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Past Shows

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The Secretarybird: Eagle on Stilts

The Secretarybird of sub-Saharan Africa looks like a slim eagle set on the long, slender legs of a crane. Secretarybirds can fly but prefer to hunt on foot, walking over 20 miles a day and dispatching their prey with powerful kicks of their taloned feet. read more »

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Night Voices - Nightjars

As darkness descends on a May evening, the voices of many birds go quiet. But for some birds, especially those known as nightjars, the music is just beginning! An Eastern Whip-poor-will shouts out its name. The call of a Common Poorwill echoes across a canyon. A Common Pauraque calls from the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching by ear

The Bobolink's Remarkable Journey

As Bobolinks return to North America from the tropics each spring, they have good reason to sing with joy. The two-ounce birds have completed one of the longest migrations of any songbird: roughly 6,000 miles. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Barn Swallows - Splendor in the Back Yard

This lovely creature is a Barn Swallow - notice the rich colors! A genuine master of the air, the swallow swoops low along the ground at high speed, changing direction in the blink of an eye. This prodigy has flown all the way from South America, to offer - without fee - its services as a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

One-Bird Symphony

To make their beautiful songs and calls, birds have different sound-making anatomy than people. Humans have a larynx at the top of our windpipe. Birds use a different organ, called the syrinx. Naturalist Kenn Kaufman and Dallas Taylor of the podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz explain. read more »

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Birdsongs near Home

Who's in the neighborhood today? It's amazing how many birds you can see – and hear – when you go for a walk. There's a towhee... and a Steller's Jay ... now, a junco ... There's the "tin trumpet" sound of this Red-breasted Nuthatch. And the Ruby-crowned Kinglet is warming up, all because it's... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Ruddy Duck

When male and female Ruddy Ducks meet on their breeding grounds, the male gets right to strutting his stuff. The male raises his tail and his head, until his feathers look like horns. He inflates his neck and, faster and faster, strikes his chest with his bill. These blows cause the water to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Listening to Nuthatches

Nuthatches rank high on the list of favorite backyard birds. Compact and stub-tailed, they climb down tree trunks and along the underside of branches with comical ease. One at a time, they flit in for suet and sunflower seeds. But out in the woods, where they spend most of their time, nuthatches... read more »

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Endangered Species Day

This Golden-cheeked Warbler nests only in a Central Texas woodland. Its small breeding range is ever more fragmented by residential development, and its numbers are in serious decline. Endangered Species Day was established by Congress to acknowledge the plight of this warbler and many other... read more »

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The Land Between the Lakes

We’re at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, just 50 miles northwest of Nashville, Tennessee. It’s this massive inland peninsula, bordered by sections of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. It’s a sneak peek of Sound Escapes, our new podcast series.This show is made possible by... read more »

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