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Past Shows

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The Ballet of the Grebes

When a pair of Western Grebes decides it’s time to mate, they call loudly and approach one another. Each bird curves, then straightens, its long neck gracefully. They then face each other, necks on the water’s surface, their bills flipping up drops of water. If attraction prevails, they rush... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting

Flickers and Buffleheads

After a Northern Flicker carves out a nest cavity, chances are the birds will use the cavity for just one nesting season. But the cavity may have a prolonged career as a home for small owls, bluebirds, swallows, and other birds - including the Bufflehead. Buffleheads - like the family seen here -... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Stand-still Birding

While full-speed-ahead birding can mean spotting a large number of species, there's quiet joy in stand-still birding. Pick a place-forest, field, or marsh. Find a seat that's dry, and hold your binoculars to your eyes. Be still and blend in. After perhaps twenty minutes, birds accept you as part... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Voices and Vocabularies - Songs Long and Short

When a Sage Thrasher, perched on a clump of sagebrush, tips its head back to sing, the notes rush forth. They often sing non-stop for at least two minutes. In stark comparison, the song of this Brewer’s Blackbird lasts barely a second. And the Henslow’s Sparrow values brevity even more. But... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

The Fine Art of Dabbling

Picture this Gadwall duckling swimming slowly across a pond, skimming the water’s surface with its broad, spatulate bill. This behavior is called dabbling. Along with the pond water, multitudes of tiny particles pass through the duck’s bill. Somehow it sorts out and swallows the edible seeds and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Walking to Connect With Nature

Teenager Asher Millikan came home from Vice President Al Gore’s “climate reality” program inspired to share the story of climate change in her own Denver community. She lead a group of people, young and old, on an exploratory walk through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.Learn... read more »

Northern Saw-whet Owl - A Bird with a Lot to Say

For such a small owl, the Northern Saw-whet has a lot to say. And a lot of ways to say it. Males weigh about as much as an American Robin. And they send out at least 11 different calls, including “toot-toot-toot” advertising calls, from late January through May. The rate of calling is partly... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

The Roost That Saved a Refuge

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge was once where some of the country’s dirtiest weapons were produced, like mustard and sarin gas and napalm. The discovery of roosting Bald Eagles in the 1980s helped change the course of this prairie landscape. It started a process of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  human interaction

Lazuli Bunting

With its beautiful colors, the Lazuli Bunting might just have inspired Navajo artists. In summer, these beautiful singers inhabit the brushy canyons east of the Cascades. And where the Lazuli Bunting sings, you'll often hear the music of Vesper Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks. read more »

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Burrowing Owl

The Burrowing Owl is most active during the day. It migrates south for the winter and returns each spring to an ever more uncertain fate. The owl is in serious decline, due to intensive agriculture, urban sprawl, destruction of ground squirrel colonies, and elimination of sage habitats. Support... read more »

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