Bird Watcher’s Digest was founded in 1978 in the living room of the Thompson family, birders living in Marietta, Ohio. More than 40 years later, it’s still the only independently owned and operated wild-bird magazine in North America.

The editors say, “Each issue of BWD comprises a wide array of material aimed at bird watchers and birders at all levels of interest and ability.”

(The American Gardener: Market Spotlight.)

Payment rates are not listed on the site, but they’ve mentioned paying rates as high as $200 in previous editions of Writer’s Market.

What They’re Looking For

Bird Watcher’s Digest publishes four to five feature articles between 1,000 and 2,000 words covering a wide range of bird-watching topics. Department and column needs are listed below:

  • My Way. Bird watchers share ideas with how-to or experiential columns. Length: fewer than 1,000 words. (Usually “pays” for this column with contributor copies.)
  • Far Afield. Travel articles focusing on great birding destinations, unusual traveling experiences, and related topics. Mostly North American destinations, but international fine too.
  • The Backyard. Publishes two to four pieces per issue on backyard-related topics, including feeding and housing, humorous backyard experiences, and helpful ideas. Length: 500-1,500 words.
  • Species Profiles. Each issue includes up to two species profiles covering the basic natural history of a given bird species. Length: 1,500-2,500 words.

The editors say, “We love to read about birds and bird watching, to discover new writers, new topics, and wonderful new material. Please do send us your story!”

How to Submit

The editors prefer writers submit queries and/or complete and edited manuscripts via email at with the subject line “Submission – (your topic).”

Prospective writers can also submit via mail to Bill Thompson III, Bird Watcher’s Digest, P.O. Box 110, 149 Acme Street, Marietta, OH 45750.

The editors say, “We aim to review manuscripts quarterly, depending upon volume. Your submission will receive careful consideration, but it might take several months before we inform you of our decision.”

Click here to learn more and submit.

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