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Escape the daily grind and immerse yourself in the natural world. Rich in imagery, sound, and information, BirdNote inspires you to notice the world around you. Join us for daily two-minute stories about birds, the environment, and more.

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    • Jul 3, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 1m AVG DURATION
    • 854 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from BirdNote

    Summer Tanagers: Wasp Hunters

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 3, 2022 1:45

    Summer Tanagers snatch bees and wasps in mid-air, as they buzz about. Bug in beak, the bird flies to a perch, slams the insect against a branch until it's dead, then wipes it against the branch to remove the stinger before eating it. Summer Tanagers will also tear open paper-like wasp nests to dine on the larvae within. The migratory birds will also eat other insects and spiders, as well as fruits and berries in the summer and over the winter.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Where Birds Sleep

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 2, 2022 1:40

    All birds need to sleep — or at least snooze — sometime during each 24-hour period. And most sleep at night. A bird (such as these Mallard Ducklings) may turn its head around and warm its beak under its shoulder-feathers. Songbirds find a protected perch, sheltered from rain and nighttime predators. Small forest birds often spend the night in tree cavities. Ducks sleep while floating in protected bays.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Music of a Tundra Lake

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2022 1:35

    Many of the waterbirds that winter along the coasts of the Lower 48 spend their summers breeding on tundra ponds and lakes. Loons, grebes, scoters and others call throughout the long summer days. Together, their voices create a symphony that evokes the Arctic north.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Birds That Say Their Own Names

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 1:45

    Some birds, such as the Northern Bobwhite, take their names from their songs or vocalizations: "Bobwhite! Bobwhite!" The Killdeer is another bird named for its song: "Kill-dee, kill-dee, kill-dee." There are others. "Poorwill, poorwill, poorwill" calls this Common Poorwill. This bird is the cousin of the Whip-poor-will, another bird that calls its own name.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Cowbird Mafia

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 1:42

    Brown-headed Cowbirds have a sneaky approach to parenthood. They lay eggs in the nests of other songbirds, and the songbird hosts often raise the cowbird chick as their own. It's called nest parasitism. But sometimes the hosts throw out the odd-looking egg. And when that happens, the cowbirds sometimes retaliate by destroying the hosts' other eggs. Scientists call this “mafia behavior,” likening it to organized crime groups enforcing their demands on unwilling business partners. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Flyin' in the Rain

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2022 1:43

    Most birds are mostly waterproof. Their feathers, aided by oil from preen glands, keep them pretty watertight. So why do birds avoid flying during rainstorms? It may have more to do with the air than with the water. Rainstorms tend to occur when atmospheric pressure is low. Air in a low-pressure system is less dense. But it's dense air that gives birds the aerodynamic lift they need to take wing. Falling rain and high humidity make air even less dense. Many birds perch and wait out a storm. Afterward, birds once again take to the skies. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    The Bustard and the Bee-eater

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 1:45

    The massive Kori Bustard struts across the savannahs of Eastern and Southern Africa. Its crested head sits on top of a long neck and stilted legs. And this winged giant has a colorful companion. A small bird called the Carmine Bee-eater perches on the bustard's back. The Kori Bustard and the Carmine Bee-eater have a symbiotic relationship where at least one of them benefits. While the bustard searches for lizards, rodents, and other prey, it kicks up smaller insects that the bee-eater snatches up. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Killdeer, Master of Distraction

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 26, 2022 1:32

    Since Killdeer don't always pick the safest places to lay their eggs, they've developed a clever way to protect their young. They use the art of distraction. When it spots a predator close by, the Kildeer parent will pretend it has a broken wing - calling loudly and limping along as it stretches out one wing and fans its tail.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Spider Silk - Duct Tape for Bird Nests

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 25, 2022 1:45

    The spider's web is an intricate piece of precision engineering. Made from large proteins, it's sticky, stretchy, and tough. So it's no surprise that many small birds — including this Anna's Hummingbird — make a point of collecting strands of spider silk to use in nest construction. Spider silk not only acts as a glue, holding the nest together, but it's flexible enough to accommodate the growing bodies of nestlings. And it's resilient enough to withstand the bustle of raising those hungry babies.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Reckoning with Audubon's Legacy

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 1:45

    John J. Audubon's name is featured in the titles of many bird conservation groups. The Audubon Naturalist Society, or ANS, is one of the oldest, though not the largest, which is the National Audubon Society. In 2021, ANS, that smaller organization based near D.C., announced that they're retiring the Audubon name, given that Audubon enslaved people and held racist, white supremacist views about Black and Indigenous people. Caroline Brewer, who was integral to this decision, says that name changes like this are an opportunity to accept responsibility for the future and build an environmental movement that includes all people. Learn more on the Bring Birds Back podcast.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    An Indoor Wildlife Adventure

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 1:27

    The video game Alba: A Wildlife Adventure lets you have adventures in a stunning virtual landscape while curled up at home with a cup of hot cocoa. The game puts you in the shoes of a birdwatcher and conservationist on a Mediterranean island. As you traverse the animated ecosystems, listen for the calls of over 50 birds, like the Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Northern Shoveler, and Great Cormorant. The game is available on phones, consoles, or your computer.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Seasonal Flooding of the Amazon

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 1:45

    When it's predictable and wildlife is well adapted, natural flooding can create a biological bonanza. In the Amazon River Basin, which holds one-fifth of the world's fresh water, annual rains can raise water levels 30 to 40 feet in just days. Forests turn into vast lakes, dotted with trees, while a massive push of sediment erects new islands almost overnight. It's a lush world that's home to some of the world's most iconic birds, including toucans, macaws, kingfishers, tiger-herons, and this Russet-backed Oropendola.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    The Dickcissel

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 1:41

    In grasslands of the central U.S., birds called Dickcissels sing a quirky song that “spells out” the syllables of their name. Dickcissels are approachable birds, often chirping away while a person walks nearby. But they're also masters of concealment, hiding their nests from predators in tufts of grass and leafy wildflowers. Dickcissel populations have fallen by 30 percent since the 1960s. Yet the birds persist in searching for places to breed — nesting along roadsides, in pastures, and even in alfalfa fields.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Can Crows Laugh at Me?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2022 1:42

    The American Crow's rattle call is uncommon, and researchers aren't sure what it means. It could be a gathering call, a predator alarm, or a call between mates. But if you hear it, you might think it sounds like cackling laughter. However, no one has identified a crow noise that indicates glee at the expense of another creature. It's just a coincidence that the rattle sounds like a laugh. However, crows can play pranks on other animals: egging on cats to fight and yanking on dog tails for their own amusement. They aren't pranking for survival — as far as we can tell, it's just for fun.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Indigo Bunting - Bird of the Ecotone

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 19, 2022 1:30

    Many birds – like an Indigo Bunting – can be found in ecotones, the borders between two habitats. Indigo Buntings breed in the ecotone between forest and meadow. They are common at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana, where grassland and forest are interspersed to produce superb wildlife habitat.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Which Species of Bird Sings First in the Morning?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 18, 2022 1:42

    The dawn chorus is that time when, just before sunrise, birds begin to sing. One by one, then all together, their voices join to greet the new day. But which bird sings first? The timing of when a bird joins the chorus seems to depend on how well it can see in low light. So the birds with bigger eyes -- like a Gartered Trogon -- start to sing first.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Having Your Tail Scared Off

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 1:45

    When a hawk is about to capture a songbird, the songbird has one last trick: a fright molt. It's when a bird loses feathers due to sudden stress. This usually involves feathers near the tail or rump, where they're most likely to be attacked as they flee. It can be a saving grace when the bird is about to be caught — similar to a lizard dropping its tail. There's a downside to having your tail scared off. A tail helps the bird turn and balance in flight. But if dropping feathers lets the bird live to chirp another day, it's worth it.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Precision Flight in Flocks: How Does It Work?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 1:40

    A flock of shorebirds flying wingtip to wingtip seems to act like a single organism, rolling and twisting in exquisite patterns. Flocks like these use a combination of two organizational patterns. One is a “cluster”: lots of birds flying together in a loose, three-dimensional cloud. The second is a basic V-formation, where smaller groups of birds within the flock sync up in V-shapes, like migrating geese. Voilà! Predator avoidance and aerodynamic efficiency.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    How to Be a Better Wildlife Photographer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 1:45

    Conservation photographer Noppadol Paothong says that if you go out to take pictures of birds, you shouldn't just aim to take an eye-catching photo. He spends long hours in photo blinds, often watching and studying birds rather than photographing them. He has become deeply familiar with some populations of sage-grouse, to the point that he can recognize individuals. Caring about the wildlife you photograph, particularly for rare and declining species, will make you a better photographer, he says. Noppadol strives to highlight the challenges that birds face through his photos and point toward solutions.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Kestrels Love Nest Boxes

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2022 1:30

    This American Kestrel evolved to nest in tree cavities or small caves in cliffs. We humans have made life difficult for kestrels. Development has shrunk the open spaces they need. We've cleared away dead trees they rely on for nests and sprayed pesticides that eliminate the insects the birds eat. But we humans are also in a position to help. Volunteers are helping to build and put up nest boxes, improve habitat, and monitor these cool little falcons. Together, we can #BringBirdsBack.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Komodo Dragons and Cockatoos

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 1:45

    Due to trapping for the pet trade, the talkative and showy Yellow-crested Cockatoo is now considered critically endangered. But scientists recently discovered a stronghold for the species: Komodo Island — yes, the one with the dragons. The Komodo population of Yellow-crested Cockatoos appears stable. The island has been an Indonesian national park since 1980. Park rangers may have helped deter poachers, but community support for conservation and the literal dragons have played a role, too. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Turkey Vulture - Sky Sailor

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 12, 2022 1:41

    Although some of the Turkey Vulture's habits may evoke our disgust, these remarkable birds also inspire our awe. With wingspans approaching six feet, Turkey Vultures ride currents of air to make their spring and fall journeys, and to cover the miles of their home range in summer. Gliding on updrafts, or pushed along by weather fronts, Turkey Vultures rarely need to flap their wings more than ten times in a row. To rise above storms, they ride upward on thermals.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Fairy-Wrens Sing Secret Passwords to Unborn Chicks

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 11, 2022 1:45

    Superb Fairy-wrens teach their embryonic chicks a secret code. This "incubation call" contains a special note that will later serve as a password. When the chicks have hatched, this password enables the adult birds to identify their babies in the darkness of their domed nest. A species of Australian cuckoo lays its eggs in the wren's nest, hoping to pawn off the task of parenting. But wren chicks learn their mother's song and incorporate the password note into their begging calls.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Spark Bird: Meghadeepa Maity

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2022 1:45

    Meghadeepa Maity grew up in India on the outskirts of a city that still had pockets of green space here and there, like their family's garden. They started noticing one bird species in particular that flocked to the garden. With their sister, Meghadeepa searched the web and learned the birds were called Oriental Magpie-Robins. This species helped awaken Meghadeepa to the wider world of birds. Now birding in Massachusetts, they've helped create a project called The Murmuration that crowd-sources info about how to access birding spots. Contributors can share how safe they felt in a place so that other people know what to expect.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 1:45

    The United States is home to more than 550 National Wildlife Refuges - havens for wildlife, including this Canvasback. But only one refuge can claim the distinction of being international: the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. It hosts millions of migratory ducks annually in the heart of a major metropolitan area!More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Tenijah's Birding Journey Continues

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 1:45

    Tenijah Hamilton, the host of the Bring Birds Back podcast, has learned a lot since she started birding at the start of the pandemic. She visited a park to show her mom how much she has grown. At first, the birds were sparse. Overcoming her frustration, Tenijah felt like nature was reminding her of lesson number one: birding is supposed to be fun. And soon their luck changed with a Northern Mockingbird flying by. What's more, Tenijah realized that a birding trip isn't a waste if you're with your people. Hear more about Tenijah's birding journey on Bring Birds Back. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Have You Ever Seen a Pink Gull?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 1:45

    Some gulls and terns may show a glowing pink color, similar to that of flamingos and spoonbills. This pink color comes from pigments in the birds' food called carotenoids. These gulls and terns are able to convert these naturally occurring pigments to hues that may enhance their success at attracting a mate.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Audio Postcard from the Kyiv Zoo

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 1:45

    Today, we're sharing a glimpse of what it was like in mid-March at the bird exhibits in the Kyiv Zoo. Workers at the zoo stayed to take care of the animals during the Russian invasion. They worked long days, doing what it took to keep a zoo running: cleaning stalls and preparing food. They returned to bomb shelters to sleep at night. Julia Vakulenko of the Kyiv Zoo shared recordings of her coworkers caring for the zoo's birds.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Scarlet Tanagers Under the Canopy

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 5, 2022 1:45

    In summer, the forests of the eastern United States are home to a bounty of birds, including this gorgeous Scarlet Tanager, which spends most of the year in tropical South America. The male's body is a dazzling red, in contrast to his black wings and tail. It seems that these boldly colored birds might offer an easy target for a birdwatcher's watchful gaze, but male Scarlet Tanagers can be hard to spot!More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Bonding with Mom Through Birding

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2022 1:45

    In this episode, environmental educator and nature enthusiast Nicole Jackson tells the story of an unexpected backyard birding experience when she visited her mom in 2021. When she arrived, Nicole saw typical birds such as robins and jays, but then saw something less common: a brightly colored Blackburnian Warbler! Nicole's mom asked what she was looking at, and Nicole showed her pictures of all the nearby birds on her phone. Nicole helped her mom create an account on Merlin Bird ID and document her first bird sighting. This week is Black Birders Week. Learn how to participate in Black Birders Week here and by following #BlackBirdersWeek on social media.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Bringing Birding Adventures to Broward County

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2022 1:45

    While Sierra Taliaferro was working as a Naturalists in Broward County, Florida, in 2021, she collaborated with Broward County Library to help enhance the public's knowledge about birding. More people became interested in birding as a safe outdoor activity during the pandemic. Sierra and others designed birding backpacks with field guides and binoculars that could be checked out at 10 libraries throughout the county. Sierra also gave a webinar crash course on how to find birds. The program was a success, with many people checking out the backpacks and creating their own birding adventures.This week is Black Birders Week. Learn how to participate in Black Birders Week here and by following #BlackBirdersWeek on social media.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Dinosaurs in the Here and Now

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 1:45

    In this episode, Adé Ben-Salahuddin, an evolutionary biologist in training, reflects on how his connection with birds has changed over the years. The simple fact that birds are the only living dinosaurs left was what drew him to birds for a long time. He would share that fact with visitors on guided tours of the fossil collections at his local museum. During COVID, the museum closed for renovation, so Adé began working at a warehouse instead, surrounded by the sounds of whirring machines and beeping scanners. More recently, he has been visiting a local pond that hosts many species of birds and has developed an appreciation for them as living dinosaurs.This week is Black Birders Week. Learn how to participate in Black Birders Week here and by following #BlackBirdersWeek on social media.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Urban Birding with Deja Perkins

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 1:45

    In this episode, urban ecologist Deja Perkins talks about how many bird species live right within bustling cities. Whether you're on your porch, at your local park, or the parking lot of your favorite store, you can find birds. Deja suggests taking five minutes to focus your attention on birds. Look up in the sky, along power lines and the tops of buildings. Close your eyes and listen — past the sounds of traffic — for the songs of nearby birds. This week is Black Birders Week. Learn how to participate in Black Birders Week here and by following #BlackBirdersWeek on social media.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org.Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.

    Sheridan Alford on Birding and Mental Health

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 1:42

    Sheridan Alford helps organize Black Birders Week, which celebrates Black people who love birds with a week of interactive events. She's passionate about the mental health benefits of birding, especially for people who have experienced trauma. Sheridan says that sitting and journaling about what you observe can help you feel grounded. Becoming aware of the birds living around you can help you tap into their resilience in a changing world. Learn how to participate in Black Birders Week here.

    Spark Bird: Dara Wilson and the Blue-gray Tanager

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 1:46

    While Dara Wilson was working at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in D.C., she introduced visitors to the Amazonia exhibit. She would describe the song of a bird she'd never had the chance to see in the wild, the Blue-gray Tanager. But when Dara moved to Panama, she heard the song that she knew by heart already. Encountering the Blue-gray Tanager in its natural habitat inspired her to keep learning about birds — and to share that knowledge with others as an educator. Dara helps organize Black Birders Week. Find out how you can participate here.

    The Black Heron

    Play Episode Listen Later May 29, 2022 1:42

    The canopy feeding method used by the Black Heron, also known as the Black Egret, is an impressive trick. It spreads its wings out like it's mimicking an umbrella and waits. Unsuspecting fish think this is shade from vegetation and a safe place to hide — and that is when the bird strikes! This pitch-black heron creates canopies in shallow open waters and seasonally flooded grasslands through Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Culturally, herons are seen as sacred messengers and symbols of prosperity and good fortune. The Black Heron is the bird chosen to represent this year's Black Birders Week, which begins today. Learn how to participate in this year's events here.

    Celebrating Female Bird Day

    Play Episode Listen Later May 28, 2022 1:41

    In 2019, several co-workers at the National Audubon Society formed a team for the World Series of Birding that focused on identifying female birds. Called the Galbatrosses, they sought to highlight how female birds have been understudied and unfairly written off as quieter and less interesting. Since then, the Galbatrosses have led events about IDing female birds and held the first Female Bird Day over Memorial Day weekend in 2020. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Limpkin - Bird of the Swamp

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 1:46

    It's dawn on a spring day in the Big Cypress Swamp of Florida. Mist rises from quiet water into Spanish moss hanging from the cypress branches. A Limpkin is foraging for apple snails. When it touches a big, round shell, it grabs it quickly and pulls it from the water. Then, moving to solid ground, the Limpkin positions the shell, and using the curved tip of its lower mandible, it scissors loose the operculum and pulls out the snail. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Ospreys and Baling Twine

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 1:46

    Each year, two Ospreys known as Charlie and Charlotte nest near the Owl Research Institute in Montana. A webcam of their nest gives people an intimate glimpse into their lives. In 2021, Charlie brought some baling twine into their nest. Baling twine is a plastic string used to bind hay and straw. When brought into a nest, chicks can get fatally tangled — including as many as 10% of Osprey chicks. Fortunately, there are organizations working to protect Osprey chicks from baling twine. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Night Voices - Nightjars

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 1:42

    As darkness descends on a May evening, the voices of many birds go quiet. But for some birds, especially those known as nightjars, the music is just beginning! An Eastern Whip-poor-will shouts out its name. The call of a Common Poorwill echoes across a canyon. A Common Pauraque calls from the thorn scrub. A Buff-collared Nightjar repeats its Spanish nickname, Tucuchillo. And a Chuck-will's-widow like this one calls from a woodland. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Songbirds Teach Each Other Tricks

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 1:46

    In the UK for years, milk came in bottles with foil caps. Great Tits, a common songbird, learned how to peck through the foil. The skill spread. But how? Researchers trained Great Tits in different ways of opening a box and re-released them. Knowledge of how to open the box spread rapidly, with most birds copying the trained bird in their group. In a follow-up study, the researchers made one method of opening the box more effective. Many birds quickly switched to the better method, suggesting the tits can stand up to peer pressure if they see there's a better way of doing things. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Singing Sandpipers

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 1:42

    We've all seen sandpipers foraging busily on mudflats or at the ocean's edge. But this Lesser Yellowlegs often carols from the top of a tall conifer in its nesting territory in Alaska. The name "sandpiper" actually comes from the voices of these birds, rather than from their long-billed probing in the sand. While the name refers in particular to the birds' short "piped" -- or whistled -- calls, a number of sandpipers are surprisingly good singers. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Saving Snags for Red-headed Woodpeckers

    Play Episode Listen Later May 22, 2022 1:38

    Red-headed Woodpeckers excavate cavities in large, dead trees called snags. Yet, over much of the Red-head's range, snags are frequently cut down as unsightly, or because they make good firewood. There are ways we can help the Red-headed Woodpecker -- and many other woodpeckers, too. The key is to leave snags intact. If you must cut down a tree on your property, consider leaving the lower trunk as a snag - a veritable condominium for wildlife!In the meantime, consider creating a nestbox for a woodpecker. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Bird Sound Types and Qualities Part III

    Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2022 1:42

    When it's just too hard to see the bird you hear, let your ears take over! Listen for the qualities of the sound as well as the pattern. A flute-like and upward-spiraling sound is characteristic of this Swainson's Thrush. Quite a contrast to the plaintively whistled notes of a Black-capped Chickadee. Maybe your bird has a raspy quality to its trill, like a Willow Flycatcher, while the ratchety song of a Marsh Wren cuts its way through the dense vegetation of a cattail marsh. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Ridgway's Rails on San Francisco Bay

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 1:46

    Once abundant around San Francisco Bay, the Ridgway's Rail — formerly known as the California Clapper Rail — is now endangered. In the 19th Century, unregulated hunting plundered the species. In the 20th Century, rampant development reduced salt marsh habitat by 85%. But in the 21st Century, the Ridgway's Rail has allies. Restoration is under way to increase healthy saltmarsh habitat for these endangered birds. Also, efforts to control the number of predatory cats are improving the chances for the Ridgway's Rail to survive. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Haley Scott on Leading Bird Walks

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 1:42

    Haley Scott leads bird walks with the Feminist Bird Club in New York City. And she tries to make her walks comfortable for newcomers and experienced birders alike. “We're all in the process together, we're all learning the birds together,” she says. She values the inclusive approach of the Feminist Bird Club and makes sure that participants, especially people from historically excluded backgrounds, feel welcome on her walks. Learn more about the Feminist Bird Club here. 

    Phainopeplas Glisten

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 1:46

    A slim, sleek bird with a spiky crest, Phainopepla comes from the Greek for “shining cloak.” The name refers to the male's glistening, inky black feathers, which are set off by piercing red eyes. And if the Greek name isn't helping you picture it, a common nickname might: the goth cardinal. From February to April, they nest in pairs in the arid Sonoran Desert. From May to July, they form nesting colonies in leafy oak and sycamore canyons to escape the summer heat. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Bring Birds Back Season 2

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022 2:06

    Last year, Tenijah Hamilton discovered her love of birds – and found out that birds are in trouble. On a mission to help bring birds back, Tenijah joined bird enthusiasts from different backgrounds, identities, and communities to learn and share simple, everyday actions people can take to help the birds that bring us all joy. Follow Tenijah's journey as Bring Birds Back returns for a second season on May 18th -  she brings more tips and helpful information about what we can do to make the world a better place for birds and humans.Subscribe to Bring Birds Back

    Preening 101

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022 1:29

    If a bird's feathers get too dried out, they become brittle. To prevent that from happening, most birds have a gland located above the base of the tail that produces oil. They use their beaks to massage oil from the gland into their feathers to keep them supple. A bird first grips a feather in its beak near the feather's base. Then it slides its beak along the length of the feather toward the tip. This action smoothes together the tiny structures—called barbules—that make up the feather, while also removing dirt and small parasites. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Rock Climbing Among the Peregrines

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 1:46

    Eagle Cliff in New Hampshire's Franconia Notch State Park is an important nesting site for Peregrine Falcons. Each year, popular climbing routes in the area close temporarily to give nesting falcons their space. After peregrines disappeared from the northeast due to the pesticide DDT, Eagle Cliff was the first natural rock face to host a successful peregrine nest. Now, state agencies and New Hampshire Audubon work with rock climbing groups to decide when to close cliffs in the summer.  Learn more at BirdNote.org.

    Gannets and Dolphins

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2022 1:42

    Northern Gannets, fish-eating seabirds, dive headfirst into the ocean at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour, pursuing their prey. Sometimes, they get help. Dolphins herd fish into dense, frantic concentrations near the surface, while gannets take advantage and plunge into the shoals from aloft. Scientists call this a multispeciesfeeding association, a frequent phenomenon on the ocean's surface. This may seem like evidence of cooperation between species, but it's more about opportunity. Kittiwakes and gulls, as well as seals and whales, may join in, too. Learn more at BirdNote.org.

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