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Past Shows

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Ravens and Wolves

Researcher Bernd Heinrich writes: "Ravens associate with any animals that kill large game - polar bears, grizzlies, wolves, coyotes, killer whales, and humans." These birds travel with caribou on their migration, and scavenge remains after wolves have made their kills. The bill of the Common... read more »

Topics & Themes:  science

Meet the Blue Jay

If we had to pick one bird’s voice to symbolize our Eastern woodlands, the Blue Jay’s voice would likely be it. And as a frequent visitor to back yards and bird feeders, the Blue Jay is among the most recognized birds of the region. Nearly a foot long, Blue Jays can be loud and assertive when... read more »

Topics & Themes:  sound

Waterfowl and Lead

Waterfowl must swallow hard particles so their gizzards can grind up hard foods, like grains. Unfortunately, they can't tell a lead pellet from a small pebble. Beginning in 1991, waterfowl hunters were required to switch from lead shotgun pellets to pellets made of non-toxic metals. The switch to... read more »


Bird Songs Go to Hollywood

Movie-makers love to add bird sounds to a film, to evoke a mood or set a scene. For all the attention to some details though, nature's details often get a little mixed up... like an Australian Laughing Kookaburra guffawing in the depths of the Florida Everglades? For a jungle sound, it's hard to... read more »

Topics & Themes:  Hollywood, humor, vocalization

Yellow-eyed Juncos - Bright Eyes

The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most abundant backyard birds in North America. But it’s not our only junco. In the Southwest, the Yellow-eyed Junco lives in cool mountain forests from Arizona and New Mexico, through Mexico into Guatemala. Ornithologist Francis Sumichrast was in Veracruz, Mexico... read more »

Topics & Themes:  birding

Saw-whet Owls Hoot and Hoot

Northern Saw-whet Owls are common in forests across southern Canada and the northern U.S. In early autumn, many move southward, making a large concentration especially in the region of the Great Lakes. To our ear, the "advertising call" of the male, made mostly in spring and summer, sounds... read more »

Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Cape May in October

Cape May Autumn Birding Festival, October 20 - 24, 2016!Cape May lies on a peninsula at the southernmost tip of New Jersey, and it's one of the most famous birding destinations in the US. October may be the most exciting month of all to watch birds there. It's hawk migration!  Because most... read more »

Topics & Themes:  birding

Where Birds Go to Die

Birds seem to be all around us. But we rarely come across those that have died. And why? When birds suffer from illness or injury, they often seek safe, secluded places — hidden from view and potential predators. So when death comes, a bird’s body is hidden. And it doesn’t persist for long.... read more »

Topics & Themes:  reflection

Swainson's Hawks Migrate South

In autumn, hundreds of thousands of Swainson's Hawks migrate to South America. With the help of a satellite tracking device, let's follow an individual male. On September 14, he leaves his breeding territory near Hanna, Alberta; reaches southwest Saskatchewan by September 23; passes through... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration

Surfin' Bird Meets Surfbird

The Surfbird - nothing like the "Surfin' Bird" of 1960s Trashmen fame - makes its home along the Pacific Coast. An oddly constructed sandpiper, the Surfbird forages on rocky jetties along the coast. The bird's winter range ranks among the longest and narrowest of any bird, from Kodiak Island to... read more »

Topics & Themes:  music