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Past Shows

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Black Brant Fly on By

Fifty years ago, on the shores of Puget Sound, you would have been much more likely than today to hear the calls of the Black Brant, a small, elegant tidewater goose. Most now bypass Puget Sound and other West Coast estuaries, and migrate directly to Mexico. Shoreline development, wetland... read more »



Merlins, compact birds of prey about ten inches long with a two-foot wingspan, are swift, powerful fliers, true thunderbolts on long, pointed wings. These small falcons nest in Canada and the far northern US. But they return south to hunt through the winter, even right in the city. The Merlin's... read more »


Shift Change - Swallows to Bats

As darkness grows, bats, like this western long-eared bat, replace swallows in the business of catching flying insects. The night shift has come on duty. Both swallows and bats consume vast quantities of insects. Both are critical components of healthy environments. But the way they fly is... read more »

Topics & Themes:  gardening

Lewis's Woodpecker - A Namesake

Among the marvels that Meriwether Lewis described was a bird that would later bear his name: Lewis's Woodpecker. Unlike most woodpeckers that spend most of their time with their bellies pressed against a tree trunk, Lewis's Woodpecker is an aerial artist. These woodpeckers get most of their food... read more »

Topics & Themes:  history

Cove Island Sanctuary

For decades, Cove Island in Stamford, Connecticut, on the shore of Long Island Sound, was a dumping ground for construction debris. Today, it's Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary, an oasis for birds (like this Bonaparte's Gull) and other wildlife, as well as for humans. Thanks go to Mike Moccio and... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

What Good Are Geese

The author of a recent essay in The New York Times asks, "What good are geese, anyway?" He's referring to the rapidly growing population of non-migratory Canada Geese that have taken up residence in our parks and golf courses. The problem with non-migratory geese is that they have entered a new... read more »


Woodpecker Wonderland

When it comes to woodpeckers, nature has been very generous to the Northwest. Some areas, like the Okanogan region in north-central Washington, host among the highest diversities of woodpecker species anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. You may spot the diminutive Downy Woodpecker or the... read more »


Eagles Do a Fall Walkabout

It's autumn. Where have all the eagles gone? Only a few weeks after young Bald Eagles fledge from their nests, the parents leave the area as well. Bald Eagles do a kind of "fall walkabout," leaving their nesting territories for better foraging areas. In winter, eagles gather by the hundreds along... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration

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 »

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 »

Topics & Themes:  migration