Past Shows

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The Demise of the Passenger Pigeon

On September 1, 1914, Martha, the last known Passenger Pigeon, died in the Cincinnati Zoo. It’s hard to believe there were billions of Passenger Pigeons in the early nineteenth century.By 1900, there were none left in the wild. The last Passenger Pigeon became a symbol of how easily we can... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, migration, ornithology, science

The Call of the Loon

The call of the Common Loon brings to mind a summer visit to northern lakes with sunny blue skies. A "yodel" call is given by males on their breeding territories. The call of the Common Loon that we hear during winter is quite different from the breeding call in summer. Common Loons have another,... read more »

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Birds and Navigation

The argonauts of the western Pacific and Polynesia, when navigating the vast distances between tiny islands, observed with great care the migration of birds. Polynesian navigators often carried with them frigatebirds, which they released and followed to land. Risking their lives, ancient... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  flight, migration

Wilson's Warbler near Summer's End

By early August, the rich yellow of the feathers of the Wilson's Warbler seems to flash in every forest thicket. Despite predators and weather, many pairs of adults have raised four young, which now flit about on their own. The young males hatched this spring learned their father's songs this... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Grassland Meander

In summer, the grasslands of southern Saskatchewan resound with bird song. This Bobolink is among the birds that combine their voices in a rich, ringing chorus. Through these grasslands flows the Frenchman River, twisting and looping – the epitome of a meandering river. The southern reaches of... read more »

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Burrowing Owls Hiss Like a Rattlesnake!

Despite its name, the Burrowing Owl doesn’t do much digging. It’s better known for its hair-raising hiss, which may have evolved to mimic the warning of a cornered rattlesnake. The sonic threat of a venomous reptile could be just enough to warn away most unwanted visitors from the owl’s nest... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting, science, sound

California Condor

During the days of mammoths and saber-toothed cats, California Condors thrived over much of the continent. Today, they're one of the most endangered birds in the US. The condor's main survival problem is high mortality due to lead poisoning. Condors eat animal carcasses, often containing lead... read more »

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A Vast Unseen Migration

During late summer, these Sooty Shearwaters will join a vast migration, when millions of seabirds fly over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Jaegers that nested on the Arctic tundra are flying south to tropical oceans. Arctic Terns and skuas make an epic journey to Antarctic waters. Shearwaters in... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Texas Hill Country Conservation

Paul Davis owns 1,500 acres in the Hill Country of Texas that he manages, not for cattle, but as habitat for warblers and vireos. He’s preserving stands of native juniper. He says: “We have two birds down there that are very, very localized. The Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo.... read more »

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The Gulls of Summer

Gull-watching is pretty tame along the coasts most of the summer. Many gull species retreat north to nest; a few others nest inland. Along the Atlantic, it’s mostly nesting Herring and Laughing Gulls that stick around through summer. On the Pacific Coast, it’s Glaucous-winged and Western. But by... read more »

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