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human disturbance

Mono Lake - Seeking a Balance

More than 1.5 million Eared Grebes, 30% of the North American population, gather at Mono Lake each fall. But as late as the 1990s, the lake was gravely threatened by the diversion of its water to Los Angeles. After years of court battles, Los Angeles, the lake's advocates, and concerned... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration

Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Southeastern Forests

Native to the Southeast across to East Texas, Red-cockaded Woodpeckers differ from most woodpeckers. They remain in cooperative family groups throughout their lives. And they excavate nests in living trees rather than dead ones, often reusing the same cavities for decades. The federal government... read more »

Topics & Themes:  nesting

Endangered Plovers

Strolling at sunset along the ocean beach at California's Morro Bay or Washington's Leadbetter Point, you hear a male Snowy Plover. At Milford Point in Connecticut, you might hear a Piping Plover. Plovers are threatened in much of their coastal ranges. Conservation efforts are afoot on the... read more »


Passenger Pigeon, In Memoriam

The last Passenger Pigeon in the world died on September 1, 1914. What happened to these lovely long-tailed doves? Huge flocks offered easy shooting, and the birds were hunted to extinction. We now have the awareness and tools to make sure that over-harvest and loss of habitat don't happen again.... read more »


Birds of the Gulf Oil Spill

August 2010 - We share the concern of all who listen to BirdNote for the well-being of the birds that are affected - and are yet to be affected - by the oil spill in the Gulf. Birds such as the Brown Pelican, Snowy Plover, Sandwich Tern, Seaside Sparrow, American Oystercatcher, Willet, Black... read more »


Greater Prairie-Chicken

The evocative, booming voices of male Greater Prairie-Chickens displaying at dawn were once heard throughout the American Midwest. On its courtship lek, the male bird puffs out the great orange air-sacs at the side of its neck. He erects and flares his tail. His wings droop, but the neck tufts... read more »


Woodpeckers and Forest Fires

A forest fire roars along a mountain slope once green with spruce and pines, ignited by a lightning strike late in a Northwest summer. Once the fire has run its course, acres of blackened trunks stand silently against the blue sky. But by next summer, woodpeckers have discovered the charred... read more »

Topics & Themes:  ecology

American Kestrel

The American Kestrel is the smallest, most numerous, and most widespread North American falcon. This bird is built for speed, its long pointed wings often bent back at the tip. While hunting, kestrels hover above an open field. These days, the lack of suitable nesting cavities, which limits... read more »