As temperatures drop, do you ever wonder how birds survive frigid and windy winter days and nights? Find out in our Question of the Week:

How do birds survive in very cold temperatures?

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Every few years a handful of northern bird species descend in large numbers to more southern latitudes. These "irruptions" give us a great chance to see species such as Snowy Owl, Pine Grosbeaks, Boreal Owl, Red Crossbill, and more. What kind of winter is 2016-17? Can we expect to find any northern visitors in our neighborhoods? Find out in this article from The Nature Conservancy:

What Northern Bird Species Will Show Up at Your Feeder This Year?

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QUIZ ANSWER. Behavior, size, and shape are probably the best clues to the identity of this bird. As many of you noted, the tail on this bird is long and is held up and away from its body. Wrens often cock their tails, but those that do don’t have long tails. Wrens are often heavily patterned as well and this bird is rather plain. Bushtits while similar in color are much smaller overall, which...
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Wrentit

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BIRD QUIZ. This week’s quiz bird comes to us from San Bernardino, California. Post your answer in the comments box and we’ll post ours at the end of the day. Thank you Matthew Grube for sharing your photo with the new eBird/Macaulay Library archive.
Congratulations to Shirley Donald of Oro-Medonte, Ontario, our latest BirdSpotter Judges Choice Award winner! Shirley's photo of a Dark-eyed Junco and an American Tree Sparrow vying for bark butter is perfectly timed. Which bird won the butter battle? Thanks to our sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc. See more winning photos from the contest & get ready for the start of our new category, Birds...
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Winter doesn't have to be a slow time for bird watching. The bare trees and open vistas make it a great time to look for raptors, for instance, including some that are visiting from farther north. Here's our run-down of raptors we enjoy looking for in winter. How many have you seen—and which ones did we miss?

Raptors of Winter - All About Birds

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Our newest Bird of the Week brings a flurry of activity to bare winter fields across the continent. Look carefully for flocks of these tiny birds swirling in the wind just above the stubbly surface of a cropfield or grassland—then zero in to see their yellowish faces and tiny black "horns." Have you seen a Horned Lark recently?

Horned Lark - All About Birds

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Here's the newest of our Bird Cams: live streaming from the nest of a Bermuda Petrel. These beautiful seabirds, also called cahows, were thought extinct for more than a century before rediscovery in the 1950s. They're still endangered—and we hope that by watching this nest more people can learn about this amazing bird and its story. Watch live as the parents incubate their egg:

Bermuda Petrel (Cahow) Nest on Cornell Lab Bird Cams

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Have you seen our January eNews? Featuring two baby hummingbirds taking their first flights, from a live camera in Peru; plus our video featuring a bunch of Burrowing Owl chicks wishing you a happy new year; scientific advances from feeder birds, and more:

See Our January eNewsletter

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Over at Forbes there's a list of 2016's best books about birds—and our new edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology is on it! Check out the list here and let us know your favorite bird books in comments:

The 12 Best Books About Birds And Birding In 2016

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QUIZ ANSWER. As far as identification goes, some people might consider shorebirds the sparrows of the beach. We don’t often get to see shorebirds in their distinctive breeding plumage, so we are left to puzzle out the gray and brown birds on the shore. Shorebird identification is complex and relies on a combination of many features of the bird, some of which can be very subtle. Luckily, this...
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Bird of the Year

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BIRD QUIZ. This week we are continuing those warm thoughts. Post your answer in the comments box and we’ll post ours at the end of the day. Thanks to Stephen Mitten who photographed this bird in Belize and shared his photo via the new eBird/Macaulay Library archive.
A selection of some of the great photos submitted by our Facebook fans in the last week. Thanks and keep those photos coming!
If your plans for the new year involve either more birding or more travel, this piece from The Nature Conservancy's Cool Green Science blog has some great ideas for you. It runs down 10 conservancy preserves that offer great birding at different times of year. Where are you hankering to visit in 2017?

A Birding List for the New Year – The Nature Conservancy

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Our first bird of the week this new year has a name that manages to describe both its color and behavior. It can be found across North America at different times of year, and sports a splotchy pattern of reddish brown, black and white in the breeding season, and in the winter is a more subdued mix of grays. Using its specially shaped bill, it flips and turns stones and other items, looking for...
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Bird of the Year 2017 - Ruddy Turnstone

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Here at the Cornell Lab we are so grateful to have another year to help birds and the world that we all share—through research, education, and citizen science. And your help makes it possible! Our video this week is a special thank you that we hope will start your year off with a smile as it follows a family of Burrowing Owls. We wish you all a very happy new year!

Thank You 2017: Burrowing Owl Video

A thank-you video for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's community of supporters.

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This delicate moment between a Gentoo Penguin and its chick was our Winter 2016 Living Bird cover—and it's up for a Reader's Choice award from the American Society of Magazine Editors. If you like this cover, please click through and Like the image. Thanks to the talented photographer Chris Linder for the cover shot!

Vote to Give Our Penguin Cover a Reader's Choice Award

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Picture yourself as an owl, looking over a bleak, freezing, snow-covered landscape, and knowing that you've got to find and catch food somewhere out there, under the snow. How do you do it? Find out in our Question of the Week:

How can an owl catch a mouse underneath a foot of snow in total darkness?

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Over at eBird, we've got a set of New Year's resolution suggestions that might be a whole lot of fun—new ways to do more birding in 2017! Check them out, and let us know: What birding highlights are you shooting for this year?

New Year’s Resolution 2017: more eBirding! | eBird

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QUIZ ANSWER. The giant bill and crest gives the family away. The quiz bird is a member of the cardinal family. But, it’s not a Northern Cardinal. Bill color is the key to separating the females of these two species. Male and female Northern Cardinals have reddish orange bills. PYRRHULOXIAS, the answer to this week’s quiz, have yellow bills. Their bills are also stubbier and rounder than the...
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