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Past Shows

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The Call of the Gull

As we ponder the wonders of bird sounds, how many of us think of gulls? Are gulls underrated as singers? We may be more inclined to prize gulls for their ability to catch French fries in mid-air along the waterfront. But they are actually quite accomplished vocalists. The Glaucous-winged Gull's ... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, vocalization

The Birthday of John James Audubon

April 26th is the birthday of John James Audubon, woodsman, naturalist, and painter. He included 435 birds - including this Barn Swallow - in his monumental Birds of America. In A Book of Americans, Rosemary and Stephen Vincent Benet wrote about Audubon: "Some men live for warlike deeds, Some for... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

Horned Lark

A high-pitched, tinkling birdsong rings across the open, grassy expanse of a field. The song comes from above, as a male Horned Lark hovers on fluttering wings, circling a hundred feet above the ground. Although a locally common nester in some open habitats of the West, the population in general... read more »

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Earth Day 2009

Northern Bobwhite ... Evening Grosbeaks ... Boreal Chickadees ... Common Terns ... and Northern Pintails, like this one ... the populations of all are in decline, mostly due to habitat loss. On Earth Day, join those who are finding ways to conserve the natural resources that sustain the full... read more »

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Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler

Warblers can be hard to spot. But unlike many warblers that ply the tops of the trees, the Yellow-rumped Warbler is happy filtering through the lower branches of trees, providing flightless mortals with half a chance of seeing it. The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of the most common warblers... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ornithology

Parking Lot Birds

You can find birds nearly everywhere. Even parking lots. Next time you're at a mall, grab a coffee, take a seat outside, and look around you. How many different species of birds can you see? Crows and gulls command the rooftops. Rock Pigeons abound. A European Starling-like this one-picks up the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Sandpiper Bills

Many sandpipers have sensitive nerve receptors in their bill tips, so they can find unseen prey through touch, odor, and pressure changes - and so, feed even at night. This Long-billed Curlew (in back) sports a slender, down-curved bill that may reach nine inches long. The Bar-tailed Godwit (in... read more »

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Wood Duck

The Wood Duck was once the most abundant duck east of the Mississippi River. But the draining of wetlands, forest fragmentation, and market hunting caused serious declines in their numbers. In 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act banned hunting of Wood Ducks for 23 years. Federal regulation and... read more »

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Thirsty Rufous Hummingbird

Hummingbirds need to consume five times their body weight each day. This Rufous Hummingbird of the West is looking for flowering plants to quench that mighty thirst on its spring migration. A feeder would work, too. Put a hummingbird feeder up in your yard, and see who turns up! read more »

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Interview with Jeff Wells

Dr. Jeff Wells, senior scientist with the Boreal Songbird Initiative, has published The Birder's Conservation Handbook. With profiles of 100 North American birds at risk, Dr. Wells also offers suggestions that can help stem the decline of birds - including this White-throated Sparrow - which nest... read more »

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