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Field Notes

Where Do Birds Find Shelter?

Shelter for birds comes in many forms. Maybe you heard the BirdNote story about the Northern Saw-whet Owl that took shelter in a tree on a Christmas tree farm. Or the Song Sparrow that will happily visit a brush pile in your yard. And the Pileated Woodpeckers that excavate not only nesting... read more »

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Common Raven - The world's largest perching bird

Eric Dinerstein shares these reflections on the Common Ravens that live near Cabin John, Maryland.By October, most of the birds that breed in the East have taken wing to warmer climes — South Carolina, Florida, the Caribbean, Central America, or even the Peruvian Amazon — to pass the winter in... read more »

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Long-tailed Duck: Little Known Duck of Many Secrets!

The Long-tailed Duck is not widely known outside birdwatching circles. But what a wonderful duck it is. Found only locally at certain times of the year, and with an oddly goofy, human-like voice, the otherwise elegant Long-tailed Duck has some interesting departures from "normal" duck biology... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

Willet and Sanderlings

This painting by Barry Kent MacKay shows a single Willet (Tringa semipalmata) on the far left, along with a group of Sanderlings (Calidris alba), as they might occur in spring on the east coast of North America.  The Willet is pretty much a species of the western hemisphere, with two... read more »

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Our Theme Music, Online

Earlier this year, some of you who listen online told us our intro theme music could be repetitive, especially when playing shows back to back (as many podcast listeners do). So we decided to conduct a pilot test: on June 1, we removed the intro theme music on our online shows.We retained the... read more »

BirdNote Trip to Cuba (Oct 19-26)

Cuba was the destination for BirdNote's first international trip. I don't think we could've picked a better location. Nor could we have picked a better group of 18 participants.We had a well-balanced itinerary that exposed our group to the arts, food, culture, natural spaces, and people of this... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching

A Raven, On Snow

Regular photo contributor, Gregg Thompson, recently visited Mount Rainier in Washington State, hoping to find White-tailed Ptarmigan in their pure-white winter plumage. He didn't find any. Actually, the first bird he saw –- and only when he returned to the parking lot -- was this Common Raven.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography

Mandarin Ducks - Ducks with Flair

North America's Wood Ducks have nothin' on the Mandarin Ducks of Asia. But they are related.Check out these images of Mandarins!© Karen BlakemanAlthough native to East Asia, Mandarins have such appeal that they've ended up in "waterfowl collections" all across Europe and North America. © Bastien... read more »

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5 Things to Do for Birds in the Autumn – And One Thing for Yourself!

 Autumn ... Feels like a new year.We all remember the feeling of starting back to school at the end of summer. A serious change of scenes and seasons. And there's a lot to be done for the birds, too.1. Take down your nestbox and clean it out.It's a good idea to wear gloves and a dust mask... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdfeeding, gardening

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk... Not a hawk, and not all that common, either!The Common Nighthawk is not, of course, a hawk, but belongs instead to the family Caprimulgidae. This includes Whip-poor-wills, Common Poorwills, Chuck-will’s-widows, and a wide variety of other species, all known as nightjars. They... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ornithology

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