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Past Shows

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Pelicans Go Fishing

Unlike Brown Pelicans, which dive from above to capture fish, White Pelicans feed by forming a group. They swim in a line, and—while herding a school of fish—all dip their heads at once. The pelican's broad bill spreads its huge pouch, as the bird pushes through the water. As each bird lifts its... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

William Turner and the First Bird Book

The first printed bird book, The Principal Birds of Aristotle and Pliny, was published in 1544. Written by the English physician and naturalist William Turner, the book is noteworthy for its inclusion of Turner’s personal observations — a real innovation at a time when ancient authorities held... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

Montana Grassland Birds - Where They Go in Winter

Some of the most extensive grasslands on the continent remain in Northeast Montana. In winter, these lands lie under windblown snow. But in summer, the grass is verdant and grassland birds abound. Birds such as the McCown's Longspur, the Lark Bunting, and the Willet, like this one. And where do... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Male vs. Female Plumage

The males and females of many bird species, like these Blue Jays, look identical. And crows, which at least to our eyes, are all the same color and size. But even if we can’t tell male from female, the birds can. Scientists believe crows may be able to tell each other apart by slight variations... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

Winter on the Columbia

A stiff December breeze blowing down the Columbia River delivers an exhilarating chill. A stretch of river near Bridgeport, in north-central Washington, is held tightly by a series of dams, creating massive lakes - lakes which, in winter, harbor thousands of water-birds. High on an overlook, a... read more »

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Anniversary of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

December 6th is the anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, designated so in 1960. The Arctic coastal plain is probably the most important place in Alaska for the widest number of avian species - including this Pectoral Sandpiper - and the greatest number of birds. Ironically, that... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  migration, nesting

Snake-Eagles Are Awesome

When a soaring Short-toed Snake-Eagle spots a delicious snake, it swoops down, grabs it with its talons, then tears off the snake’s head. Still on the wing, it swallows the entire snake, head first. Smaller than Bald Eagles, they live mainly in Africa and have legs and toes covered in thick... read more »

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Sandhill Cranes - Interview with Hank Lentfer

Hank Lentfer, author and lifelong Alaskan, helped establish a 4,000-acre refuge for Sandhill Cranes—the Gustavus Forelands Preserve. Today, some 20,000 Sandhill Cranes use the preserve to rest and refuel. Along the way, they've helped Hank make his own journey—one from despair to hope. "It's easy... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Spruce Grouse - Designed for the Boreal Forest

In the boreal forest, winter temperatures routinely drop to 30 degrees below zero. Birds that spend the winter in this harsh domain rely on remarkable adaptations to survive. The Spruce Grouse is one such bird. Most Spruce Grouse remain here all year. In the snow-free summer, they forage on the... read more »

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Paul Bannick and the Polar Bears

Passion and strength of character often define those who go to great lengths to photograph birds. Photographer and naturalist Paul Bannick braved the threat of polar bears, when he went to the Arctic to photograph this Snowy Owl and other birds. You can see more of Paul's photos at PaulBannick.com. read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  photography

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