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Past Shows

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Seagull Calling Contest

There are more than two dozen species of gulls living in North America. Some people might dismiss them as just “seagulls.” But not the people of Port Orchard, a small town on Washington State’s Puget Sound. Each year, hundreds of people gather at the town’s waterfront in late May for the annual... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival, humor, vocalization

Is It the Same Robin?

Autumn brings robins to feed on tree fruit and berries. Are the robins you see now the same robins that you saw in your garden last summer? Some robins do remain year 'round. Others spend only the winter, having nested farther north. John James Audubon may have been the first to band birds, in... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, nesting

Open the Door - Barry Lopez

Barry Lopez, in his story Emory Bear Hands' Birds, wrote "Every person...had an animal companion, a sort of guardian. Even if you never noticed it, the animal knew." We know nature has the power to heal and restore. How are you connected to the natural world? Is there a child you could introduce... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Cacklers and Canadas

Although it was once considered a diminutive form of Canada Goose, genetic research has shown the Cackling Goose to be a separate species. Its small voice fits nicely its small size. Cacklers breed along the coast of Alaska and winter from Washington south to Mexico. Watch for both species - and... read more »

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Woodpeckers Carve Out Roost Cavities, Too

In spring, we often hear woodpeckers hard at work, carving out nest holes in tree trunks. And now that fall has arrived, we may hear that excavating sound again. Some woodpecker species stay year round in the region where they nest, while others migrate south in winter. Those that remain, like... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

The Moon of Falling Leaves

The Cree called the full moon in October "The Moon of Falling Leaves." It's almost time to stow the tools and put the garden to bed for the winter. When the trees lose their leaves, you can see the nests of summer. It's a good time to prune trees, because you won't disturb nesting birds. If you... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening, nesting

Here Come the Merlins

Smaller than a pigeon — but fierce enough to knock one from the air — are the powerful, compact falcons known as Merlins. Climate change is pushing ranges of many birds farther north, but more and more Merlins have been nesting farther south, in towns and cities across the northern United States.... read more »

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Purple Martins Head South to the Amazon

The Purple Martin is the largest swallow that nests in the US and Canada. It’s also one of our most beloved birds, judging by how many people put up nest boxes for them! During fall, Purple Martins from western North America migrate to a distinct wintering area in southeastern Brazil — a travel... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Clean Nestboxes in October

It’s a beautiful moment when your backyard birds — like these Black-capped Chickadees — depart their nestboxes. By October, it’s time for one last duty as nestbox landlord: to clean it out. Cleaning will reduce the incidence of parasites in the box and make it more inviting to next spring’s... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Rufous-collared Sparrow - Tico-Tico

The song Tico-Tico no Fuba, like Carmen Miranda, came to us from Brazil. Believe it or not, the song is about a bird. The Portuguese lyrics tell the story of the tico-tico, a local name for the Rufous-collared Sparrow. Like so many birds, tico-tico was named for its song. In the song, the bird... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  music

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