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6 Best Bird Watching Magazines of 2021

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Though you may still see a couple of magazines near the checkout of your local grocery store, print magazines are no longer the hot commodity they once were. That certainly doesn’t mean magazines are dead, though. If you’re the type of person who likes a regular dose of birding every day to keep yourself satisfied, then there are still magazines available for you, but most of them have changed form.

At one point, there were likely many magazines catering to bird watchers. Today, there are hundreds of YouTube channels and websites dedicated to the subject, so magazines aren’t as in favor as they were previously. But with today’s technology, you have better access to bird-watching magazines than ever before. The following six birding magazines are still releasing regular content. Most of these can be accessed directly from your smartphone, giving you access to a full collection of birding entertainment right in your pocket.

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1. Birding Online Magazine

 

Birding Online magazine is presented by the American Birding Association. It’s an online resource that releases bi-monthly publications to provide you with your daily dose of bird watching. Inside, you’ll find all sorts of useful and entertaining information, including book reviews on bird-related literature, short stories that were submitted by readers, rare bird alerts, and even a birding podcast.

They also include fun puzzles and coloring pages that are perfect for kids, helping to nurture a love of bird watching from a young age. Of course, you’ll find plenty of high-definition photos of rare and majestic avian subjects, allowing you to see them close-up in all of their glory.


2. Bird Watcher’s Digest

 

With a name like Bird Watcher’s Digest, you know that this magazine caters specifically to the avid bird-watching crowd. This magazine covers everything related to bird watching, including upcoming events and identification guides to help you continually increase your knowledge of the avian world. They go even further though, discussing bird behavior, feeding habits, and tips for bird watching in the field.

You can also get involved with Bird Watcher’s Digest by submitting your own pictures that could end up in the magazine. If you’re the type who prefers to listen instead of reading, then there’s even a podcast associated with the magazine that you can listen to while you drive or work. And if you really want to increase your knowledge, download one of the free guides they offer, such as “A Guide to Southern California Birding.” One of the best features they offer is access to the entire back catalog of Bird Watcher’s Digest issues, dating all the way back to 2010! That’s an awful lot of content for you to take in!


3. BirdWatching

If you’ve been into birding for a long time, then you might remember a publication called Birder’s World. This was once a very popular magazine, and it has been running non-stop since 1987. Naturally, this means that it has faced some serious changes over the years, including a major name change in 2011 to BirdWatching magazine. Today, they still release quality content on a regular basis, with a focus on traveling birders, conservation, and spectacular photographs. Though once available only in print, you can now choose to receive each edition in print, digital, or both.

One of the special things you’ll get with a BirdWatching subscription is access to their quarterly webinars with some of the world’s leading experts in birds and bird watching. Furthermore, you’ll get access to free guides on photographing and watching birds, plus e-workshops that can help you further your craft even more. To make things easy, you can even get a 2-week free trial to see if BirdWatching magazine is a good fit for you.


4. Birds & Blooms

 

As you might guess from the name, Birds & Blooms is a magazine that’s focused on more than just bird watching, though birding does make up about half of its content. The other half revolves around flowers and gardening. If you’re a person who enjoys gardening and bird watching, then Birds & Blooms might be the ideal fit for you. After all, it is America’s top backyard birding and gardening magazine by its own accord. Not that there’s a whole lot of competition in such a specific niche!

What’s interesting about Birds & Blooms, aside from their split subject matter, is that they actually release two separate publications. There’s the standard Birds & Blooms, which releases six issues annually. For those subscribed to the standard publication, Birds & Blooms Extra! is available as a secondary subscription. This magazine contains less advertising than the standard issues, offering an additional six releases each year, for a total of 12 magazines annually. Of course, this requires two subscriptions, though you can get them together at a discounted price.


5. BirdLife: The Magazine

 

Each birding magazine has its own particular focus. For BirdLife: The Magazine, that focus is on conservational efforts and rare birds. This magazine is only released quarterly, but it covers birds and the efforts to save them from across the world. You’ll also get to read some incredible real-life stories about some of the world’s rarest and most endangered birds and the people that are working hard to conserve them.

As if that’s not enough, you’ll also get some insight into the minds of the best bird watchers in the world through in-depth interviews. Additionally, this magazine is filled with some of the most awe-inspiring avian photography on the planet. If bird watching is about finding, observing, and saving the most majestic feathered flyers to you, then BirdLife: The Magazine will be a great fit. You can even get a free trial issue to see how you like it.


6. Living Bird

 

Produced by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Living Bird magazine is a quarterly release that covers everything related to birds and bird watching. They discuss topics like where migrating birds go in the winter, ways to restore habitat for dwindling bird species, and pro tips on how to improve your bird photography. You can receive Living Bird magazine as a digital copy, though they also release copies in print if you still prefer to stay old-school.

Through the magazine, you can also gain access to the Bird Academy, which is a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about birds. You can learn all about individual species and where to find them through articles, lectures, videos, and even games. In addition, you can purchase courses that will teach you all about subjects such as bird photography, the joys of birdwatching, or individual species that you want to know more about.

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Conclusion

You might have noticed that magazines about bird watching are becoming less and less prevalent in the magazine stand of your local supermarket. But there’s no reason to fear. There are at least 6 amazing publications that are still releasing regular issues of bird-watching magazines. You can even get them in print, though all of them are available as digital copies you can read from your tablet, phone, or computer. Best of all, you don’t even have to go anywhere to purchase your magazines anymore. You can simply download them to your desired device, or have print copies shipped right to your door.


Featured Image Credit: Federico Rostagno, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

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