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breeding display

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher nests in the open country of Texas, Oklahoma, and the south-central region. An elegant bird of pale silver-gray, with a slender, deeply forked tail longer than its body, it has stunning, vivid salmon-pink flanks and underwings. Agile in flight, it can spread and fold... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Kinglet Fireworks

Most of the time, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet is neither ruby nor regal. A tiny songbird washed in faded olive-green, the male shows a hint of crimson atop of his head — hardly a ruby crown. But don’t forsake the kinglet for flashier birds. When courting a female or dueling with another male, the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Light and Song - Sparks in Winter

Even in winter, some birds — including Black-capped Chickadees, House Finches, and American Robins — greet the sunrise with song. We normally hear the dawn chorus in springtime, when birds sing to define territory and attract mates. But birds don’t breed by warmth alone. Day length is a far more... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Woodpeckers - Some of Nature's Finest Drummers

Yikes! What's that bird doing, pounding on my house? In early spring, a male flicker may drum on a metal stovepipe or other resonant surface – a pole, a sign, the trunk of a tree – attempting to attract a mate and proclaim his territory. Many other woodpeckers do the same. Let's look at a few...A... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Capuchinbirds

The peace of the vast Guyanan jungle is abruptly broken with the dawn chorus of male Capuchinbirds, one of the most bizarre birds in South America. The singing male bows forward, then suddenly stretches to his full length, raising a monk-like cowl of feathers around his naked blue-gray head. The... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Cedar Waxwings - Spring Courtship

Frequent photo contributor, Gregg Thompson, writes:"I recently ran into a flock of Cedar Waxwings that seemed to be acting differently than I have seen before. At first, I noticed two individuals on a branch, and one would sort of sidle up to the other one."Cornell's Birds of North America Online... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, photography

The Lark Ascending

In “The Lark Ascending,” composer Ralph Vaughan Williams conjures up a bucolic vision of pastoral England. Small fields, hedgerows, an early summer’s morning. And the display flight of a Eurasian Skylark: Alauda arvensis. The lark — not much bigger than a swallow — has been severely affected by... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, music

Saving the Gunnison Sage-Grouse

The Gunnison Sage-Grouse is one of the rarest birds in the United States. It was only recently acknowledged as its own species, separate from the Greater Sage-Grouse. In November 2014, it was listed as "threatened" under the federal Endangered Species Act. The striking males are consummate... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

BirdNote Moments for May 2014

Listen to the full show, Red Knot Flies to the Moon and Back.Red Knot © Patricia M. González  Listen to the full BirdNote show, A Sailor Finds Companionship in Birds, With Brechin Morgan.Swallow-tailed Gull painting © Brechin Morgan Listen to the full BirdNote show, Snow Melting into... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, recording, reflection

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

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