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Past Shows

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HawkWatch 2010

Chelan Ridge, at 5,000 feet, in the Cascade Mountains... Overhead, a Red-tailed Hawk catches an updraft as it migrates south. It's one of 14 North American fall raptor migration sites monitored by HawkWatch International. The HawkWatch project identifies and counts hawks, eagles, and vultures,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science, migration, science

Flying South with Pacific Golden-Plovers

In September, a Pacific Golden-Plover wings its way toward the Hawaiian Islands, where it will spend the winter. Its wings span a full two feet. The plover fueled up for migration by plucking summer berries from its Alaskan tundra breeding grounds, storing fat for its 2500-mile flight. After 48... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Wilson's Warbler Migration

The Wilson's Warbler is soon to head south, not to return until spring, one of many songbird migrants returning to the Central American tropics for the colder months. He will fly after dark to avoid the threat posed by hawks and falcons. He'll take up precisely the same winter quarters as he did... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Wandering Tattlers Hit the Coast

This dusky forager among the mussels and barnacles goes by the curious name of Wandering Tattler. It was likely named for the notion that its rapid whistles alert other birds to the presence of a hunter, or other predator. And while it's not certain that the sandpiper actually "tattles," it truly... read more »

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Shorebirds Fly South

The southward migration of plovers and sandpipers – including these Dunlin – is a protracted affair, spanning up to five months. First to come south are post-breeding adults. In August and September, this summer's hatchlings pass through. Others arrive in October; and some stay right through the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

What Bird Has the Coolest Song?

There are more than 10,000 species of birds in the world, and each has a unique song. When we recently asked, "Which bird makes the coolest sound?" over 50 species were nominated! So which bird received the most votes? The Common Raven landed at number three, with the Western Meadowlark just... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Martyn Stewart Part I

We owe a lot to the nature recordists who travel the world to document the calls and songs of birds. Recordist Martyn Stewart describes how he obtained the call of a Rough-legged Hawk (like this one), which nests on the tree-less Arctic tundra: "I had seen this on the Arctic National Wildlife... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording, sound

Great Horned Owl Menu

Great Horned Owls stalk their prey from perches, while gliding on silent wings, even while walking on the ground. Their prey ranges in size from crickets to turkeys. They take skunks, marmots, muskrats, and house cats. Mink and jack rabbits are on the menu, as is the occasional porcupine. Birds... read more »

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Pelagic Birding Trip

If you want to see an albatross, you'll have to go offshore. Our goal lies west: the edge of the Continental Shelf, 35 nautical miles away. In the pelagic realm, we pass among thousands of shearwaters, migrating south to nest near New Zealand, in the austral summer. Someone shouts "Albatross!"... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, flight

Frantic Fowl from Guinea

When you encounter a flock of wild guineafowl anywhere from Senegal to South Africa, they will usually be running, squawking as they go, obviously panic-stricken about something. Guineafowl are funny-looking birds, and their actions and calls are even funnier. These are calls of alarm, warning... read more »

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