Birds connect us with the joy and wonder of nature. By telling vivid, sound-rich stories about birds and the challenges they face, BirdNote inspires listeners to care about the natural world — and take steps to protect it.
As listeners tune in to the lives of birds, their connection with nature deepens. They become champions for conservation and stewards of places important to birds and people.
Commitment to Centering Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility
BirdNote operates on the simple premise that the joy of birds is a unifying force between people of all walks of life. In January 2022 the BirdNote Board of Directors unanimously adopted our policy on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility. Read the full policy here.
What We Do
BirdNote is an independent nonprofit media production organization that brings joy, inspiration, and hope to millions of people around the world who value birds and the environment we share. Our flagship program, BirdNote Daily, is a two-minute show broadcast on over 250 public radio stations, via podcast, online at BirdNote.org, and through social media. The show is provided to online listeners and to public radio stations for free. Find out if your local station broadcasts BirdNote Dailyhere.
We currently produce the longform podcasts Threatened and Bring Birds Back. Previously produced programs include the podcasts Sound Escapes and BirdNote Presents, special audio series Alex Chadwick Goes to Big Bend National Park, videos like Rules for the Black Birdwatcher, with J. Drew Lanham, resources for educators, and more.
BirdNote conservation partners help inform our programming and offer opportunities for listeners to get involved in bird conservation and habitat preservation. Click here for a full list of our environmental partner organizations. Most of the sounds in BirdNote shows come from the Macaulay Library wildlife media archive at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Hundreds of photographers have generously shared their photos since BirdNote began in 2005.
In 2004, Chris Peterson, Executive Director of Seattle Audubon, had a big idea to put short stories about birds on public radio. Chris engaged writers to craft compelling stories about the intriguing ways of birds, ornithological advisors to ensure scientific accuracy, and a team of experts to bring the show to life. Advisors from Western Washington NPR affiliate KPLU 88.5 FM (now KNKX 88.5 FM), along with Seattle-area benefactors, brought BirdNote to the airwaves. KPLU aired the first BirdNote show, Bald Eagle, A National Symbol, on February 21, 2005. Given BirdNote’s success in the Puget Sound region — and the possibility of nationwide expansion — BirdNote became a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2006.
BirdNote grew from four stations in 2007 to where we are today, a national public radio show and with an expanding slate of podcasts and digital media offerings. As we celebrate 18 years of inspirational storytelling in 2023, we honor the people who launched the organization and the many thousands of contributors, supporters, and listeners who have contributed to our success. Thank you for caring about birds and the future of our fragile natural world.