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Unlikely Places to Go Birding

Birding is often best in the least likely places. At sewage treatment plants, watch for ducks and gulls - and raptors keeping watch over them all. Another place might be your local landfill or dump. The Brownsville, Texas dump was, for years, the only place in the US you could find this... read more »

Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Spring Migration Across the Globe

Each spring, millions of birds head north. From Ecuador, beautiful Scarlet Tanagers fly to the eastern US and Canada, many traversing the Gulf of Mexico, an arduous journey. Across much of southern Europe, Common Nightingales – small thrushes with russet feathers – are arriving, having traveled... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration

Birds Dress for Spring

It's spring! And for many birds, a time to look their best to attract a new mate. This American Goldfinch has recently molted. Its old, worn-down feathers have fallen out, and new ones have grown in. When goldfinches molt in the fall, they lose these brightly colored feathers. Their winter... read more »

Topics & Themes:  plumage

Sidney Wade - Blue

April is National Poetry Month in the United States, and to celebrate, we're featuring some of our favorite poets who write about our feathered friends. Today, in this extended podcast, we're sharing the work of poet Sidney Wade, professor emeritus at the University of Florida. Her most recent... read more »

Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, reflection

Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird has a broad repertoire. It can mimic everything from other birds to inanimate objects. And it does so at all hours of the day and night. As poet Randall Jarrell put it: On the willow's highest branch, monopolizing Day and night, cheeping, squeaking, soaring, The... read more »

Topics & Themes:  reflection, vocalization

Sound Escapes - The Next Best Thing to Being There

Take a trip to the Hawaiian Islands with BirdNote with our new podcast Sound Escapes. We’ve teamed up with Gordon Hempton to bring the world’s sonic landscapes to your ears. This show is made possible by Jim and Birte Falconer of Seattle, the Bobolink Foundation, Idie Ulsh, and the Horizons... read more »

Topics & Themes:  recording

This Is GoatNote

When a goat puts its head down to graze, its eyes rotate in its head to keep its horizontal pupils parallel to the ground. That gives the goat, a prey animal with eyes on the sides of its head, a panoramic view of its surroundings - and keeps everything right-side up in case it has to start... read more »

Topics & Themes:  humor

Frigatebirds' Kleptoparasitism

In the warmer regions of the world’s oceans, large seabirds called boobies plunge headfirst into the water, snatching up fish. But as a booby flies up from the waves with a fish now in its gullet, there may be another big seabird — a frigatebird — with its eye on the booby’s fresh catch. Now... read more »


Golden Eagles of the Carpathians

In the early 1930s, a young English traveler named Patrick Leigh “Paddy” Fermor set out to walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul. The account of his journey became a classic of travel writing — including his descriptions of Golden Eagles in the Carpathian Mountains of Czechoslovakia.... read more »


Rivers of Birds

One of the world champions of long-distance migration is the Arctic Tern. Arctic Terns nest across the far northern reaches of the continent during our summer, then fly south to Antarctica for the rest of the year. Some will circle the polar ice-pack before heading north again, completing a total... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration