As you set the Thanksgiving table, follow expert tips for feeding backyard birds. Also, just in time for the holiday, enjoy some turkey trivia!
An e-newsletter brought to you by the publishers of Bird Watcher’s Digest and Watching Backyard Birds. Proudly sponored by Swarovksi Optik.

Gourmet or Bargain Seed: What Do Birds Prefer?

Most folks who feed birds know that black-oil sunflower will attract the most birds. But not all seed mixes are created equally, notes frequent contributor Hank Weber. Myths abound in the world of bird feeding. Searching through decades of scientific tests was more fun than Hank anticipated, and the results were fairly consistent. Learn what he discovered—the good and the bad—about various types of seed.
Galveston Feather Fest

Experience Spring Migration in Galveston, Texas

You can't go wrong at FeatherFest, with more than 200 species of birds, local charm, history, and hospitality. Birding and photo field trips to beach, bay, High Island, and more guarantees something for everyone.

What Seed Works Best for a Tube Feeder? Learn How to Pair Seeds with the Proper Feeders
Would you frequent a restaurant that served your sandwich on the floor and dog food on the table? That's the human equivalent of offering birds inexpensive mixed seed in a hanging feeder. Cheap birdseed mixes usually contain a high proportion of milo, wheat, millet, and cracked corn. Such ingredients are fine for many ground-feeding birds, such as doves, blackbirds, quail, and sparrows, but not the favorite foods of birds that naturally eat above the ground, such as chickadees, nuthatches, wrens, and grosbeaks.
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What Do Wild Turkeys Eat?
WBB Contributor William Gorman, who lives in a wooded area near Albany, New York, rakes up acorns and saves them to feed wild turkeys. The birds are such regular visitors that he has experimented with their food preferences, also offering cracked corn, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, rice, and more.
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Where Are You Least Likely to Find a Wild Turkey? Test Your Knowledge with Our Quiz
As you gather around the table with family and friends this coming week, chances are good that a bird will be the center of attention. This bird has been a popular menu item since as early as the sixteenth century, when European explorers took them home from Mexico. Before that, the Aztecs and other Native American groups were already domesticating turkeys both for food and feathers. In honor of the upcoming holiday with which this species is so closely associated, we've cooked up a few trivia questions to test your turkey knowledge. How many can you answer correctly?
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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 seen any wild turkeys in your yard? Yes or no?
RESULTS OF OUR LAST POLL: We asked how many sparrow species you've seen (or heard) in your yard. 37% of readers reported seeing "Several" (3–6 species), followed by "Many" (7 or more) at 28%. What lucky ducks they are! Another 20% reported seeing "Lots" (5–7 species), and 16% reported "Just a few" (1–3 species). Only one unfortunate reader reported none! Thanks to all who participated!



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Out There with the Birds Podcast Episode #104: What's Happening at Bird Watcher's Digest
What’s up at BWD? We’re glad you asked! Join BWD publisher Wendy Clark and BWD editor Dawn Hewitt as they enjoy a candid discussion about what’s happening at Bird Watcher’s Digest in the fall of 2021. On the road together in Bossier City, Louisiana, Wendy and Dawn discuss the magazines, tours, and life as a birding company in a post-pandemic world.
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On Newsstands Now:
Bird Watcher's Digest: Nov. / Dec. 2021
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Generations of bird watchers have trusted our magazine for compelling content about birds, bird watchers, and birding adventures. Each issue includes articles from gifted writers who not only know about birds but also know how to present expert advice in a way that's friendly and accessible—perfect for beginners and experienced birders alike.
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* Canadian and international shipping apply. Orders shipping to Ohio are subject to sales tax.
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COVER SPECIES
Red-bellied Woodpecker
With its dashing colors and rolling kwirr, kwirr calls, the red-bellied woodpecker brightens and energizes a dreary winter landscape.
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TRUE NATURE
Lean Times for Fat Fans
Raw, unprocessed suet is nearly impossible to find these days, so columnist Julie Zickefoose improvises with fat scraps to keep her woodpeckers fueled.
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SPECIAL FEATURE
Owls in the House
A live feed on his TV of the western screech-owls in his yard has made the owls as much a part of Terry Rich's family as his wife, kids, grandkids, and dog (but not the reclusive cat).


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