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birdwatching

Identifying a Bird in Flight

One of the most difficult skills to pick up as a birdwatcher is how to identify birds in flight. You have to sort through a series of visual clues all at once, at high speed: silhouette, wing shape, how fast it flaps, and patterning. An experienced birder will take in all these and other clues... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Western Hummingbirds, East

Not long ago, the only hummingbird that someone living in the eastern United States and Canada could hope to see was the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. But things have changed. Today, more and more hummingbird species — such as this Broad-tailed Hummingbird — have been discovered beyond their “normal... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

BirdNote Fans’ Favorite Backyard Birds

BirdNote asked listeners to tell us about their favorite backyard birds. The responses ranged from bluebirds and hummingbirds to raptors and thrushes. But chickadees received the most votes for their charm, energy, and "polite" behavior. Here are a few of the responses from BirdNote fans... read more »

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Drew Lanham - Why I'm a Birder

This interview comes to you through a partnership between BirdNote and Audubon.Audubon offers a series of reflections on Why I'm a Birder.For ornithologist Drew Lanham, it started with the (in)ability to fly.I’ve always wanted to fly. I spent my earliest years climbing, leaping, running, and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching

Why Should You Care About Birds?

Gordon Orians, BirdNote science advisor and blackbird expert, believes we should appreciate nature “simply because of its intrinsic wonder.” He says, “Often people would ask me, 'What good are blackbirds?’ and I would sometimes answer by saying, 'Well, what good is a symphony orchestra?' It turns... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, reflection, science

BirdNote Trip to Cuba (Oct 19-26)

Cuba was the destination for BirdNote's first international trip in October 2015. I don't think we could've picked a better location. Nor could we have picked a better group of 18 participants.We had a well-balanced itinerary that exposed our group to the arts, food, culture, natural spaces, and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching

Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers

These Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers appear nearly identical, but the Hairy Woodpecker is larger than the Downy, with a distinctly longer bill. And it doesn't have the black spots on its outer tail feathers like the Downy. But even if you can’t observe these spunky birds, you can identify them by... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, birdwatching by ear, sound

Biking Thousands of Miles ... for Birds

11,500That's how many miles Dorian Anderson had biked when I met him on the coast of Washington State in late August. He'd averaged nearly 50 miles a day since he started from his home state of Massachusetts on the morning of January 1. The weather on his first day was freezing with a stiff wind ... read more »

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Duck Stamps: Not Just for Hunters

In the mid-1980s, my mother became one of the first employees of the Seattle Audubon Society. I was about six years old at the time, and I consequently spent the most impressionable years of my childhood around people who loved birds. They loved birds so much that they volunteered their time not... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, environmental champion

Advice to Beginning Birders from David Sibley

David Sibley, creator and illustrator of The Sibley Guide to Birds, offers this advice for learning to identify birds such as this Warbling Vireo: “Spend time at home, paging through the field guide . . . by flipping through the pages of the book and looking at pictures and reading the names, you... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, environmental champion

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