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Past Shows

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Freeway Hawks

Driving the freeway or a narrow country road, you may glance up at a light pole where a large hawk sits in plain view. If it's brown and somewhat mottled, and its small head and short tail make it appear football-shaped, it's probably a Red-tailed Hawk. During winter, many Red-tailed Hawks move... read more »

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The Rooster

The chicken is perhaps the most widespread avian species in the world - and the exotic Red Jungle Fowl is the ancestor of the hybrid Araucana and Rhode Island Red. Scientists postulate that chickens were first domesticated from jungle fowl in India, about 5,000 years ago. Traders and travelers... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history, science

Christmas Bird Count - Join In!

During late December, birders go out counting every bird that hops, swims, flies, or soars into view, as they have for more than 100 years. Audubon chapters across the United States and elsewhere sponsor the Christmas Bird Count, or CBC. Learn about the history of the Christmas Bird Count. Join... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, citizen science

The Benefits of a Raven's Black Feathers

The desert seems an unlikely habitat choice for all-black birds. But ravens thrive even in the arid Southwest, where common sense suggests that light-colored feathers would be a better adaptation to the scorching sun. As it turns out, a raven’s black plumage works well in the desert.  read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

Northern Forest Owls - Coming South this Winter?

Of all the surprises that winter might bring, among the most wonderful would be a grand influx of northern forest owls like this Boreal Owl. Every few years, a surprising number of owls move south from the boreal forest of Canada and Alaska into the northern tier of the United States, especially... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

The Majestic Gyrfalcon

Winter brings wondrous birds. Unrivalled among these is the majestic Gyrfalcon, a regal visitor from the Arctic where it nests. "Gyrs" are among the largest falcons in the world, with the female - the larger of the sexes - outranking even a Red-tailed Hawk in size. With a name that derives from... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Birds on a Cold Night

During December, birds spend the long, cold nights in a protected place, sheltered from rain and safe from nighttime predators. Small forest birds, such as nuthatches and creepers, may spend the night huddled together in tree cavities. Birds like this male Mallard fluff up their feathers for... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Margaret Morse Nice and the Song Sparrow

Few backyard birds in North America are more widespread than the Song Sparrow. But it was the study of this seemingly unremarkable bird that helped shape modern ornithology. In 1928, Margaret Morse Nice began carefully observing Song Sparrows near Columbus, Ohio, where she lived. For eight years,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history, ornithology

The Music of Long-tailed Ducks

Long-tailed Ducks are back for the winter from the north, where they nested on tundra ponds and marshes. These diving ducks spend the winter in deep salt water, often in sheltered bays. Long-tailed Ducks are far more vocal than most ducks, a feature that has earned them a host of charming... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Northern Goshawk - Esteemed Bird of Prey

The Northern Goshawk is one of the most fearsome and admired of all birds of prey. The elegant goshawk is the largest hawk of the northern forest. Since at least medieval times, falconers have regarded the goshawk as a bird of great distinction. Attila the Hun even wore its image on his helmet.... read more »

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