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Field Notes

Parrots and Falcons — Long-lost Cousins

Discovering the Tree of LifeDid you ever play with seashells? Get yourself a whole bucket full of 'em, and then try to sort them out? The big, chalky, thick-shelled ones here, the delicate, pastel-colored ones there. A new pile for the swirly-shaped ones…As we try to make sense of the beautiful,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ornithology, science

Things You Might Not Have Known About BirdNote

Ten Years of BirdNote ...1.    The idea for BirdNote was inspired by the StarDate radio program.2.    The first BirdNote episode aired on KPLU 88.5 FM Seattle/Tacoma on February 21, 2005.3.    BirdNote expanded broadcasts from weekday coverage to daily... read more »

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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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

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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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

Biking Thousands of Miles ... for Birds

11,500That's how many miles Dorian Anderson had biked when I met him on the coast of Washington State in late August. He'd averaged nearly 50 miles a day since he started from his home state of Massachusetts on the morning of January 1. The weather on his first day was freezing with a stiff wind ... read more »

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Catchin' Some Rays

EEKS! What's the matter with that bird, flopped on the ground. Is it sick or injured or something?Well, it's the last week of summer vacation, and most of us want to be outdoors, catching one last bit of sun. These birds are takin' in some rays, too. Yes, American Robins are among the top... read more »

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It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a ... fish?

My wife and I were on a whale-watching boat off Maui in May. I was on the side of the boat, scanning the horizon for birds. It was a pretty quiet day on the water bird-wise, just a White-tailed Tropicbird and Wedge-tailed Shearwater to keep me interested.My wife isn't a birdwatcher but she will... read more »

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