Update, May 22, 2012: This story describes an open house that ended on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
Welcome to Day 2 of our open house!
You may know by now that we've dropped all access restrictions on our website. From now until Sunday, you and everyone else -- non-subscribers as well as subscribers -- can view everything that we've published online. We've swung our doors open wide because we want you to see what our subscribers, including subscribers to our new digital editions, have access to all the time! Please have a look around.
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.
On Tuesday I listed the questions that Julie Craves has expertly answered in her last 10 "Since You Asked" columns.
Yesterday I recommended the always wonderfully insightful and entertaining columns of Pete Dunne.
Today I encourage you to consider just how much you'd already know about birds if you were a regular reader of Amazing Birds by Founding Editor Eldon Greij.
Eldon is professor emeritus at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where he taught ornithology and ecology for many years. He left academe in 1987 to launch Birder's World (now BirdWatching) and served tirelessly as its publisher and editor. His column appears in every issue. Read more about Eldon.
Like our feature articles and the columns written by Julie and Pete, Eldon's column is usually reserved for subscribers only, but from now until Sunday, you can enjoy it even if you're not a subscriber.
The articles below will give you an idea of what you've been missing:
Sandhill SpectacleIn our December 2010 issue, Eldon wrote about a March trip to Nebraska's Platte River, the annual gathering place for hundreds of thousands of migrating Sandhill Cranes.
Avian VisionIn our February 2011 issue, Eldon described the retina, pecten, orbits, scleral ring, nictitating membrane, and other parts of birds' eyes and explained why the acuity of birds' eyes is at least two or three times greater than that of human eyes.
Watching BehaviorIn his April column, he listed 10 intriguing bird behaviors you can observe in your backyard or neighborhood during the breeding season.
Hanging in AirIn June, inspired by a Ring-billed Gull that he observed hovering along the shore of Lake Superior on a windy day, he described the physics behind the bird's remarkable ability to make rapid adjustments to body and wing positions during flight.
Feeling the HeatIn August 2011, Eldon first explained why scientists agree that climate change is real and that an increase in global-warming gases emitted by humans is the reason. Then he described the challenges that the changing climate presents to Kittlitz's Murrelet, Red-breasted Goose, Yellow-billed Loon, Emperor and Adélie Penguins, the waterfowl of North America's Prairie Pothole Region, and other birds.
Audubon the ManIn October, Eldon explained the important roles played in the life of John James Audubon by the artist's father, his stepmother, his wife Lucy, the Scottish ornithologist William MacGillivray, and Napoleon Bonaparte.
Birding MomentsIn our last issue of 2011, Eldon described four especially memorable birding experiences: finding Marbled Godwits with a friend after extricating a car from a muddy road, sharing an Eastern Bluebird with a birder whose mobility was limited by Parkinson's, taking a family member on her first birding trip, and sharing a day in the field with a daughter before her wedding.
Pugnacious DancersIn the February 2012 issue, he wrote about the lobed feet, dense feathers, and other adaptations that enable grebes to live their lives almost entirely on the water.
How Birds NavigateIn April 2012, Eldon described the difference between orientation and navigation, and he explained the mechanisms by which birds interpret light of different wavelengths and changes in Earth's magnetic field to seek out particular destinations.
Texas's CranesIn June, our most recent issue, he told about the habits, migration, and diet of the endangered Whooping Cranes that breed in Canada and spend the winter largely in Aransas NWR in Texas.
No doubt about it, Eldon's column is one of the most valuable pieces we're making available during our open house. But it's not the only subscriber-only column that you're now able to read. Until Sunday 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 the open house, 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 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.
Why you owe it to yourself to try "Birder at Large" by Pete Dunne.
Read BirdWatching on your PC, Mac, iPad, and select Android tablets and smartphones.