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Past Shows

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Diving Birds – Below the Surface

By December, an array of diving birds that nested at far northern latitudes are wintering on temperate waters across the continent. If we could watch them under water, we'd see this Common Loon racing like a torpedo. A goldeneye dives under water and swims about 10 feet from the surface, while... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas began as a French love song. The song's age is uncertain, but likely dates to at least the Sixteenth Century. A woman's generous "true love" delivers gifts over the twelve days. The first seven days' gifts are all birds. The "five gold rings" were gold Ring-necked... read more »

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Dona Nobis Pacem - Peace on Earth, from the Birds

Doves symbolize peace on earth, goodwill to all.BirdNote celebrates the season with a version of Dona Nobis Pacem, arranged and played by Nancy Rumbel. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  music

Why Some Birds Sing in the Winter

By late January, some resident birds, such as the Northern Mockingbird, are beginning their spring singing. When you step outside on a particularly sunny day this winter, a Fox Sparrow like the one pictured here may be warming up for the coming spring. And as far north as British Columbia,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Following the Honeyguide

The Greater Honeyguide's demanding call is not aimed at a member of its own species. Instead, the bird guides people in search of honey through the forest, directly to bee hives. The bird flies to a colony of bees living in a hollow tree. The human follower exposes the hive with an ax and takes... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  ecology

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

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