Past Shows

Please enter the keywords you want to search by below.

Music Inspired by Chicks Hatching - Mussorgsky and Ravel

Inspired by a talented friend's painting called "Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks," Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky wrote a piano piece as part of his famous work Pictures at an Exhibition. The composition was later orchestrated by Maurice Ravel. Have you ever watched a baby bird peck its way... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  music

Frank Bellrose and the Wood Ducks

In the 1800s, Wood Ducks were possibly the most abundant ducks east of the Mississippi. But the draining of wetlands, the cutting of forests, and market hunting caused precipitous declines. In 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act completely banned the hunting of Wood Ducks for 23 years. This... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

American Bittern

The American Bittern, a member of the heron tribe, spends much of its time in the dense cover of the marsh. Although they are found across the country, you'll seldom see one. Bitterns are masters of camouflage. Their striped plumage perfectly imitates surrounding vegetation, and they conceal... read more »

RELATED

Wood Buffalo National Park - Birthplace of Whooping Cranes

In the Canadian north, where Alberta meets The Northwest Territories, lies Wood Buffalo National Park, where endangered Whooping Cranes dance, nest, and raise their young. “I like to describe Wood Buffalo National Park as a place of superlatives,” says park superintendent Rob Kent. “Visitors can... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  ecology

Sapsuckers and Hummingbirds

The sapsucker is a type of woodpecker that notches rows of small holes in trees, causing sap to well out. The birds eat the sugary liquid flowing from these sapwells. Now tree sap is similar in sugar content to the nectar hummingbirds take from flowers. And it is no coincidence that just as the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

A Chance to See Whooping Cranes - At Port Aransas

North America’s tallest bird, and one of its most endangered -- the Whooping Crane! There are fewer than 600 in the world even when you count the ones in captivity. They’ve rebounded from an all-time low of 15. The only wild migratory flock – about 275 – winters along the Texas Gulf Coast in the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, festival

Nocturnal Migration of Songbirds

If this week's bright full moon pulls you outside, pause for a moment and listen. You might hear migrating songbirds overhead. Most songbirds migrate at night, when fewer predators are out. The migrants stop, feed, and rest during the day. However, many scientists believe that the main reason... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Mistaken Identity

This Band-tailed Pigeon may sound like an owl, but it's a case of mistaken identity. The song of the American Robin could be confused with that of the Black-headed Grosbeak. And then, there's the Black-capped Chickadee. At certain times of year, the male sings "Fee-bee, fee-bee," even though it's... read more »

RELATED

Unlikely Places to Go Birding

Birding is often best in the least likely places. At sewage treatment plants, watch for ducks and gulls - and raptors keeping watch over them all. Another place might be your local landfill or dump. The Brownsville, Texas dump was, for years, the only place in the US you could find this... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

How Birds Produce Sound

Nearly all birds produce sound through an organ unique to birds, the syrinx. In many songbirds, the syrinx is not much bigger than a raindrop. Extremely efficient, it uses nearly all the air that passes through it. By contrast, a human creates sound using only 2% of the air exhaled through the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  science, vocalization