Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

Beavers and Meadows

Viva las vegas!

Viva Las Vegas -- When explorer Antonio Armijo came upon the place in 1829, he found bubbling springs, abundant beavers, and grassy beaver meadows. No casinos. Armijo named the site Las Vegas – Spanish for “the meadows.” Beavers do much to shape the natural landscape. They fell trees along creeks and stack the logs and branches into dams. Before long, they’ve created wetlands that are magnets for nesting birds, from ducks and rails to warblers and blackbirds, like this one. In time, the beavers move on. The ponds fill gradually with soil and organic debris. They give way to marshes, the marshes to wet meadows, which dry a bit and, at last, to fertile expanses of green meadows. Las vegas.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®
 
Beaver Meadows and Las Vegas

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
[A few lines of Elvis Presley singing “Viva, Las Vegas”]
Las Vegas. The name conjures images of casinos and late night reveling. But when explorer Antonio Armijo came upon the place in 1829, he found bubbling springs, abundant beavers, and grassy beaver meadows. The verdant scene prompted Armijo to name the site Las Vegas – Spanish for “the meadows.”
But what do beavers have to do with meadows?
Beavers do much to shape the natural landscape. They fell trees along creeks [Sound of small tree falling] and stack the logs and branches into dams. Before long, they’ve created ponds with marshy edges. The new wetlands become magnets for nesting birds, from ducks and rails to warblers and blackbirds.
[Brief calls of Mallard, Red-winged Blackbird and Yellow Warbler]
In time, the industrious beavers deplete nearby trees and move on to work their magic elsewhere. The ponds they leave behind fill gradually with soil and organic debris. They give way to marshes, the marshes to wet meadows, which dry a bit and, at last, we are looking at what Antonio Armijo saw: fertile expanses of green meadow – beaver meadows. Las Vegas.
So next time you hear Elvis singing Viva, Las Vegas, take a moment to contemplate the beavers who got there first.
[Go out with “Viva, Las Vegas”]

###

Selection of Viva Las Vegas from Viva Las Vegas 2007 Sony BMG.
Sounds of the birds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of Red-winged Blackbird [57196] recorded by W.H. Gunn; quack of female Mallard [3420] by A.A. Allen; Song of Yellow Warbler [130993] by G. Vyn.
Water recorded by Kessler Productions.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org          May 2012     Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#  beavermeadow-01-2012-05-05   




Sights & Sounds

Related topics:

Home
Shows
Galleries
More