Get instant answers to your common questions here on our Frequently Asked Questions Page. Click a heading to go directly to a section or else select “Control” and “F” on your keyboard to bring up a search box on your computer screen.
PHOTO CHALLENGE FAQs
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND CUSTOMER CARE
How do I contact Customer Care? I have a question about my subscription.
Contact Customer Care online, call 888-860-8040, or email [email protected] for inquiries about subscriptions, renewals, information changes, payments or other account information. You can also purchase single issues of magazines by calling 888-860-8040.
My magazine is late. What should I do?
Magazines arrive at different times, and it’s possible that you could receive yours up to two weeks later than a friend. If your magazine is consistently late, it’s usually a local post office issue, so check with your branch office. If you believe it’s something on our end, please contact Customer Care.
I just sent in my payment. Why am I still getting subscription reminders in the mail?
We apologize if you’re getting extra reminders of your subscription expiring. If you have additional questions, please contact Customer Care.
I’d like to purchase an additional or back issue of Birds & Blooms. How do I do this?
While supplies last, individual issues can be purchased by calling 888-860-8040.
If I subscribe to Birds & Blooms, do I get EXTRA, too?
Birds & Blooms EXTRA is a separate subscription. Don’t miss out on all the useful information offered in EXTRA. Subscribe today.
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SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FAQs
What are your submission guidelines? How do I send you a picture or story?
Please visit our Submission Guidelines page to learn how to share stories and photos with Birds & Blooms.
What’s the best way to get my photo or story into the magazine?
First, be sure to check out our submission guidelines. The easiest way to get in is by submitting a unique story for our “Bird Tales,” “Front Porch” or “From Your Backyard” sections, along with a good photo. These are some of the most popular sections of the magazine and are great for first-time contributors. Be sure to keep your story short and sweet (under 400 words). If you have an accompanying photo, make sure it’s good quality.
I have a “Glad You Asked” question. How do I contact Melinda or Kenn and Kim?
First look to see if your question is answered on our website. If you need a timely answer, visit our Community Section to chat with fellow Birds & Blooms readers. They’re a great resource, and you can often get immediate feedback. If you have a unique question and don’t mind waiting a bit for an answer, please use our Submit Your Story form to send your gardening or birding question to our experts.
I submitted a story or photos a while back, but I haven’t heard anything. Why?
We get hundreds of pieces of mail each week, and although we wish we could give personal feedback, it’s not possible because we have a very small staff. We do read and carefully evaluate every submission, and please know that your stories and photos—published or not—contribute toward making Birds & Blooms the unique reading experience it is.
I have a great photo to share with your readers. How do I send it?
First, please view our Submission Guidelines, which explains our photo requirements. Then use our Submit Your Story form to share with us.
If I include a self-addressed stamped envelope, will you return my photo or story?
We are not able to return mail or photos—even if you send an SASE—so please make a copy before you send! Most stores with a photo department can help you scan a photo and create a good quality reprint for very minimal cost.
Can I send a photo taken with my phone or tablet?
Technically speaking, photos need to be at least 1800 X 1200 pixels or 1 MB file size to print clearly in the magazine.
If I send a photo that is used by the magazine, do I get paid for that photo?
When we use a reader’s photo in Birds & Blooms, we often send an official Birds & Blooms tote to show our appreciation. This is a non-monetary gift and again, not always the case. We receive large amounts of materials for each issue, so we urge you to submit photos for the reward of sharing with our more than one millions subscribers.
I saw a photo in Birds & Blooms and would like a copy. How do I get one?
The photos in our magazines are property of the photographer, be it our readers or our professional photographers. We do not have permission to give away their work. Photos taken by professionals will have a photo credit on the page, usually appearing vertically in the margin. You may try searching the internet to see if the photographer has a website and contact information that would allow you to ask them directly about purchasing a print of their photo.
If my photo is published in the magazine or online, will my name be included in the credit?
Yes, we always credit our photos.
I am a professional photographer and would like to submit photos for publication.
Please use our Submit Your Story form to send us a link or lightbox of some of your best work related to birds and gardening. If interested, we will contact you.
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What is Birds & Blooms EXTRA?
Birds & Blooms EXTRA gives you everything you love about Birds & Blooms…and a whole lot more! It arrives on the off-months of Birds & Blooms and contains an extra flock of photos, reader tips and expert advice. Birds & Blooms EXTRA requires a separate subscription, though. Subscribe today!
I’m looking for the zone hardiness map. Can you help?
Here’s a link to the USDA zone hardiness map we use.
I saw a birdfeeder or birdhouse in your magazine. Can you tell me where I can buy one like it?
We suggest going to the Community section of our website for help.
How do I enter the Backyard Photo Contest?
We hold a new contest every year. For information on the current one, please visit our Contest section. If we are in the voting stage of this cycle, please vote and watch for an upcoming call out for new entries for next year’s contest. These will be posted in our Contest section as well.
How do I enter the “Find the Hummingbird” contests?
Please visit the Contest area of our website. This is where we will post winners as well.
When I entered the “Find the Hummingbird” contest, it says that I’ve already entered this month. I think it’s a mistake, so what’s the problem?
This message appears when folks want to be sure they entered the contest. They hit “submit” and press hard on the mouse or “return” key. It is recorded instantly but when the mouse button is held down longer than it needs to be, it thinks you’re attempting to submit a second entry.
I would like old magazines for my school, church or community group. Can you help?
Unfortunately, we don’t have a large backlog supply of magazines, so we are unable to accommodate these requests.
I’m looking for a story from an old issue of Birds & Blooms. Can you help?
We suggest going to the Community section of our website for help.
I’m looking for a project plan in an old issue of Birds & Blooms. Where can I find it?
We put nearly all of our projects on our website, so try a search first. If it is not there, we suggest going to the Community section of our website for help.
I read an article and want to contact the author. Could you send me his or her address?
Sorry, but we’re unable to give out contributors’ addresses or any personal information.
I saw a photo in Birds & Blooms and would like permission to use it in a project.
For personal art projects or children’s crafts, it is fine to cut out and use images from the magazine. If you are an artist who wants to use our images as models, you can respect the photographer’s rights and vision by using the Birds & Blooms’ image for guidance and inspiration, rather than attempting to replicate the image exactly. In other cases, especially in for-profit or public projects, we do not have the authority to grant such permissions. If the image in question is a professional photo, you might locate the name of photographer in the credit line, sometimes found in small vertical print along the center fold of the magazine, and try a Google search to find their website or agency.
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How can I contact the bloggers?
If you have a comment, suggestion, question, etc., we ask that you leave a comment within the individual page. Our bloggers will be checking their pages regularly and are always open to ideas and suggestions. If you have a more specific question for the editors, please use the Submit Your Story form on the main Birds & Blooms website.
Who is in charge of this blog?
This blog is an extension of Birds & Blooms magazine, the #1 birding and gardening magazine in North America.
How do I make my picture show up when I comment?
We love comments on the blog! If you want your picture to show up, we suggest using Gravatar. This globally recognized system allows you to link up an avatar to your name. Just make sure that the email address you use with Gravatar is the same one you use when you comment on the blog. Voila! It works like magic and your image will automatically appear.
I want to link from my site back to your blog. How do I do that?
We would love to be on your blogroll or exchange buttons with you. Visit our Sites We Love page to learn more.
I want to be featured in Birds & Blooms. How do I do that?
We would love to hear your stories and see your photos about birding and gardening. Use our Submit Your Story form on our website to share.
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Why do I need to join?
To take advantage of all the features of the Birds & Blooms community, such as creating a profile, choosing your avatar, posting in community forums and group forums, and sending and receiving private messages, you will need to register. It takes only a few minutes. If you’re having trouble with your username or password, see the Help section.
How do I join?
I already have a screen name and password. How do I log in?
Click “Log In” in the upper right of any screen. You’ll be asked for your email address or username, and password.
I forgot my username and/or password.
If you forget your username and/or password, visit the Log In screen.. Enter your email address and click the “Forget Your Password?” link. Your username and a new password will be emailed to you.
I’m still having difficulty logging in.
Try clicking the “Refresh” button on your browser to clear out any previously-stored page information. Also, check to be sure that you have the most up-to-date version of your browser, and that it is enabled to accept “cookies”. If you still cannot log in, click here to contact our Community Manager for assistance.
How do I change my username/screen name?
Usernames/screen names cannot be changed once they’ve been selected.
How do I change my password?
To change your password, click on the “My Profile” link in the upper right. On your Profile page, click “Edit” along the left side menu. Scroll to the “Account” section and follow the directions to change your password.
How do I change my email address?
To change your email address, click on the “My Profile” link in the upper right. On your Profile page, click “Edit” along the left side menu. Scroll to the “Account” section and enter a new email address.
What is a forum?
A forum is a collection of related discussions. Our Community has three main Forums – Backyard Chat, Birding, and Gardening – which are broken down into specific categories within those forums.
What is a discussion?
A discussion is a collection of related posts in a forum. The first post starts the discussion, and replies to the first post add to the discussion. A discussion is also frequently called a “thread”.
When I view a forum, I don’t see any discussions.
A brand-new forum may not have any discussions yet. Otherwise, there may be no discussions that match the filters you have set, such as discussions newer than a certain date.
Can I sort discussions when viewing a forum?
The sort function is currently not supported by our system..
Can I use HTML?
When creating a post, you have the ability to switch between “Visual” and “Text”. If you switch to “Text” you may use HTML.
What are emoticons?
Emoticons are small graphics (such as smiley faces) that can be added within the body of a post. These are generated by typing a text “shortcut” into the body of your message. The following emoticons are supported on this site:
How do I post a new message to a forum?
Choose the appropriate forum and scroll down until you see the “Create New Topic” section. Fill in the Topic Title field and then type your post in the Message field. If you like, add tags to the Tags field. When you’re finished, click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the screen.
How do I reply to an existing discussion?
You can reply to an existing discussion using either the Reply link in a specific post in the discussion, or scroll to the bottom of the page until you see the “Reply To” box.
How do I edit my posts?
You will see an Edit link in posts you have made. Clicking on this button will allow you to edit your post.
How do I delete my posts?
You will see a Delete button in new posts you have made. If a post you have made has one or more replies, you will no longer be able to delete the post.
Can I be notified by email if someone responds to my post?
Yes. When you write your post, you will see a checkbox for “Notify me of follow-up replies via email”. When you check this box, you will receive an email message each time someone responds to one of your posts or replies.
How do I add a photo to my post?
Birdsandblooms.com does not host photos; your photo needs to be hosted at a photo hosting website. Try free sites like www.photobucket.com or www.flickr.com. To add a photo to your post, click on the insert photo icon in the toolbar (to the left of the smiley face). Copy and paste the image URL from the photo hosting website and click “Insert”. You may need to adjust the dimensions of the photo to fit properly.
How do I add a link to my post?
To create a hyperlink to another page or site within your post, simply copy and paste the URL into the body of your message. If it is very long, you may want to consider shrinking it by using a free site such as tinyurl.com.
My post has been deleted or is no longer open for reply. Why?
Birds & Blooms reserves the right to remove any material that does not, in our judgment, comply with these standards and to revoke posting privileges at our discretion and without warning or explanation. Our decisions are considered final. For more information, review the Community Guidelines.
What is an avatar?
An avatar is a picture or illustration of you (or another picture of your choice that represents you). It is displayed with your posts and replies in message boards and groups and also on your Profile page.
How do I set my avatar?
- First, choose a digital photo or an illustration you wish to use. Accepted formats are jpg, gif and png. For best results, it should be square.
From any page, click on “My Profile” in the upper right corner.
On your My Profile page, click “Edit”.
Scroll down to the Avatar section. Click the “Browse” button and locate the photo or illustration on your computer. Then click “Update.”
Scroll to the bottom of your page and click “Update Profile” NOTE: Your avatar may not show up immediately, so be patient.
Can I send a private message to another member?
The Birds & Blooms Community does not currently support Private Messaging. You can contact members privately using the email address on their profile, if one is provided.
How do I report a post that I feel is inappropriate?
If a post or reply contains offensive words, images or links, click on the “Report abuse” link at the top right of the post. Type a message describing the abuse and click “Post.” This message will be sent to the administrator or moderator and will NOT appear in the forum. The administrator or moderator may choose to edit or remove the offensive post or reply, however it may not be possible to do so immediately.
Where can I get more help with the Community site?
Visit the Community Help forum located under Backyard Chat. Our Community Manager and Community Team will do their best to respond to your questions as soon as possible.
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PHOTO CHALLENGE FAQs
I’m not seeing how to get to the Photo Challenge—where is it?
You can always get to our Photo Challenge by going to the blue bar at the top of the page and clicking on “Photo Galleries.” To get there right now, click here!
On the Photo Galleries page, I see five different groups of photos–what’s all going on here?
We have so much to offer, all the galleries can be very confusing. There are five general galleries of reader-submitted photos, and all are active for you to submit to, except for the Archives. The main gallery is the Photo Challenge, and below it are three more active galleries: 2015 Bird Gallery, 2015 Blooms Gallery, and 2015 Butterfly Gallery. Birds, Blooms and Butterfly Galleries are just that—a place to submit your best bird, bloom and butterfly photos. Our Photo Challenge spices things up with a new creative theme each month!
How does the Monthly Photo Challenge work?
At the beginning of the month, we’ll introduce a new challenge with a theme. In many cases, this theme will be open-ended, giving you plenty of room for creativity. Throughout the month, we publish a small selection of the best photos submitted. Since it is an ongoing challenge, we continually review and add them. Keep watching to see if your photo gets posted!
I want to comment on or rate a photo, but it won’t let me.
You need to be logged in to use these options.
How do I submit a photo for the photo challenge?
Click here for our Photo Challenge Submission Form. Type in a title and description, then upload your photo by clicking the “browse” button and locating the file on your computer. When you have those three items in, click “Submit.”
How will I know my photo was received?
After you successfully submit a photo, you’ll see a message on our page thanking you for your submission.
My photo wasn’t published. Why?
The Photo Challenge is very competitive—only a small percentage of photos are published. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a challenge! Plus, it’s a great motivator for improving photography skills. We hope you keep trying, because getting published here gives a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.
I made a mistake in my title. Can I just delete my photo?
Unfortunately, once you click submit, that’s it. The platform does not allow title editing or photo deletion.
How will I know if my photo has been published?
Check back! Remember, we have a very small staff and hundreds of photos coming in, so it can take a few days before your photo is reviewed.
Can I submit a photo for a previous month’s challenge?
Sorry. Once a month is over, it is closed and archived.
Can I see the photos for a past month’s challenge?
How do I find out what next month’s theme is going to be?
Each month’s theme is posted at the beginning of the month.
How can I improve my chances of getting published?
Of course, follow directions. Put your photo in the correct gallery and name the bird(s), bloom(s) and/or butterfly(ies) in your title. And don’t be afraid to up your game with some practical advice. The internet is teeming with tutorials and tips for better photography, and you can start right here with our Birds & Blooms photo tips from the pros.
Does it matter what size photo I upload?
Generally, we recommend photo files between 1-10 MB. We often choose Photo Challenge Photos for our magazine department “Reader Scrapbook,” and this size range enables this.
What should I write for Photo Title?
Identify the birds, blooms and butterflies in your photo.
What happens to my photo after it is published?
After your photo gets published, it is available through our site for others to view, comment on and rate. Birds & Blooms reserves the right to use Photo Challenge submissions in promotional material or in its publication, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.