From the Editor
in my urban yard a couple of years ago, not long after I moved into my house. I was surprised to see the brown spot-breasted bird, with a noticeable light eye-ring, foraging in the dirt under my shrubs. A quick look in my field guide had me convinced it was a wood thrush, but I immediately texted my friend (and occasional Birds & Blooms writer) Ken Keffer to ask what type of thrush was most likely to drop by this backyard habitat. He suggested Swainson’s and hermit because he’d recently seen both in his own yard.
The exact identity of my bird remained a mystery, and this family of birds and their super similar field marks continued to stump me. After reading what our bird experts had to say about the thrush family’s identifying marks and behavior on page 40, I’m back to believing I saw a wood thrush.
Also in this issue on page 28, see 10 stunning reader photos of butterflies, and read the stories behind the snapshots. Let the beautiful scenes inspire you to take notice of the butterflies that flit through your own backyard garden. You may be surprised by what you see when you take time to just observe. And if you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking at, phone a friend or check in your Kaufman field guide like I did.