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birdwatching by ear

Q&A with Drew Lanham

The Story Behind Rules for the Black BirdwatcherA Q&A with Drew Lanham, by Jenn DeanWhen Clemson professor and wildlife biologist, Dr. J. Drew Lanham, agreed to do a video for BirdNote, we had no idea of the reach the story would have. Based on a column that originally appeared in Orion... read more »

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Drew Lanham Talks About "Rules for the Black Birdwatcher"

When Clemson professor and wildlife biologist, Dr. J. Drew Lanham, agreed to do a video for BirdNote, we had no idea of the reach the story would have. Based on a column that originally appeared in Orion Magazine, “Rules for the Black Birdwatcher” sparked a conversation that continues a year and... read more »

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Late Fall Sounds to Listen For

By the time November rolls around, the bird songs of summer can seem a distant memory.But there’s always something to listen for. Small birds like chickadees and kinglets, including the Golden-crowned Kinglet pictured here, often mix in flocks while foraging. Geese can be heard overhead in the... read more »

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BirdNote Fans’ Favorite Backyard Birds

BirdNote asked listeners to tell us about their favorite backyard birds. The responses ranged from bluebirds and hummingbirds to raptors and thrushes. But chickadees received the most votes for their charm, energy, and "polite" behavior. Here are a few of the responses from BirdNote fans... read more »

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Listening to Nuthatches

Nuthatches rank high on the list of favorite backyard birds. Compact and stub-tailed, they climb down tree trunks and along the underside of branches with comical ease. One at a time, they flit in for suet and sunflower seeds. But out in the woods, where they spend most of their time, nuthatches... read more »

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Birds That Whistle

Many bird songs are rich and complex, difficult to remember, and nearly impossible to imitate. Some species' songs, however, sound as if they could have been whistled by a human. These simpler, pure-noted songs are some of the most familiar and easy to remember. These songs -- including the "pee... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching by ear, vocalization

Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers

These Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers appear nearly identical, but the Hairy Woodpecker is larger than the Downy, with a distinctly longer bill. And it doesn't have the black spots on its outer tail feathers like the Downy. But even if you can’t observe these spunky birds, you can identify them by... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, birdwatching by ear, sound

Night Voices of Summer

At the close of a summer day, the songbirds go silent. As if on cue, the birds of the night make their voices known. In an Eastern woodland, the eerie trills and whinnies of an Eastern Screech-Owl are among the first sounds of the night. Meanwhile, as night falls west of the Rockies, the Western... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching by ear, sound, vocalization

Black-headed Grosbeak Sings!

The song of this male Black-headed Grosbeak has been described as that of a drunken or scat-singing robin. Compare the songs of both birds, and draw your own conclusion! Singing Black-headed Grosbeaks can be heard from May well into summer, especially in streamside woods. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching by ear, sound

Tweets 'n' Squawks: Learn How to Identify Birds by Song

Nothing signals spring quite like singing birds. As the length of days increase, male birds begin to sing to protect their territories from neighboring males and advertise their presence to nearby females. In spring, those males are vibrantly colored and may be easy to see, because they... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching by ear, sound, vocalization

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