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Past Shows

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Landowners Help Endangered Sage-Grouse

When it comes to saving endangered species, habitat is nearly always critical. For this Greater Sage-Grouse, a bird now endangered in parts of its range, it comes down to preserving stands of healthy sagebrush. And essential to saving sage habitat is the cooperation of landowners. Recently, Rob... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Millerbirds Return to the Island of Laysan

In September 2011, the research vessel Searcher sailed for Laysan Island from the Hawaiian island of Nihoa. It carried eight biologists from American Bird Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - and 24 Millerbirds. Laysan was once home to Millerbirds, but they disappeared long ago,... read more »

Topics & Themes:  science

Chickadees in Winter

How do Black-capped Chickadees manage to survive the rigors of winter at high latitudes? For survival, chickadees have three things going for them: they're insulated, they're active, and they have a good memory. Thanks to a half-inch coat of feathers, the Black-capped Chickadee maintains its body... read more »


Saving Newell's Shearwaters on Kaua'i

On the north shore of Kaua'i, endangered seabirds called Newell's Shearwaters nest in the mountains. After sunset, shearwaters fly out from the highlands to the ocean, using the moon's reflection on the sea to guide them. But some mistakenly fly toward streetlights, lighted resorts, and even... read more »


David Wingate and the Rescue of the Cahow

Once abundant on Bermuda, Bermuda Petrels - also known as Cahows - were drastically reduced by human harvesting and introduced predators. From the early 1960s and for the next 40 years, David Wingate dedicated his life to helping the Cahow regain a solid foothold. He ran the conservation program... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Kauai O'o, Hawaiian Forest Bird

The Kaua'i O'o, a small forest bird, was once found on the Hawaiian Island of Kaua'i. Sadly, the O'o's song was heard for the last time in 1987. The native birds of the Hawaiian Islands have been hit hard by changes brought about by humans. Habitat destruction, introduction of non-native species,... read more »

Topics & Themes:  vocalization

To a Green Leaf, by Victor Scheffer

Dr. Victor Scheffer, biologist and BirdNote adviser, died this past September, at the age of 104. At the age of 100 he wrote a reflection, To a Green Leaf (abbreviated here). - "With the coming of frost and the long nights, you will die and fall to the ground. Your rusty brown remains will be... read more »

Topics & Themes:  reflection

Lessons from a Career in Seabird Research - Interview with Julia Parrish

We asked Dr. Julia Parrish what lessons she has learned from 20 years of studying seabirds such as Common Murres. Lesson #1: Everybody can get out there and experience nature. It helps to define who you are and your part in the world. Lesson #2 is a conservation lesson. We have lots of impacts on... read more »

Topics & Themes:  science

Christmas Bird Count 2011

In the year 1900, the holiday season was approaching. With that would come the Christmas "Side Count," when, by tradition, you'd go out and shoot as many birds as you could. But a birder named Frank Chapman proposed that people go out and count birds, instead. Today, the Christmas Bird Count is... read more »

Topics & Themes:  citizen science, science

When Birds Ruled the Earth

A bird known as Titanis walleri made its home in Florida just a few million years ago. Titanis, as its name suggests, was titanic indeed - a flightless predator, ten feet tall, with a massive hooked bill. Titanis and other birds related to it belong to a group some paleontologists call the ... read more »

Topics & Themes:  fossil, science