts. Sparrows, warblers, thrushes, and other songbirds frequently roost for the night amid thick vegetation. At all times, it’s important that they remain concealed from owls, raccoons, snakes, and other predators.
Celestron Regal

Whoop It Up with Celestron Regal ED

There’s no guarantee that you’ll find a rare Whooping Crane in that flock of Sandhills, but it’s best to be prepared, just in case. See every detail with Celestron Regal ED binoculars.

Upcycle Your Holiday Tree
After the holidays, instead of putting your tree on the curb to be hauled away, consider moving it outside near your feeding station. BWD reader Annalea Glynn shares how and why she repurposes her tree.
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Do It Yourself: Build Your Own Brush Pile
High on the list of important microhabitats you can create for wildlife in your backyard is the brush pile. From shelter for wintering mammals to reproductive cover for low-nesting birds, or even as a spot for hibernating butterflies, the brush pile is a great attraction that uses plant material that would otherwise be put out on the curb for trash.
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Join a Christmas Bird Count
A long-standing program sponsored by the National Audubon Society, the Christmas Bird Count takes place each winter in designated 15-mile-diameter circles across North America. Thousands of bird watchers participate in this annual bird census, contributing data that is invaluable to assessing North American bird populations and guiding conservation action.
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#BirdsOnTheBrain
ATTENTION, BIRDWIRE SUBSCRIBERS: We want to hear from you! Each issue of our birdy newsletter includes a poll question for our audience. Visit our website to offer your input and see results from fellow readers!
Have you ever repuprosed your holiday tree for the birds? Yes or no?
RESULTS OF OUR LAST POLL: We asked BirdWire readers if they have ever made treats for the birds. A majority of readers—58%—said yes, they have put on their oven mitts and made homemade treats for their backyard birds. The remaining 42% prefer to buy them. Thanks to all who participated!



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Out There with the Birds Podcast Episode #105: An Interview with Liz Hackett
Liz Hackett works with Bush Heritage Australia, a conservation organization in Australia that mirrors the work of the Nature Conservancy in the US. She is an avid birder, has traveled the world extensively, and she and her late husband, Paul Hackett, owned and managed a bird-watching tour company in Melbourne before his sudden death in August 2019. Join Liz and host Wendy Clark McGlynn as they enjoy a conversation about birds and birding in Australia, living down under during the pandemic, what it’s really like to live in the city of Melbourne, and finding the strength to move on after sudden loss.
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On Newsstands Now:
Bird Watcher's Digest: Jan./Feb. 2022
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COVER SPECIES
Townsend’s Solitaire: Elegantly Inconspicuous
Described as “the dim gray spirit of a bird,” this reserved, yet elegant member of the thrush family is utterly spirited in its songs and calls. Discover habits, field marks, range, and more for North America's only solitare.
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IDENTIFY YOURSELF
Bonaparte's Gull
Do you dread gull identification? There is no better place to begin learning than with the Bonaparte's gull. Bird ID guru Alvaro Jaramillo offers tips to distinguish this small and snappy gull from similar species.
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TRUE NATURE
Training a Sapsucker
Despite a feeding station brimming with suet, shelled peanuts, and sunflower hearts, all that a stubborn backyard visitor wants is sap. BWD columnist and naturalist Julie Zickefoose documents the hard-fought battle to introduce a lone sapsucker to other foods.


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