Great Argus wing feather. Photo: Robert Clark

Winter 2016

A criminal forensic expert that uses his CSI skills to save birds. Foreign oil moves in on Ecuador's richest natural park—but the locals aren't having it. What do black-ops helicopters and cannibalism have to do with thousands of missing waterbirds? Gannets in plastic prisons, 21 kids versus the U.S. government, our most comprehensive binocular guide to date, and more.

Read on for the full contents of our winter issue

Behind the Scenes With the World's Top Feather Detective

As the country's only criminal forensic ornithologist, Pepper Trail has pieced together the demise of countless birds—and saved many others.

Photo: Tom Fowlks

As Oil Companies Dig Into Yasuní National Park, Ecuadorians Are Fighting Back

Considered the most biodiverse place in the world, the Yasuní is in danger of being ruined through the exploitation of its natural resources. And time is running out to save it.

Photo: Neil Ever Osborne

An Annual Rescue Mission to Free Northern Gannets Tangled in Plastic Trash

Without human intervention, dozens of the magnificent seabirds would starve to death at their nesting site each year.

Photo: Sam Hobson

The Mystery of Seahorse Key's Missing Bird Colony Veers Into Strange Territory

Russian submarines? Black-ops helicopters? Vigilante sheepdogs? Cannibal snakes? Weird theories abound for the causes of the baffling case.

Photo: Melissa Lyttle

The Audubon Guide to Binoculars 

Whether you’re a novice looking for your first set of bins or an experienced birder looking for an upgrade, we cover excellent options for every budget. 

Photo: Camilla Cerea/Audubon