Update, May 22, 2012: This story describes an open house that ended on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
We've removed 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, including columns by our bird-ID experts Kenn Kaufman and David Sibley.
Neither needs an introduction, I know.
Kenn is a well-known public speaker, artist, and naturalist, and the author of many popular books about birds and other wildlife, including the recently released Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding. His column ID Tips, featuring the photographs of Brian E. Small, appears in every issue. Read more about Kenn.
David is the well-known author of The Sibley Guide to Trees and the bestselling Sibley Guide to Birds, Sibley's Birding Basics, and Sibley guides to birds of eastern and western North America. His column ID Toolkit has appeared in every issue since December 2007. Read more about David.
We usually reserve "ID Tips" and "ID Toolkit" for subscribers only, but from now until Sunday, you can enjoy both columns even if you're not a subscriber. The reason is simple: We want you to see what our subscribers, including subscribers to our new digital editions, have access to all the time.
Here's what Kenn and David wrote in our last six issues:
Costa's Hummingbird and immature gullsIn our most recent issue, June 2012, Kenn showed how to identify female and immature Costa's Hummingbirds and what to look for to distinguish them from female and immature Anna's and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. David used two paintings of Herring Gull to explain what birdwatchers should look for to identify immature gulls.
Lincoln's Sparrow and drab warblersIn our April 2012 issue, Kenn told what to look for to distinguish Lincoln's Sparrow from Song Sparrow, while David explained what you should look for to identify unobtrusively colored birds. Sibley's paintings of Magnolia Warbler and Orange-crowned Warbler illustrated his column.
Ring-necked Duck and streaked sparrowsIn February, Kenn explained how to distinguish female Ring-necked Ducks from similar-looking female Redheads and Greater Scaup. David provided paintings of Lincoln's, Savannah, and Song Sparrows to show how to tell apart similar-looking streaked sparrows.
Pine Siskin and duck's head contoursIn our December 2011 issue, Kenn's subject was the Pine Siskin, and how to distinguish it from House Finch and Savannah and other sparrows, while David demonstrated how the contour of a duck's head can vary dramatically from the images shown in most field guides.
Tricky facial feathers and birds around BosqueIn October 2011, David explained how the tiny feathers located between a bird's eye and bill differ from other feathers, and he explained how your line of sight can change how dark or pale the feathers appear. Kenn described species that can be found around New Mexico's Bosque del Apache NWR: Ross's Goose, Townsend's Solitaire, Crissal Thrasher, Sage Sparrow, and "Gray-headed" Dark-eyed Junco.
Sanderlings and identifying birds by their flight styleReferring to photos taken by Brian Small, Kenn in August described what you should look for to recognize the Sanderling throughout the year, while David explained how you can use flight style to identify distant Song Sparrow, House Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Red-winged Blackbird, Belted Kingfisher, and other birds.
It's easy to see why Kenn's and David's columns are such popular parts of the magazine -- and really fun to read during our open house. But they're not the only subscriber-only column that you're 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 until Sunday.
And don't forget: Even after our open house ends, 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.
This blog post is the fifth of five I've written about our online open house:
On Monday I told you about the subscriber-only "Hotspots Near You" and feature articles that you could read this week.
On Tuesday I listed the questions that Julie Craves has expertly answered in her last 10 "Since You Asked" columns.
On Wednesday I recommended the insightful and entertaining columns of Pete Dunne.
And yesterday I encourage you to consider "Amazing Birds" by Founding Editor Eldon Greij.
Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think. Write to me! I look forward to hearing from you. --Chuck Hagner, Editor
Find out how you can read BirdWatching on your PC, Mac, iPad, and select Android tablets and smartphones.