Update, May 22, 2012: This story describes an open house that ended on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
C'mon in! The front door is open wide!
From now until Sunday, you'll find no access restrictions anywhere on our website. You and everyone else -- non-subscribers as well as subscribers -- can view everything that we've published.
So please make yourself at home. We want you to see what our subscribers, including subscribers to our new digital editions, have access to all the time! Don't delay: Open access will last for only a limited time:
Open access started today. It will end Sunday night, May 20.
Where should you start? On Monday I told you about the subscriber-only "Hotspots Near You" and feature articles that you can read during the open-access period. Yesterday I listed the questions that Julie Craves has expertly answered in her last 10 columns. Today I suggest you sit back and enjoy the wit and wisdom of Pete Dunne.
Pete is vice president for natural history information for the New Jersey Audubon Society, director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, the founder of the World Series of Birding, and the author of many well-known books about birds and birdwatching. His column Birder at Large is a highlight of every issue of bimonthly BirdWatching magazine. Read more about Pete.
We usually reserve Pete's columns for subscribers only, but from now until Sunday, you can enjoy them even if you're not a subscriber (or not a subscriber yet). Here are his last dozen essays; each one, in my opinion, is a gem.
Taken for GrantedIn our August 2010 issue, Pete compared the status of the Osprey today, when the bird is so common that it's often taken for granted, to the dismal outlook that prevailed in the DDT-soaked days of the 1960s.
Back to the SourceIn the October 2010 issue, Pete wrote about serving as an instructor at the famous Audubon birding camp at Hog Island, Maine, along with Project Puffin founder Stephen Kress, author Scott Weidensaul, and fellow contributing editor Kenn Kaufman.
Then and NowIn December, he described how birding binoculars have changed since the Cape May Bird Observatory conducted its first optics test more than a quarter century ago.
Finding MeritIn February 2011, Pete wrote about the hawk watch at Curry Hammock State Park on Little Crawl Key, Florida, and its official counter, Rafael Antonio Galvez. (Tour leader Mark Hedden also wrote about the hawk watch in October 2008.)
My First Field GuideIn our April 2011 issue, Pete offered a behind-the-scenes look at his incredible birding library and described the first field guide he ever owned: Birds: A Guide to the Most Familiar American Birds by Gabrielson and Zim. Was it your first field guide too?
Why Blue Jays Are BluePete hypothesized about the eye-attracting plumage and disciplined behavior of Blue Jays in our June 2011 issue. "It's amazing, really," he wrote, "the things you can learn about a bird you've known your whole life just by spending time watching."
Miracle WrenIn August 2011, his subject was a Marsh Wren that he found twice: once during a Christmas Bird Count in December and then again in early spring, after it had endured one of the coldest winters in memory.
Touched Twice by a Master's BrushIn October, Pete described two instances when artwork from the famed wildlife painter Louis Agassiz Fuertes fell unexpectedly into his hands.
AmbassadorsIn December, Pete related the first time he led a birdwalk (in the third grade, when he was eight or nine), and he explained the important role played by regular morning birdwalks conducted all over North America. "Many, perhaps most, birders," he wrote, "can trace association with the birding community to a walk that exceeded expectations and had them coming back for more."
Raptor WorkshopIn February of this year, Pete explained why birdwatchers have always had difficulty telling Sharp-shinned Hawks from Cooper's Hawks, and he gave hawk-watch-tested tips, not for identifying the birds, but for recognizing them.
First MorningsIn April 2012, he described the thrill of seeing the Common (Eurasian) Cranes that gather in Israel's Hula Valley by the tens of thousands each winter.
The Marvel of RobinsIn June, our most recent issue, Pete wrote about his personal bond with the ubiquitous and beloved American Robin.
As I mentioned, Pete's column is a real treat. Best of all, it's not the only subscriber-only column that you'll be able to read on BirdWatchingDaily.com as of today. You can also enjoy the following:
Read about the subscriber-only "Hotspots Near You" and feature articles that you can read during the open-access period.
And don't forget: Even after our open-access period, there will be lots for you and other visitors to BirdWatchingDaily.com to read. Access to the following sections is always open:
Attracting BirdsLaura Erickson's popular regular column about attracting, feeding, sheltering, and understanding the birds in your backyard. Go to Attracting Birds.
On the Move, compiled by the project leaders of eBirdPhotographs of birds that are migrating in North America right now, along with information about when and how they migrate and where you can see them. Go to On the Move.
Birding BriefsImportant news about birds and birdwatching, along with dramatic photos of recent rare-bird sightings. Go to Birding Briefs.
BookshelfDescriptions of notable just-published books about birds, along with publication information and links to booksellers. Go to Bookshelf.
Your ViewBeautiful photographs of birds (including the Sanderling at right) taken by BirdWatching readers. Go to Your View.
Getting StartedInfo about how to attract and feed birds, identify them, choose binoculars, and make your birdwatching count, along with commonsense answers to questions about grackles, bald birds, baby birds, and bird emergencies. Go to Getting Started.
Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think. Write to me! I look forward to hearing from you. --Chuck Hagner, Editor
Enjoy open access to our best feature articles this week!
Don't miss "Since You Asked" by Julie Craves.
Read BirdWatching on your PC, Mac, iPad, and select Android tablets and smartphones.