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Past Shows

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Burrowing Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher dashes through the air, warning intruders with its rapid-fire, rattling call. In spring, the best places to see Belted Kingfishers are along sandy banks -- they are busy digging burrows, where they will nest. The holes typically reach three to six feet into the bank, but... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Learning to Listen - Patterns in Songs of the Song Sparrow

Heidi Hoelting, a musician, listens carefully to the songs of birds. In her piano studio at her home in the woods, she wrote down several variations of the different sounds a Song Sparrow makes. In this BirdNote, Nancy Rumbel plays some of those variations on a bamboo whistle. Listen to all... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  music, vocalization

Cactus Wren Nest Orientation

Cactus Wrens, which may nest several times between March and September, carefully orient their nests in tune with the season. These bulky twig structures have a side entrance that curves toward the inner chamber. When building a nest for the hot months, the wren faces the opening to receive the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Sound Escapes - The Auditory Horizon

Looking out from a tall mountain on a clear day, you might be able to see for dozens of miles. Expansive, scenic views are treasured for their beauty — but what about being able to hear over long distances? For that, the ideal location is wide open prairie, like Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording

Remembering Mary Oliver

On January 17, 2019, renowned American poet Mary Oliver passed away. She was known for her beautiful writing about the natural world. We spoke with poet Traci Brimhall about Oliver's passing and asked her to read the first poem she ever memorized, Wild Geese. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Restoring the Land - An Interview with Susan Freeman

Aldo Leopold, in A Sand County Almanac, described his family's efforts to restore their land to its natural state. Leopold's granddaughter, Susan Freeman, a piano teacher in Seattle, inherited that land ethic. When offered the chance to help restore a watershed on Western Washington's Olympic... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Tricolored Blackbirds Face the Future

Tricolored Blackbirds nest primarily in California, but smaller groups breed from the state of Washington to Mexico’s Baja California. They look a lot like Red-winged Blackbirds, except Tricolored males have dark red epaulets and white bars on their wings instead of scarlet epaulets and yellow... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Sound Escapes - Our Listening Guide

Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park, just a few miles north of the Canada/US border... To be heard over the loud winds, birds like this Chestnut-collared Longspur need to have a wide dynamic range. But even with their many adaptations, bird songs are most plentiful when the wind is the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording

High Island - Migration on the Gulf

If you're near High Island, Texas in the spring, you might witness a "fallout," one of the great spectacles of bird migration. Thousands of birds, including Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, orioles, Painted Buntings, and warblers of all kinds, as well as tanagers and Indigo Buntings, like this one, drop... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

The Colors of Chicken Eggs

Except around Easter, chicken eggs usually come in a predictable range of colors: white, brown, and sometimes pale blue or green. Chickens are descended from the Red Jungle Fowl of Southeast Asia, which has been providing eggs for humans for thousands of years. The final color of an egg comes... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

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