When the temperatures plunge, how do birds survive the harsh conditions? Also, learn more about bald eagles and winter hawks. Find this and much more!
An e-newsletter brought to you by the publishers of Bird Watcher’s Digest and Watching Backyard Birds. Proudly sponored by Swarovski Optik.

How to Identify Bald Eagles, Young and Old

Most birders (and nonbirders) can easily identify an adult bald eagle—its white head, white tail, brown body, and sheer size are iconic and recognizable. However, bald eagles do not develop that snow-white head until they are a few years old. Taking the time to learn how the coloring of a young bald eagle evolves each year will leave you with a richer, more nuanced understanding of the species. Learn more about how to identify bald eagles of all ages and distinguish them from other raptors.
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Experience More with SWAROVSKI OPTIK CL Companion

See every crucial detail with the CL Companion binocular. Impressive optics and a compact, lightweight, and ergonomic design that fits perfectly in your hand make them an excellent companion.

Pop Quiz! How Much Do You Know About Winter Hawks and Eagles?
Watching hawks and eagles is a popular activity in winter. Perhaps that's because it's easier to see a big bird perched on the bare branches of a deciduous tree than it is when the foliage is full. Another reason is that interesting species of hawks visit the Lower 48 in winter, and bald eagles concentrate—sometimes in big numbers—near open water. Some raptor species depart North America during the cold months, but some northerly breeding hawks head south and spread out across the continent—winter-only visitors. Here's a quiz that focuses on hawks and eagles you might spot during the winter. Maybe some of them are in your neighborhood!

How Do Birds Keep Warm in Cold Winter Weather?
A bird's most important tool for keeping warm is it feathers, but birds are equipped in a number of ways to beat the cold and wind. Learn how they cope and also what we can do to help them.

Fascinating Facts About Birds: Meet the Dark-eyed Junco!
The dark-eyed junco is often called the "snowbird" because it seems to show up in our backyards at the same time the first snows begin falling. With their dark backs and white bellies, the junco can be remembered by the folk saying, "Gray skies above, white snow below."


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!
Today's Poll Question: Have you seen a bald eagle in the wild?
RESULTS OF LAST ISSUE'S POLL: We asked if our readers have ever participated in a Christmas Bird Count. The results were interesting! 30% of respondents said, "Yes, every year," while 28% reported that they occasionally participate. The greatest percentage—38%—said, "No, but I would like to!" Only 4% reported that a Christmas bird count does not interest them. Thanks to all who participated!


Out There with the Birds Podcast Episode #83: An Interview with Ben Lizdas
Ben Lizdas is a familiar name in the global birding community. Having spent 16 years at Eagle Optics, nearly three years with Bird Watcher’s Digest/Redstart Birding, and now working with Swarovski Optik North America, Ben has a unique perspective on birds, birding optics, and the birding community. Wendy Clark met with Ben in his hometown of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, to learn more about what he’s been doing since he left BWD, and to discuss the exciting new Swarovski NL Pure. 
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An Appreciation of Kestrels
North America’s smallest and most widespread raptor—and arguably one of the most beautifully colored, the American kestrel is often found near areas of human activity, but the species faces severe population decline in some parts of its range due to habitat loss.
A Fantasy Festival Big Year
In their annual festival roundup, Phil and Leigh Creighton ponder a fantasy Big Year, recalling six previously attended festivals and their species totals from each. Will the final number rival their successful 2014 Big Year total?
Bird-Photography Travel
BWD designer and professional photographer Bruce Wunderlich shares his tried-and-true tips for a successful bird photography road trip, from finding a location to planning your stay to what to pack.

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