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Past Shows

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Interview with Burt Guttman

Do you know someone who's ready to start birdwatching, but is uncertain how to go about it? Burt Guttman, Professor Emeritus of The Evergreen State College, has written a book that can help. In Finding Your Wings, A Workbook for Beginning Bird Watchers, Burt explains: Find a good place. Get a... read more »

Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Do Birds See Color?

Have you ever wondered if a hummingbird can recognize colors other than red, or if other birds see color? What about this male Scarlet Tanager? Some male birds literally shimmer with brilliant colors-the Wood Duck and peacock, for instance. But color is probably lost on nocturnal birds, which may... read more »

Topics & Themes:  science

Woodcock's Sky Dance

It is an ancient music. The mating song of the male American Woodcock. To hear it, step out into the dusk of a quiet spring evening in the Connecticut countryside. In the twilight, or in the moonlight, you may hear him more than see him spiral high in his sky dance. The air rushing past his wing... read more »

Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Sizing Up Birds of Prey

In most birds - if the sexes vary at all in size - the male is larger. But with many hawks and falcons, the pattern is reversed. And female birds of prey are most notably bigger than males among hawk species that hunt agile prey, such as other birds. Perhaps the female Cooper's Hawk's larger size... read more »


Northern Harrier and Barn Owl

Teetering and gliding not far above the ground, this Northern Harrier - formerly called a Marsh Hawk - scans the marsh grass for voles. If you return to the marsh at night, the harrier will be gone, and it's a Barn Owl you might see, also hunting voles. Although one's a hawk and the other an owl,... read more »


Eurasian Collared-Doves Expand

In the Bahamas, in 1974, the Eurasian Collared-Dove escaped from captivity and began to breed in the wild. By the late 1970s, the doves had flown west and colonized southern Florida. As their numbers grew, the doves expanded into rural and suburban areas, moving quickly in a northwesterly... read more »


What Birds Can Hear in Songs

What does the Winter Wren hear in a song? It's a long story... What we hear as a blur of sound, the bird hears as a precise sequence of sounds, the visual equivalent of seeing a movie as a series of still pictures. That birds can hear the fine structure of song so acutely allows them to convey... read more »

Topics & Themes:  vocalization

The Dainty Flamingo?

The Greater Flamingo, an American icon, is as comfortable next to a patio as it is in a tropical lagoon. It is found throughout the Caribbean, in the Galapagos, and from southern Europe across Africa to India. Despite its pencil-thin neck and legs, the flamingo miraculously maintains grace and... read more »


Wrong-way Kingbird

Ornithologists think a glitch in a gene that controls migration in Tropical Kingbirds causes them to fly in exactly the wrong direction. From their Arizona breeding grounds, they head northwest in fall, rather than southeast to their usual wintering haunts in Mexico. Learn more at Cornell's... read more »


Swallows in Winter?

Most Barn Swallows migrate south for the winter. But recently, small populations have stayed through the winter, seeking out pockets of flying insects for food. To learn more about this winter surprise, visit read more »