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Past Shows

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White-Crowned Sparrow

The White-crowned Sparrow pours out its song over and over on spring and summer days-and even on moonlit nights-often up to 15 times a minute. Now here's a curious thing: Just as people in different regions may have different dialects, White-crowns have different songs, according to where they... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge

An endangered species in the northeastern part of the US, the Roseate Tern survives only with vigilant protection of its remaining nesting sites. One key site is the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut. The refuge's critical habitats help sustain nearly 300 bird species... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Protection Island

Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most important sanctuaries on the planet for nesting marine birds. It lies off the north coast of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula. Over 30,000 Rhinoceros Auklets - like this one - nest on Protection Island, and it's home to a breeding... read more »

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Whistle from the Sky

In its flight display, the male Long-billed Curlew flies up with rapidly beating wings and glides down, then up again and down, stitching a series of arcs across the sky and calling all the time. Their loud flight calls warn of the presence of potential predators. Long-billed Curlews are the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Wilson's Warbler Part IV

A week of non-stop singing attracts a female Wilson's Warbler to the male's territory at the edge of the forest. The female alone builds a nest, concealing it in mossy ground at the base of a shrub, or perhaps in a tussock of grass. She lays four eggs, which she incubates for 12 days. When the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, nesting

Northern Waterthrush

Despite its name, the Northern Waterthrush is really not a thrush: it's a warbler. But unlike most warblers, waterthrushes feed on the ground. They winter in the tropics, where they frequent the edges of ponds and mangrove swamps. Where might you find a Northern Waterthrush? Find out at Cornell's... read more »

The Natural Nestbox

A nestbox is a great asset for a garden. Natural materials are ideal. And no perches, please: they allow invaders to reach the eggs or the young. Place the nestbox well above the reach of predators. Birds - like this Black-capped Chickadee - don't want to draw attention to their nests, so the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

Right Birdhouse, Right Bird

Entice native birds -- including chickadees, nuthatches, and wrens (like this House Wren) -- to your garden with a birdhouse, or nestbox. Here’s the complicated part: you need to determine the size of the entrance hole. And that depends on the bird you want to attract. A smaller hole, around 1-1... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

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 »

RELATED
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

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