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Past Shows

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Wishbones and Dinosaurs

The anatomical structure we call the wishbone was long thought unique to birds. But fossil discoveries of recent decades have shown that some dinosaurs, including the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, and the Velociraptors of ”Jurassic Park,” also had wishbones. And there is now wide consensus among... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  fossil, humor, science

The Ears of an Owl

Exactly where are an owl's ears? Well, the eyes of this Great Gray Owl are set in a broad, dish-shaped face. Ridges of tiny hair-like feathers rim the owl's face, creating "facial disks." Just below the margins of the facial disks, concealed by feathers, are the openings to the owl's ears. The... read more »

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On the Trail of the Bobwhite

The Northern Bobwhite -- many call it just the Bobwhite -- has an unmistakable call, which is also the source of its name. The species is native to the US, east of the Rockies. But Northern Bobwhites have been released into the wild as game birds in many locales in the West.Is there a bird or... read more »

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Alex Chadwick in Big Bend: An Oasis for Birds

Carolyn Ohl-Johnson found a home — and a way of life — near Big Bend National Park. BirdNote contributor Alex Chadwick visited Carolyn at the desert oasis she created for birds such as this Magnificent Hummingbird. But her accomplishment has required tremendous sacrifice. “I haven’t seen my great... read more »

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A Blizzard of Snow Geese

An immense field appears to be covered with snow, blanketed in white. But a closer look reveals more than 10,000 Snow Geese. Snow Geese nest on Wrangel Island, in the Chukchi Sea off northern Siberia. Don't miss the amazing video by Barbara Galatti!If you'd like to make a gift to BirdNote, begin... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Great Horned Owls Calling

A fledgling Great Horned Owl calls to be fed. Judging from the young bird's persistence, the parents seem to be responding only with calls, not with food. These entreaties can go on for weeks. Both parents let the fledgling know that it's time for him to feed himself. They've been bringing voles... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Birding with Grandpa -- With Dick Ashford

Dick Ashford, president of Klamath Bird Observatory, completed a career with the Navy before learning about birds in earnest. Like many, he's taking time to share his love of birds - and looking for Red-shouldered Hawks, like this one - with younger generations. One of the lucky kids is his... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding

The Eagle Eye

The eye of an eagle is one of the most sensitive of any animal, and may weigh more than the eagle's brain. The secret to the exceptional vision lies in its retina. The density of rods and cones within a raptor's eye may be five times that of a human's. As the Golden Eagle rides hot-air thermals... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  flight, language, science

Falcons and Blueberries

Birds chasing other birds is a natural part of the avian world. But when you add a skilled falconer, that pursuit can disperse pest birds from airports and amusement parks, and protect a farmer's fields. A blueberry farmer in Washington State pays a licensed falconer to scare birds, mainly... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Common Redpoll

The tiny Common Redpoll, one of the smallest members of the finch family, weighs only as much as four pennies, yet it survives the cold and darkness of winter in the far North. Most birds depart in autumn to warmer climes. But redpolls feed on birch and alder seeds that are available throughout... read more »

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