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Learn from Others

Meet our Environmental Champions

Corbin Klaft - A Friend to the Birds

Nine-year-old Corbin Klaft has a birdfeeder outside his bedroom window. "I want to see the birds, how they hunt and perch, what they do with their feet. The birds come and eat, and I try to identify them." Corbin has an idea for a birdhouse, too. "I'm going to make a regular bird house and then put a shield with a hole in it that predators can't get in." What's one of the best things about watching birds from your room? "It's experiencing nature but not scaring them away!" 

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Mark Borden and the Swallows


Mark Borden of Whidbey Island has invited Violet-green and Tree Swallows to nest in his fence. Why? Originally, it was to control the insects on his horse farm. He once watched as a horse fly flew across the pasture. In came a Tree Swallow, and phwapp! It grabbed that fly! So he built a nestbox out of a leftover piece of horse-fence. Within a day, a pair of swallows moved into it. Mark then figured out how to put a nestbox in a post. Bring on the swallows!

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Landowners Help Endangered Sage-Grouse

When it comes to saving endangered species, habitat is nearly always critical. For this Greater Sage-Grouse, a bird now endangered in parts of its range, it comes down to preserving stands of healthy sagebrush. And essential to saving sage habitat is the cooperation of landowners. Recently, Rob Wesselman and his family placed 1100 acres of their land – home to Greater Sage-Grouse – into a federal conservation program called State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement, or SAFE. Hats off to the Wesselmans and others who manage their land for wildlife conservation! Learn more at

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Bird Scare - Interview with Carl and Rita Comfort

When it’s time to pick their four acres of wine grapes, Carl and Rita Comfort would rather the birds didn’t beat them to it. Without some form of bird control, they could lose about 10% of their harvest. So at their vineyard, Comforts of Whidbey, they broadcast the distress calls of birds, to keep would-be grape-eaters – like these European Starlings – at bay. Before the Bird Scare machine, they tried the blast of a cannon, but you can imagine what the neighbors thought of that. Now, the calls of starlings and robins and a Cooper’s Hawk do the job.

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Chuck Pettis: Earth Sanctuary

At a place called Earth Sanctuary on Whidbey Island in Washington State, Osprey and Song Sparrows raise their young. Swainson’s Thrushes and Yellow Warblers find a welcome refuge when they return from South and Central America. The Wood Duck young  seen here  have a safe place to grow. Chuck Pettis is creating this sanctuary. Chuck’s goal is to create an old-growth forest, so he’s looking ahead 500 years. Learn more at

Hear his full story  >>


How are you making a difference for birds? Leave a comment below or get in touch here. We would love to share your story with other BirdNote listeners.