Birds connect us with the joy and wonder of nature. By telling vivid, sound-rich stories about birds and the challenges they face, BirdNote inspires listeners to care about the natural world – and takes step to protect it.
In a Western ponderosa pine savanna, tall pines dot an open, grassy landscape. A Western Bluebird flits from a gnarly branch, as this Cassin's Finch belts out a rapid song. The trees here grow singly or in small stands. Upslope, the pines become denser, mixing with firs. Downhill, the
The clear, whistled music of the Eastern Meadowlark (seen here) is the unmistakable anthem of eastern North America's farmlands and open country. The Western Meadowlark and its sweet, liquid notes epitomize the natural expanses of the American West. Sadly, birds of such grassy habitats are
In summer, the grasslands of southern Saskatchewan resound with bird song. This Bobolink is among the birds that combine their voices in a rich, ringing chorus. Through these grasslands flows the Frenchman River, twisting and looping — the epitome of a meandering river. The southern
Gordon Orians describes an unusual adaptation in blackbirds called gaping: "...the ability to forcibly open the bill against some pressure, so that a bird can push its bill into the base of a grass clump, and forcibly open it, which reveals the insects that may be down hidden in the base.
In his poem “Trying to Fall Asleep in South Dakota,” poet Tom Gannon wrote about meadowlarks. He might have been hearing a Western Meadowlark, which nests across South Dakota in the summer. But if he’d been in the south-central part of the state, it might have been an Eastern Meadowlark
Birds are an inspiration for many musicians. Before writing “The Penguin,” Raymond Scott probably saw these birds at the Central Park Zoo. Though penguins are clumsy on land, Gentoos like the ones pictured here are the fastest of any diving bird, reaching 22 miles an hour. Speaking of
All states have an official bird, usually one that's associated with its particular region. Many state birds are quite common, although Hawaii's chosen bird, the Nene, a type of goose, is endangered. The bird chosen by the most states — seven — is the Northern Cardinal, followed by the
Over a century ago, a Nebraska man, an audiologist named Solon Towne, “collected” the songs of meadowlarks. He’d saunter about his farm, listening. Then he’d hurry back to his desk to transcribe the birds’ songs into musical notes. To help him remember the songs, he added words. One
Gordon Hempton, the Soundtracker, likens the joy he feels after a day of recording Western Meadowlarks (their eastern cousin is seen here on the left...) to the experience of John Muir, who knew individual American Dippers (also known as Water Ouzels; seen here on the right) by their songs
The Palouse country in southeastern Washington features rolling hills, fertile soils, and grassland birds like this Western Meadowlark, which nests in native vegetation between wheat fields. Horned Larks are less choosy, nesting in the wheat fields and fledging their broods before harvest
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have official birds. To become a state bird, it helped to be familiar, colorful, and have a punchy song. The Northern Cardinal perches as state bird in seven eastern states, the Western Meadowlark in six western states. Bluebirds - like this
Writer Ivan Doig wrote about bird songs, including that of this Western Meadowlark, in his book, Ride with Me, Mariah Montana: "Warbles and trills and solo after solo ... the air was magically busy. None of us spoke while the songs of the birds poured undiluted. I suppose we were afraid
The song of a Western Meadowlark rings out across the eastern slope of Washington’s Cascade Mountains. Come Memorial Day weekend, members of Audubon and friends will celebrate 50 years of gathering at the Wenas Campground to welcome the birds and wildflowers of spring. Two hundred and
No song epitomizes the open spaces of the American West like that of the Western Meadowlark. Indeed, the song of the Western Meadowlark can be rightly acclaimed the essential musical theme of much of the West. It's a bird of grass - and sage-lands, fields and pastures, meadows and prairies