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Past Shows

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Anting: Avian Spa Treatment?

On a warm, sunny day, an American Robin flops on the ground, wings outstretched and tail splayed behind. The robin sits astride an anthill, and the ants are swarming over its body! This is called "anting," and probably has to do with transferring the ants' formic acid to the bird's body. This... read more »

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Roseate Spoonbill

Of all the bold colors nature has bestowed on birds, bright pink may be the most surprising. And just about the hottest pink bird of all lives year round along the Gulf of Mexico — the Roseate Spoonbill. These birds stand out, especially when flying against a blue sky. And the spoon-shaped... read more »

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Tony Angell Watches a Peregrine Falcon Fledge

Tony Angell writes: "I was standing opposite a peregrine falcon's cliffside nest ... the female falcon, carrying prey, flew into a stand of madronas overhead. It was early ... and the hungry youngster had yet to be fed. Seeing the meal she had, the nestling responded with wing flapping and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Band-tailed Pigeon

Shy and sometimes hard to see, the Band-tailed Pigeon lives in low-altitude conifer forests and treed suburbs of the West and Southwest. Band-tails stay in small flocks most of the year. They occasionally crowd into suburban bird feeders, nudging out smaller birds. When one calls, you might think... read more »

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Where Birds Sleep

All birds need to sleep — or at least snooze — sometime during each 24-hour period. And most sleep at night. A bird (such as this Wood Duckling) may turn its head around and warm its beak under its shoulder-feathers. Songbirds find a protected perch, sheltered from rain and nighttime predators.... read more »

The Phoebe and the Pewee

The Eastern Phoebe (pictured here) is one of the most familiar flycatchers east of the Rockies. Because the Eastern Phoebe repeats its name when it sings, it’s a pretty straightforward voice to identify and remember. But there’s another flycatcher east of the Rockies that whistles its name over... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

From Egg-laying to Hatching and Beyond

Waterfowl like this Muscovy duckling spend up to 30 days in the egg, so they’re able to walk, swim, and feed themselves as soon as they hatch. We call these chicks precocial. By contrast, the chicks of most songbirds spend less time maturing in the egg. They must continue to develop in the nest... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting, ornithology

City Gulls - Rooftop Nesters

Juvenile Glaucous-winged Gulls are taking flight over downtown Seattle. In Chicago, young Ring-billed Gulls are heading for Lake Michigan. And before long, juvenile Herring Gulls will be soaring over the Atlantic Ocean. More and more, some gulls are raising their families in the city. They nest... read more »

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Birds Move from Fresh to Salt Water

To hear a Common Loon in the wild during summer, you’ll need to find a northern, freshwater lake where a pair is nesting. But to find that same Common Loon in winter, you’ll likely need to look on a saltwater bay. This shift from fresh to salt water would kill most animals. But loons — along with... read more »

Father Birds

The male hummingbird leaves the female to build the nest and raise the young alone, but other father birds are more involved. A Peregrine Falcon father shares duties almost evenly with the mother. (Stewart, seen here, nested on a Seattle skyscraper for many years.) But the male Emu of Australia... read more »

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