We're in the thick of fall migration! Is it time to take down hummingbird feeders? Find the answer, and learn what to watch for in your yard!
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Should I Take Down My Hummingbird Feeder?

This question is at least partially motivated by the concern that leaving a feeder up will prevent hummingbirds from migrating in the fall. This is a myth. Hummingbirds (and all migratory birds) have an instinctive inner urge that tells them to move. No healthy hummingbird would ever stick around just because you’ve left your feeder up in the fall. But there are some good reasons to keep your hummingbird feeders up!
Native Pic

See Ultra-fine Detail with the Razor UHD

Take your birding to the next level with Razor UHD binoculars by Vortex. Whether you need to pick apart a densely packed hillside or observe the finest details at insanely close distances, the Razor UHD can do it all!

Migration Is More Complicated Than We Realize! Learn How.
Migration, which appears to be a simple concept on the surface, is actually an immensely complicated process. Migration is widely understood to be the movement of birds from one place to another. We see migration every year in our yards: Sparrows and finches arrive from the North in the fall and leave in the spring. The big picture, however, obscures the complexity.

Watch the Moon for Southbound Migrants
In 2021, full moons will occur September 20, October 20, November 19, and December 18. If the night sky is cloudless, aim your binoculars toward the moon, and watch. Most migratory land birds make their twice-yearly journey at night, including thrushes, warblers, flycatchers, sparrows, orioles, vireos, and cuckoos. Many start traveling just past dusk, and numbers tend to peak around midnight.

Pop Quiz: Facts You Might Not Know About Goldfinches
These small, yellow finches are among North America's favorite songbirds. The familiar American goldfinch occurs throughout much of the continent, chowing down on backyard offerings and filling fields and meadows with warbling songs. Lesser and Lawrence's goldfinches are somewhat less conspicuous and more limited in range, but share many characteristics with their more widespread cousin. This fun quiz is designed to test your knowledge on this delightful group of birds.


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: Did you feed the birds during the summer?
• Yes, I put out the same offerings year-round.
• Yes, but I reduce the offerings during the summer.
• Yes, but I fed only hummingbirds.
• No, my state advised against feeding the birds this summer, so I didn’t.
• No, I do not feed birds during the summer.
RESULTS OF OUR LAST POLL: We asked readers to name their favorite American bird. The winner? American goldfinch, favored by 29% of respondents! Here's how other birds ranked: American kestrel, 19%; American crow, 11%; American robin, 8%; American redstart and American bittern, tied at 3%; American tree sparrow and American white pelican, tied at 2%; and American coot trailed behind at 1%. However, 23% of respondents prefered American birds not listed, including the California towhee and many others. Thanks to all who participated!


Calendar of Birding Events
While many birding festivals have been canceled this year, don't despair: There are festivals (including virtual, in-person, and a hybrid of the two) still being held that you won't want to miss. Check out our list of upcoming birding festivals, and register for one today!

Out There with the Birds Podcast Episode #100: Ornitherapy, Part II
Host Wendy Clark continues her interview with Richard Crossley, Sophie Crossley, and Holly Merker to discuss their new book, Ornitherapy: For Your Body, Mind, and Soul, published by Crossley Books. This is a different kind of birding book that teaches you how to use birds and birding to promote mindfulness, peace, and healing in your everyday life. Don't miss it!
On Newsstands Now:
Watching Backyard Birds: October 2021
If you love backyard birds, then you should be reading Watching Backyard Birds. It's the ONLY North American magazine devoted exclusively to backyard birds and the people who watch and enjoy them. Created by the friendly staff at Bird Watcher's Digest, every issue of Watching Backyard Birds is full of engaging, entertaining, and enlightening content and images.
  • Get one year (6 bimonthly issues) only $16.00*
  • Print subscribers get the digital issue FREE!
* Canadian and international shipping apply. Orders shipping to Ohio are subject to sales tax.
American Crow
Crows are crafty, complex, and sometimes racuous—just a few reasons many bird watchers welcome this large and loud backyard vistor.
Big Nature
Columnist Julie Zickefoose reflects on the summer of the Brood V cicada invasion, when she was reminded that nature is far bigger than we usually care to admit.
Top 10 Things to Do for Birds in Fall
Get the most out of fall migration by following these suggestions that will benefit the birds in your backyard.

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