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Past Shows

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Burrowing Snowbirds

Light, fluffy snow can be up to 90% trapped air — just the thing to keep birds and other animals warm. Ptarmigan spend winter nights in cozy caves they excavate in snow. During truly harsh weather, they will hunker down in their caves through the short arctic day, too. Common Redpolls break... read more »

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The Verdin’s Winter Roosts

For small songbirds, surviving a cold winter night can be challenging. Their bodies lose heat faster than those of larger birds. So little birds have found resourceful ways to stay warm — like huddling close together with other birds. But the Verdin, a tiny bird of the Southwest, does something... read more »

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Nictitating Membranes - Nature's Goggles

For most birds, keen eyesight is critical for survival. But many birds lead lives that can be very hard on the eyes — like flying at breakneck speed, racing for cover into a dense thicket, or diving under water to capture prey. Imagine how the chips fly as this Pileated Woodpecker chisels a... read more »

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Herons Go Fishing

Any fisherman will tell you that to catch a fish, you need the right bait, the perfect spot by the water’s edge, and patience. While they don’t use the traditional line-and-tackle, Striated Herons have mastered these fishing techniques.Today’s show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation. read more »

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The Peregrine Falcon Makes a Comeback

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, which came out in 1962, linked the pesticide DDT to the decline of many birds, including songbirds. But Peregrine Falcons and other raptors had declined, too. When the birds ingested DDT, it caused their eggshells to thin and break under the weight of the incubating... read more »

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Gliding with Tropicbirds

With the strong, direct flight of a falcon, a tropicbird can catch a flying fish on the wing, or plunge like an arrow into the sea and — with its serrated bill — capture a squid. Three species of tropicbirds range through most of the tropical latitudes of the world's oceans, and have done so for... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

A Brief History of Cars Named for Birds

Birds can be sleek, aerodynamic, and powerful — all in one package. Automakers picked up on this early: a cool bird name will sell cars. So far, more than twenty models of cars have been named for birds — some real, some mythical — and they go way back.Ford Thunderbirds, Buick Skylarks, Plymouth... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history, humor

Reddish Egret - Lagoon Dancer

The Reddish Egret, a particularly glamorous heron, is best known for its startling antics in capturing fish. When fishing, the egret sprints across the lagoon, weaving left and right, simultaneously flicking its broad wings in and out, while stabbing into the water with its bill. Fish startled at... read more »

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Patrick Comins, on Being a Conservationist

Patrick Comins, executive director of Connecticut Audubon, explains what being a conservationist means to him. "If you've ever seen a Scarlet Tanager you don't even have to describe how wonderful they are. It's this variety and diversity of birds that really got me interested. While a lot of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

The Oilbird's Lightless Life

Nature has produced some exceptionally strange animals. One such creature is the Oilbird of northern South America. The Oilbird prefers a diet of wild berries and fruits, especially lipid-rich fruits like palm nuts and avocados (which leads to fatty young and the Oilbird's name). This... read more »

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