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Past Shows

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Rock Sandpipers Are Tough - Homer Spit Christmas Bird Count

It's winter on Homer Spit in southern Alaska, and Rock Sandpipers feed along the gravelly shore. These small shorebirds scurry this way and that, probing into the gravel and seaweed. Anything that moves is fair game, especially amphipods, the little crustaceans that hop about when exposed. The... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, citizen science

The Rooster

The chicken is perhaps the most widespread avian species in the world - and the exotic Red Jungle Fowl is the ancestor of the hybrid Araucana and Rhode Island Red. Scientists postulate that chickens were first domesticated from jungle fowl in India, about 5,000 years ago. Traders and travelers... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history, science

Recording the Araripe Manakin, With Gerrit Vyn

Near the city of Crato in northeastern Brazil lives a critically endangered little bird — the Araripe Manakin. It’s a little larger than a sparrow, it’s beautiful, and it lives on the slopes of a very small area in the Araripe Plateau. And because the Araripe Manakin wasn’t discovered until the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography, recording

Winter - Nature's Cold Storage

For birds and other animals with good natural insulation, winter provides a striking benefit as they scavenge. Bacteria function very slowly or not at all in the cold, preventing dead bodies from rotting. In northern latitudes, ravens and other scavenging birds take advantage of winter's cold... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Screech-Owls Go Fishing

Screech-owls are opportunistic diners. In the Pacific Northwest, they’ll prey on small birds, crayfish, large ants, or earthworms. In Arizona, pocket mice and pack rats. And in Ohio, biologists who noticed a fishy smell around Eastern Screech-Owl nest boxes found the remains of dozens of shad. It... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, ornithology

Terry Tempest Williams Reads from Refuge

Author Terry Tempest Williams, having lost her mother to cancer, begins to mend in the company of birds and nature. Here is a paraphrase from Terry's book, Refuge: There is a holy place in the salt desert, where egrets hover like angels. It is a cave near the lake where water bubbles up from... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Christmas Bird Count - Join In!

During late December, birders go out counting every bird that hops, swims, flies, or soars into view, as they have for more than 100 years. Audubon chapters across the United States and elsewhere sponsor the Christmas Bird Count, or CBC. Learn about the history of the Christmas Bird Count. Join... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, citizen science

Searching for the Araripe Manakin, With Gerrit Vyn

Gerrit Vyn is a sound recordist for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He recently traveled to northeastern Brazil’s Araripe Plateau in search of the Araripe Manakin, a beautiful white bird with dark wing-tips and tail-feathers — and a deep red hood. The Araripe Manakin is critically endangered, in... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  human interaction, photography, recording

Northern Saw-whet - The Christmas Tree Owl

Christmas tree plantations may not be the best habitat for wild birds, but they do hold an attraction - for Northern Saw-Whet Owls. These miniature owls seem to feel at home in the small evergreens. And when the birds are spotted, they're most likely to remain motionless rather than fly away. So... read more »

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Crested Caracara

The Crested Caracara, one of North America's most charismatic birds of prey, is common in Texas, and an isolated population lives in Florida. They stride through the grass on long legs, as they hunt for small animals of all kinds. Many Mexicans honor the caracara as their national symbol,... read more »

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