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Field Notes

In Search of the Araripe Manakin

Former BirdNote board member, Gerrit Vyn, is a sound recordist and photographer for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The bird he's looking for is a stunner — the Araripe Manakin. The bird is critically endangered, in part because it has a tiny global range – occurring only on the slopes of Brazil... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography, recording

Nature's Goggles - Nictitating Membranes

They're there and then they're gone — literally in the blink of an eye!The nictitating membrane is a “third eyelid” that extends from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner. You may see it when a bird (like this Black Vulture) – or certain other creature – blinks. Thinner and more... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography, science

Pileated Woodpecker roosting holes

Photographer Gregg Thompson had a stroke of good fortune. He writes:In late September, I noticed a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers on this tree trunk. It was too late in the year for them to have any chicks, and after I read a bit, I decided this was a roosting tree. It could have been a nesting... read more »

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The Living Bird - New Book from Cornell, by Gerrit Vyn & Others

A beautiful hardcover book from Cornell, The Living Bird: 100 Years of Listening to Nature, celebrates the joyful and complex relationship between birds and people. The Living Bird features photos by award-winning photographer and BirdNote board member, Gerrit Vyn. The images are woven together... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ornithology, photography

Black-backed Woodpeckers - Pioneers of the Post-Fire Forests

What is it about Black-backed Woodpeckers and fire?Audubon's Alisa Opar wrote in an earlier blog: "Black-backed Woodpeckers are perhaps the most iconic of post-fire species, since they’re wholly reliant on burn zones."Maya Khosla now shares with us her experience of surveying a post-fire area, in... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Strike, Shake, and Gulp

Everett Marina, Everett, Washington –While out taking photographs last week, Gregg Thompson was able to catch a Great Egret in action. He writes:I seem to have gotten caught up in shooting sequences of behavior.I especially like having a situation where a certain behavior is repeated many times,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography

What Do You Call a Group of BirdNote Listeners?

We recently ran a show about collective nouns for groups of birds, A Murder, A Party, A Stare, Or a Siege. At the end, we asked what a group of BirdNote listeners might be called. We asked -- and you answered! Here are some of the suggestions.LisaP and JoeMcA had the same idea. They told us a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor, language

Black-crowned Night-Heron - Night Stalker

 The enigmatic Black-crowned Night-Heron is an intriguing predator. During the day, this easily overlooked bird does nothing at all except stand perfectly still, while resting on a half-submerged log. Unlike its more active relative, the pterodactyl-like Great Blue, a giant among herons, it... read more »

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American Dipper Juvenile Goes for a Caddisfly Larva

Photographer Mike Hamilton was exploring Tokul Creek east of Seattle late in the summer ...... when he spotted this juvenile American Dipper.Watching, waiting...It's in here somewhere.Taking the plunge!And it's a ... caddisfly larva!Down the hatch!###All photos © Mike HamiltonListen to these... read more »

Northern Harrier - The Marsh Hawk!

The Northern Harrier is the only member of the genus, Circus, found in North America, where it occurs in all continental states and Canadian provinces. All the harriers are very similar structurally, being lean and long. They have long, rounded wings, long tails, and a characteristic “facial disk... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding

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