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Past Shows

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Trust and Partnerships Help Birds in Montana

Conserving habitat for birds like this Red-naped Sapsucker isn’t easy. It requires knowledge, respect, and partnerships. Jim Brown, who was instrumental in establishing an Audubon Important Bird Area along 25 miles of the Clark Fork River in Montana, explains: “Most landowners are quite... read more »

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Birds Have No External Ears

Unlike mammals, birds have no external ear structures. Their ear openings are hidden beneath feathers on the side of the head, just behind and slightly below the eyes. (It's easy to imagine where this House Finch's ear is, isn't it?) In mammals, the external ear structure helps funnel sound in,... read more »

Shorebirds - Masters of Long-Distance Migration

Dr. Dennis Paulson, BirdNote’s chief science advisor, is an expert on shorebirds. He says new technology is revealing fascinating information about migration routes. (For instance, the alpha-alpha flag, unique to this Whimbrel, tells us the bird was banded in Canada.) For many shorebirds,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Are Birds Nests Reused?

Let’s talk about nests. Every spring, robins build their cup-shaped nests using grass and mud. Orioles weave a hanging sack. It’s hard work, and yet once the chicks fledge, the structures probably won’t be reused. But bigger birds, such as herons, hawks, and eagles, often reuse a nest for many... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Rosalind Renfrew and the Upland Sandpiper

Ros Renfrew is a conservation biologist at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. And she’s passionate about a range of conservation issues. She loves grasslands like the Konza Prairie by the Flint Hills of Kansas. It’s this rich, vivid biological realm that has Ros entranced. And in particular, the... read more »

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A Different Drumming

The drumming of the male Ruffed Grouse is one of the most evocative sounds of the North American forest. Familiar as these accelerating burps are to hunters and hikers, the origin of this bizarre sound was long a mystery. It took the advent of wildlife cinematography to solve the riddle. In the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  sound

Message of the Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove was named for the male's gentle voice, which may sound forlorn. Mourning Doves are common in suburban environments and along roadsides, adapting well to human habitation. On a warm, lazy, summer afternoon, the dove's voice seems to speak more of serenity than sadness, and of a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Banding Hummingbirds

Dan Harville has banded more than 11,000 hummingbirds! He affixes a tiny aluminum ring bearing a unique number around the lower part of the bird's left leg. That number will provide vital information to any bander who recaptures it. From the work of the banders, we know that a Rufous Hummingbird,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Birdhouses in Turkey

It’s easy to imagine that putting up a birdhouse or nestbox is a relatively recent practice. But in Turkey, it has a long history. Since at least the 13th century and continuing through the period of Ottoman rule, birdhouses were placed on all sorts of structures: mosques (like this one – the... read more »

Peregrine-Shorebird Interaction

Have you ever seen a Peregrine Falcon attack a flock of shorebirds, igniting a breathtaking aerial display? Falcon researcher Steve Herman calls this pattern of evasion "instantaneous synchronicity." The shorebird flock will often form a cone, with the sharpest point shifting continuously to face... read more »

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