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pesticides and toxins

Osprey Return to Pennsylvania - Interview with Larry Rymon

Ospreys, common along the rivers of Pennsylvania, stopped nesting there in the 1950s, due to the effects of DDT. But in 1980, Larry Rymon, a professor of biology, began to restore Ospreys to Pennsylvania. Larry says: "Osprey have been a part of this planet's wildlife for 17 million years. They... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting, science

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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Condor #23 and Lead

California Condor #23 is the hero of the California Condor Restoration Project. The project has worked for 30 years to reintroduce captive-bred condors into the wild. Number 23 and his mate were the first released condors to successfully raise a chick on their own. Yet today, #23 sits alone. Two... read more »

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Condor Release - Interview with Eddie Feltes

In late September 2011, three California Condors were released near the Grand Canyon. Eddie Feltes of The Condor Recovery Project says: "We open up the gates from a blind and watch those birds take to the sky." The first few days are the most crucial in the birds' life, because they've never... read more »

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California Condor

During the days of mammoths and saber-toothed cats, California Condors thrived over much of the continent. Today, they're one of the most endangered birds in the US. The condor's main survival problem is high mortality due to lead poisoning. Condors eat animal carcasses, often containing lead... read more »

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City Peregrines

The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird on earth. But its speed couldn't help it avoid the dangers of the pesticide DDT. By the 1970s, the species had declined as much as 80-90% across the US. Since the ban of DDT – and with the help of the Endangered Species Act – well, theyyyy're baaaack! And... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Waterfowl and Lead

Waterfowl must swallow hard particles so their gizzards can grind up hard foods, like grains. Unfortunately, they can't tell a lead pellet from a small pebble. Beginning in 1991, waterfowl hunters were required to switch from lead shotgun pellets to pellets made of non-toxic metals. The switch to... read more »

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Former Abundance

On a November day in the late 1960s, flying in a light plane along the Mississippi River, the eminent waterfowl biologist Frank Bellrose came upon a raft of 450,000 Lesser Scaups that stretched for miles. Protection, restoration, and enhancement of habitats used during all seasons are under way... read more »

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Seabird Crash with Tony Scruton II

Tony Scruton is a sentinel of seabirds; he's on the water at least six times a week, year 'round. He has been closely observing seabirds for more than 30 years. And as he tells it, numbers of murres and scoters - like this White-winged Scoter - have dwindled. There are barely one-tenth of the... read more »

Rachel Carson and Silent Spring

Among the most welcome features of spring is the renewal of bird song. Can you imagine a spring without the voices of birds? The silence would -- as they say -- be deafening, the absence of their songs like the loss of one of our primary senses. Rachel Carson's 1962 book, Silent Spring, helped... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

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