Birdwatching Dot Com
Birdwatching Dot Com Newsletter Early Winter Birding
January 2008


Wind has been blowing the snow around in drifts, and everything is white. My bird feeders are in tremendous demand. Every time I go outside I see delicate tracks of juncos and goldfinches on the snow-dusted stone walk. A
fitting start to the new year. And here at Birdwatching Dot Com, we're celebrating the new year with some great sales and close-outs.

in this issue
  • Project FeederWatch
  • Small Victory
  • Ask Diane where birds sleep
  • How 8 is more than 10

  • Small Victory
    Downy Woodpecker

    The downy woodpecker is tiny as woodpeckers go. It's about the size of a sparrow, and its bill is short — not long and powerful like most woodpeckers'. But the downy is no pushover.

    Bigger birds can chase it from the feeder. Give it a competitor its own size, though, and we may see a different story.

    Ask Diane where birds sleep

    Dear Diane: I just about freeze when I go out to fill my bird feeders. And I wonder where the birds go at night. Why don't they freeze to death?
    — Tiffany D., Portland, OR

    It is pretty amazing, that a wild bird whose whole body is an inch thick can preserve enough warmth to survive a winter night. How do they do it? Here are some of their favorite ways of making it through the night.

    How 8 is more than 10

    A 10-power binocular makes things look 25% taller and wider than does an 8-power binocular. Sometimes people assume that means it will let them see better.

    Not necessarily. Here are three reasons why you might see more with an 8-power than with a 10-power binocular. (Especially if you wear glasses.)

    Photos are copyright Michael and Diane Porter, 2007-2008.

    Project FeederWatch
    Project FeederWatch

    Every winter, birdwatchers in North America count the birds at their bird feeders. They report their findings to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

    The results of Project FeederWatch let us see how our backyard birds fit into the big picture. Which birds are becoming scarce? Which are increasing? What special birds should we be watching for?

    Be part of science and have a lot of fun. The cost, $15, goes to support the Lab of Ornithology.

    Learn more / sign up
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