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Past Shows

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The Folklore of Owls

Thanks to Harry Potter, the owl is flying high. But throughout history, the owl has received mixed reviews. The Greeks believed an owl flying over a battlefield foretold victory, while in other cultures, owls were considered omens of death, prophets of doom. Listen to the story again, and you'll... read more »

Topics & Themes:  myth

Ducks Head South

In early fall, you'll see male ducks - like these Mallards - looking very different from when they flew north last spring. The beautiful drakes seem to be gone. But the males are here - sort of "under cover." In mid-summer, they molted into nondescript, dull plumage known as eclipse plumage. But... read more »

Topics & Themes:  plumage

Ridgefield BirdFest

October 5th, 2019! Cackling Geese-like this one-migrate south from Alaska in October, and flock together for the winter at sites like Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, in southern Washington. In addition to music, the festival offers artwork and guided kayak and walking tours. Keep an eye out... read more »

Topics & Themes:  festival, music

South Polar Skua

South Polar Skuas glide just off the Pacific Coast each fall. Skuas are prone to piracy, stealing fish from gulls and terns by chasing them down. These birds are also fierce predators on their Antarctic nesting grounds, raiding penguin colonies, eating eggs and young chicks alike. The word "skua"... read more »


Tracking Peregrine Falcons

In September, a streamlined Peregrine Falcon calls as it wings its way south from its Arctic nesting grounds. The pale gray falcon will spend the winter in Chile. On its back, it wears a miniature satellite transmitter, attached there by members of the Falcon Research Group. In 2006, Bud Anderson... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Groove-billed Ani

The Groove-billed Ani's large, laterally flattened bill spits out its sharp, high whistles, slurred whinings, and various squeaks, pips, squeals, and growls. These retiring birds gather in loose groups, nesting communally. As many as four pairs of birds may use one nest, a bulky cup of twigs... read more »

Topics & Themes:  nesting

Kent Woodruff and the Townsend's Big-eared Bats

Kent Woodruff is a wildlife biologist with the USFWS in Washington's Upper Methow Valley. He spearheaded the effort, which included The Trust for Public Land, to conserve a colony of rare Townsend's big-eared bats. An old cabin (left) that the bats had used for a nursery was relocated. They also... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Birds Helping People - Vineyards

In some vineyards of Napa and Sonoma Counties in California, owls patrol by night, and kestrels, harriers, and other raptors take the day-watch. They eat the mice, rats, and gophers that nibble on the roots of young grapevines. Other birds help, too, including this Western Bluebird. Wineries put... read more »

Topics & Themes:  human interaction

Scrub-Jays Plan Breakfast

Caroline Raby and others at Cambridge University conducted experiments with Western Scrub-Jays, playing off the birds' natural tendency to cache food. In the first experiment, the jays cached food in the room where they expected to go hungry the following morning. In the second, they received two... read more »

Topics & Themes:  science

Bullock's Oriole Weaves a Nest

The Bullock's Oriole is the only member of the oriole family that nests in the Northwest. With a slender, sharply pointed bill, the oriole weaves a marvelous pouch-like nest that hangs suspended from its upper rim. The nest hangs downward four to eight inches. The female weaves together long,... read more »

Topics & Themes:  nesting