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Past Shows

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Why Act on Behalf of Other Species?

With so many pressing human needs in the world, for food, water, and places to live, why should we act on behalf of the wellbeing of other animals? For George Archibald of the International Crane Foundation, it’s a matter of ethics."How can the basic needs for humans be met, and how can the basic... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Peacocks in India

Peacocks have been domesticated for thousands of years and now occur everywhere in the world. But to see wild peacocks, you'll need to go to India and Sri Lanka. Where hunted, peacocks are shy and rarely seen, and give loud alarm calls when startled. Where protected, however, they become as tame... read more »

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Decoy - Shrike Trickery

Northern Shrikes are unapologetically cool, with their black masks, elegant gray plumage, and predatory lifestyle. But these little raptors, although technically songbirds, sometimes sound less than appealing. Two species of shrike — the Loggerhead and the Northern — are widespread in North... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Dippers on the Elwha

In 2014, the dams on the Elwha River in Washington State were removed. As the river ran free again, salmon from the Pacific were able to spawn upstream for the first time in 100 years, dramatically improving conditions for American Dippers. Recent research has demonstrated that birds with access... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  ecology

Beaks and Grosbeaks

Beaks suited for opening tough, hard seeds—thick, conical beaks—evolved in more than one lineage of birds. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are related to cardinals, which also have powerful beaks. Evening Grosbeaks belong to the finch family, which includes goldfinches and crossbills—an entire family of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ornithology

Mother Birds

Happy Mother's Day, from the whole BirdNote team!Avian motherhood is a mixed bag. Peregrine Falcon mothers share duties fairly equally with Peregrine dads. At the other end of the spectrum is the female hummingbird, which usually carries the entire burden of nesting, incubating, and tending the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

Gulls or "Seagulls"?

Gulls seem so much a part of the sea that we often just call them "seagulls," a colloquial title for these graceful, ubiquitous creatures. Twenty-two species breed in North America. The Pacific coast is home to the aptly named Western Gulls. The familiar Ring-billed Gull nests all across the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ornithology

Great Horned Owl III

This Great Horned Owlet - about 2-1/2 months old and already as big as its parents - is quite well feathered, although its underparts remain downy. Its wing and tail feathers are developing nicely, and it has begun to make short flights. By mid-May, the owlet still relies almost entirely on its... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

Beavers and Meadows

Viva Las Vegas -- When explorer Antonio Armijo came upon the place in 1829, he found bubbling springs, abundant beavers, and grassy beaver meadows. No casinos. Armijo named the site Las Vegas – Spanish for “the meadows.” Beavers do much to shape the natural landscape. They fell trees along creeks... read more »

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Common Eiders Favor Close Relatives

Some species of birds try to save energy by tricking others into incubating their eggs. After studying the nests of Common Eiders, researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden determined that trickery among close relatives of the nest owners caused no aggression. But the attempts of... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

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