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Past Shows

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Magnificent Frigatebird Drum Roll

Magnificent Frigatebirds are huge, gangly seabirds found around the warm waters of the Western Hemisphere. When it comes time to mate, males inflate giant red throat sacs, then rattle and drum their bills against them to create jazzy percussive sounds.Today's show brought to you by the Bobolink... read more »

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Common Nighthawk, Uncommon Sound

Swooping and diving through the air on its long slender wings, the Common Nighthawk emerges at dusk to chase down aerial insects. Nighthawks have short bills that open wide, so they can vacuum up their insect prey as they fly along. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

The Sneeze of the Willow Flycatcher

Willow Flycatchers arrive later than most other migrants, usually at the end of May. They're coming from South America, a long way to fly for a bird that weighs less than half an ounce. A male Willow Flycatcher aggressively defends its territory against other males and soon attracts a mate. Their... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Marsh Voices at Sunrise

In marshes across the country, birds awaken on a summer morning. Tall dense grasses and reeds often make marsh birds hard to see, but their voices carry easily across the lush, green landscape. You can hear birds like the Redhead, the Sora, the American Bittern, the Ruddy Duck, this Yellow-headed... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

White Ibis's Tricky Nesting Schedule

For many birds, breeding and nesting are tied closely to spring. But for a bird like the White Ibis — one of the most abundant wading birds in the Southeast — the timing of nesting has to do with water. White Ibises forage in shallow pools of fresh water, especially for crayfish and small crabs.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Double-jointed Hawks and Convergent Evolution

Crane Hawks of Central and South America and African Harrier-Hawks both have legs that bend forward and backward. Each bird’s wonderfully peculiar leg adaptation is completely original - it evolved all on its own - even though the end result is the same. Scientists call this convergent evolution. read more »

An Albatross Surfs the Wind

By moving from the faster high air to slower low air, or vice versa, an albatross can propel itself forward. In a series of sinuous loops, the albatross surfs the wind, up and down, repeating the pattern over and over again as it moves thousands of miles across the ocean. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  flight

Night Singers

A bird like the Whip-poor-will is a true night bird – feeding, and mating, and nesting in the dark. But for about a week each spring, male Yellow-breasted Chats also sing in the darkness as they call out to the arriving females — their potential mates. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Mountain Walk with Bird Songs

A hike through the mountains of the West, from the lowlands to the rocky alpine zones, reveals an incredibly diverse array of beautiful birds: Swainson’s Thrushes, Pine Grosbeaks, American Pipits and so many more to be found. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, vocalization

Double Yolks

When young hens begin laying at five or six months, their ovaries aren’t fully in synch. So every hundred or so eggs, they release two yolks instead of one. Double-yolk eggs are usually a little bit larger than average, so if you’re looking to get one, try buying the extra-large or jumbo eggs at... read more »

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