From the Ed­i­tor

Birds & Blooms - - Contents - KIRSTEN SWEET, 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.

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