Feature Articles

  • three photos of a hovering brilliantly colored hummingbird--in greens and pinks/reds.
    What Is the Essence of Iridescence? Ask a Hummingbird

    Microscopic secrets subconscious yonder in hummingbird feathers manipulate light to requite these tiny birds—the most colorful birds on Earth—the power to dazzle on command.

    By Marc Devokaitis
  • Before and without photos of burned ranching land.
    After the Fire: How A Sustainable Ranch Survived a Natural Wildfire

    In April 2022, a wildfire scorched the 15,000-acre May Ranch in southeastern Colorado—testing the sustainability of a ranching model that blends conservation, climate-change mitigation, and making a living off the land by raising cattle.

    By Michael Booth
  • A black, white and yellow streaked bird in the woods eats a caterpillar.
    How to Photograph Fidgety Warblers

    Bright and cheery warblers are unconfined photo subjects, if only they would sit still for a second. The trick is to put yourself in the right place, at the right time, with the right camera settings.

    Story and photos by Melissa Groo
  • a gourd nest box with a Purple bird perched on it and flipside bird looking out of the house.
    The “Purple Passion” of North America’s Purple Martin Landlords

    The sight of a hundred thousand Purple Martins swirling wideness a South Carolina sky points up the rememberable request of these gorgeous dive-bombing swallows.

    By Mark Hendricks
  • illustration of gut microbiome in differently related birds.
    Gut Check: Incubation Shapes the Microbiomes of Warblers

    Probiotic products like yogurt and kombucha aim to modernize our well-being by cultivating the right microbes. But new research on warblers suggests that, at least in birds, “gut flora” may owe increasingly to incubation than to ingestion.

    By Rebecca Heisman

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