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Past Shows

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Bufflehead, Never Still

The male Bufflehead performs his extravagant courtship display often. He swims toward the female, bobbing his head up and down at a speed that makes you fear for his neck. He takes off and flies over her with head held low. Then he lifts his head, raises his bushy crest, and skis back on to the... read more »


Dawn Song, Spring Equinox

As the first rays of sunlight fill the trees on a spring morning, a symphony of birdsong erupts. As early morning light extinguishes the stars, male birds begin to belt out their songs. One of the magical gifts of observing birds is to hear the dawn song in spring. Early in the morning, warblers,... read more »

Topics & Themes:  reflection, vocalization

Wilson's Warbler Part III

Back in September, BirdNote began following a tiny Wilson's Warbler as it migrated south to the tropics. We visited the warbler again in December, on its wintering grounds on a shade-grown coffee farm in Belize. As April arrives, the sprightly bird is migrating northward, with males typically... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration

Greater Prairie-Chicken

The evocative, booming voices of male Greater Prairie-Chickens displaying at dawn were once heard throughout the American Midwest. On its courtship lek, the male bird puffs out the great orange air-sacs at the side of its neck. He erects and flares his tail. His wings droop, but the neck tufts... read more »


Birds See Better

Birds see better than we do. Birds see objects in fine detail, two-and-a-half to three times farther away than we can. Their eyes have the most highly developed retina of any animal. Avian sensitivity to the spectrum of light is far beyond ours. This Eurasian Kestrel uses its ability to see... read more »


Master Gardeners Can Help

The Master Gardener program began in 1972, and is now active in 50 states and several other countries. Got bugs? They'll show you how to live with them-and without pesticides. They're water-wise, plant-savvy, and eager to help. Want to create a wildlife sanctuary in your yard? The Master... read more »

Topics & Themes:  gardening

Rufous Hummingbirds Are on the Way

It's March, and - following a winter sojourn in Mexico - thousands of fiery-orange male Rufous Hummingbirds are migrating northward, ahead of the females. Many pass through California on their way to breeding sites in the Northwest. To learn more about how to attract hummingbirds to your yard --... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration

Red-tailed Hawk, Bulky Bird

The Red-tailed Hawk is the most common and widespread hawk in North America. Red-tails often perch on fence posts in rural areas or even atop lights along the roadway. Watch for a large, bulky, football-shaped bird with a small dark head and a rusty-red tail. These hawks visit open fields to... read more »


Brown Kiwi

Kiwis are so unlike other birds that they've been called "honorary mammals." Kiwis cannot fly, having evolved in New Zealand's island environment without mammalian predators. The only bird to have nostrils at the end of its beak, the kiwi snuffles and snorts as it probes the forest floor for... read more »


Kinglets in Winter

The Golden-crowned Kinglet weighs six grams, the weight of two pennies, yet it survives under conditions that would make a grizzly bear shiver. Wintering as far north as Alaska and Nova Scotia, with short days, intense cold, and heavy snow, how can kinglets possibly stay alive? Good insulation... read more »