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Past Shows

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Groove-billed Ani

The Groove-billed Ani's large, laterally flattened bill spits out its sharp, high whistles, slurred whinings, and various squeaks, pips, squeals, and growls. These retiring birds gather in loose groups, nesting communally. As many as four pairs of birds may use one nest, a bulky cup of twigs... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Kent Woodruff and the Townsend's Big-eared Bats

Kent Woodruff is a wildlife biologist with the USFWS in Washington's Upper Methow Valley. He spearheaded the effort, which included The Trust for Public Land, to conserve a colony of rare Townsend's big-eared bats. An old cabin (left) that the bats had used for a nursery was relocated. They also... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Birds Helping People - Vineyards

In some vineyards of Napa and Sonoma Counties in California, owls patrol by night, and kestrels, harriers, and other raptors take the day-watch. They eat the mice, rats, and gophers that nibble on the roots of young grapevines. Other birds help, too, including this Western Bluebird. Wineries put... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  human interaction

Scrub-Jays Plan Breakfast

Caroline Raby and others at Cambridge University conducted experiments with Western Scrub-Jays, playing off the birds' natural tendency to cache food. In the first experiment, the jays cached food in the room where they expected to go hungry the following morning. In the second, they received two... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Bullock's Oriole Weaves a Nest

The Bullock's Oriole is the only member of the oriole family that nests in the Northwest. With a slender, sharply pointed bill, the oriole weaves a marvelous pouch-like nest that hangs suspended from its upper rim. The nest hangs downward four to eight inches. The female weaves together long,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Bullock's Oriole - Blaze of Orange

A dazzling bolt of avian lightning -- a blaze of neon-orange, shooting across a gray, sage-covered hillside on quick wing-beats. It's a Bullock's Oriole, sailing out from its nest among the upper branches of a cottonwood, hunting for insects in the shrubby sage. Bullock's Orioles return north... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Swooping with Swifts

A White-throated Swift twists and turns, sailing through the air on black, scimitar-shaped wings that span 15 inches. Dashing headlong toward an unyielding wall, the bird disappears at the last second into a slender crevice. The White-throated Swift is aptly named. Flying at tremendous speed,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  flight

Peregrines Take Wing

By June, many young Peregrine Falcons are ready to leave the safety of the aerie and go off on their own. A young bird lifts off and heads ... where? With a little luck, the young falcon will make it safely to a nearby ledge, whether cliff or skyscraper. Juveniles stay close to their nesting site... read more »

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Bobolinks

Washington Irving called the Bobolink "the happiest bird of our spring...he rises and sinks with the breeze, pours forth a succession of rich tinkling notes ..." Bobolinks nest in hayfields and grasslands, returning north each spring, all the way from southern South America. Listen to more songs... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  breeding display, vocalization

Red-wings and Yellow-heads

The Red-winged Blackbird is a familiar denizen of cattail marshes throughout Washington. In marshes east of the Cascades, Red-wings must share space with a larger cousin, the Yellow-headed Blackbird. The two species don't share evenly. Zoologist and blackbird expert Gordon Orians writes: "When... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

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