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Past Shows

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Northern Goshawk - Esteemed Bird of Prey

The Northern Goshawk is one of the most fearsome and admired of all birds of prey — and the largest hawk of the northern forest. Since at least medieval times, falconers have regarded the goshawk as a bird of great distinction. Attila the Hun even wore its image on his helmet. The boreal forest... read more »

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Spruce Grouse - Designed for the Boreal Forest

In the boreal forest, winter temperatures routinely drop to 30 degrees below zero. Birds that spend the winter in this harsh domain rely on remarkable adaptations to survive. The Spruce Grouse is one such bird. Most Spruce Grouse remain here all year. In the snow-free summer, they forage on the... read more »

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The Legendary Phoenix

The ancient Greeks and Egyptians described a mythical bird called the Phoenix, a magnificent creature that was a symbol of renewal and rebirth. According to legend, each Phoenix lived for 500 years, and only one Phoenix lived at a time. Just before its time was up, the Phoenix built a nest and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

Pigeon Flocks Follow the Leader

The flocking movements of homing pigeons are governed by a pecking order. Higher-ranked birds have more influence over how the flock moves. Leading birds change directions first, and followers swiftly copy the leader's movements. And birds at the front of the flock tend to make the navigational... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  flight

Do Male and Female Birds Always Look Different?

The males and females of many bird species, like these Blue Jays, look identical. And crows, which at least to our eyes, are all the same color and size. But even if we can’t tell male from female, the birds can. Scientists believe crows may be able to tell each other apart by slight variations... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

The Avocets of Bolivar Flats

The shallow waters and wide mudflats of the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary are alive with thousands of gulls, terns, and shorebirds. American Avocets are often among the most abundant birds on the flats, with 5,000 or more here most winters. The avocets have sensitive bills that curve upward.... read more »

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Snow Geese: Too Much of a Good Thing

When small family farms gave way to large, industrial agricultural operations, the Snow Geese followed. Waste grain left over from harvests has allowed Snow Goose populations to jump. Now, there are so many Snow Geese they degrade their Arctic summer habitat, threatening other birds. Is there a... read more »

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Freeway Hawks

Driving the freeway or a narrow country road, you may glance up at a light pole where a large hawk sits in plain view. If it's brown and somewhat mottled, and its small head and short tail make it appear football-shaped, it's probably a Red-tailed Hawk. During winter, many Red-tailed Hawks move... read more »

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Surf Scoters Stand Out

Surf Scoters are large colorful sea ducks. The male Surf Scoter’s huge red-orange bill with its white and black spots really stands out. It is a great tool for eating hard-shelled mollusks like clams and mussels. Surf Scoters spend the winter along the coastlines of North America. Look at the... read more »

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Wilson's Warblers Benefit from Shade-grown Coffee

Early this fall, the tiny Wilson's Warbler began its long migration to Belize, where it winters. Navigating by the stars, the 1/4-ounce bird made a series of night flights spanning more than 2500 miles. This warbler returns to the same coffee plantation each year. Taller trees that shade the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

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